Daniel Stefano Salazar, OLIRE intern, comments on this recent initiative:
“In February, the United States launched the International Religious Freedom Alliance (IRF Alliance). The goal is the promotion of freedom of worship and religion around the world.
The commitment of this group is to observe and provide support to different countries that put in danger the stability of religious freedom. The recommendations aim to eliminate negative practices that restrict this fundamental human right. The key to accomplishing this purpose is governmental intelligence in order to get relevant information related to this subject.
This step could represent a great opportunity to ratify the importance of freedom of worship and religious protection, not just in our continent but throughout the world.
In Latin American, Brazil and Colombia joined into this alliance, thus taking the first step to defending the promotion of the freedom of worship and religion in the continent according to the terms of IRF. Consequently, they will follow up on the priority areas of action (reactive and proactive measures, as well as the implementation of potential instruments of action).
It will be a matter of time to see if the rest of Latin-American countries join as well to this alliance, especially if we consider that in recent years were identified multiple violations of the right to religious freedom across the region.
While the Declaration of Principles for the International Religious Freedom Alliance expresses the desire to protect members of religious minority groups and combat discrimination and persecution based on religion or belief, it is too early to know if this recent initiative will respond effectively, efficiently, transparently, and concretely to the different problems surrounding the exercise of the right to religious freedom.”