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tv   Secretary of State John Kerry on the 2014 International Religious Freedom...  CSPAN  October 18, 2015 3:55am-4:40am EDT

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and all that. one of you said you want to just call it women, not teens. i have experience in the minority communities. i am a ghanaian and they call themselves girls more than women. they don't see a path belonging to them. why does there seem to be hesitation to talk about it in terms of teens? mr. haskins: andrea, will you -- repeat the question quickly. ms. kane: i think the question was why the hesitation to talk about teens, and sometimes we talk about women, which includes teens, and teens may not hear themselves in that. they think of themselves as
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girls, not women -- is that the question? i think it is a good point. i think it is a political hesitation more than anything else. from the medical point of view, the american academy of pediatrics says iud's, implants, are perfectly appropriate, and first line options for teenagers. i think it is more of a messaging issue in terms of the political and policy discussion. i also feel like we are trying to have this conversation on two levels and we need to. there is how we talk about it in a policy and political space, and then there is how we talk about it when we are trying to actually reach girls and women. it would be convenient and a lot simpler if we could use the same
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terms all the time. but i think we need to tweak our methods. we are using this term because it is a convenient way of packaging categories of contraception. the research we have done with women shows that that packaging no sense to them. why would you treat something that goes in your arm and something that goes in your uterus as one category of thing? we talk about iud's and in plus, a few more syllables than larc, but if we were talking to a natural young woman who is thinking about getting one of these methods, that is probably not the best way to talk about. mr. haskins: last question. mr. edwards: just to add onto that? the vast majority of pregnancy
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occurs to women who are not teens. we tend to focus on teens but it is really single women in their 20's. it is important to keep in mind. mr. haskins: right in there, second one. >> you had mentioned that there is a lot of great provider education with mentorship, but what is being done more on the primary care level? a lot of women won't see a gynecologist until they are 21 years old and most women by that time are already sexually active. it is being done at the primary provider level. >> not enough. ms. sawhill: that is where
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having a screening question becomes important. mr. edwards: the bulk of it occurs in primary settings. that is where the volume patients are. we are seeing them early. there's a big gap between what is best and what is actually happening. ms. gold: just to add onto that, not to take on the pediatrician in the audience, but at the primary care level we need to focus much more on the pediatricians, the adolescent care docs, docs seeing women in their teens who can really set them up for being able to make responsible decisions going forward. mr. haskins: ok, so at least i hope we convince you that this is a really, really important issue, and there is tiny of evidence that we could do some thing about it if we got the policies right, and we are moving fairly rapidly in that direction. this is generally a good story for me to keep going in the same direction. thank you very much for coming, and join me in thanking the panel. good day. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] "q&a" his former -- histalked about friend talks about the former
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>> the state department this week released its annual report on the state of religious freedom and intolerance around the world. secretary of state john kerry spoke with some of the features of the report and notable trends. he was followed by david saperstein who gave more remarks about the findings. this is 45 minutes. >> good morning, everybody. how are you doing? only a couple of people are capable of speaking. there we go. good to hear. today, we present the
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international religious freedom report for 2014 and i to thank davidnt saperstein and his entire team for producing the report that amount of vast objective research and would valuable uniquely resource for anybody who cares about religious freedom and all of its aspects. i'm grateful for david's willingness to come on board. it provide tremendous willingness and i think you'll hear more and more from the department with respect to our fight to protect people's rights to exercise religious freedom. the main message is that countries benefit when their citizens fully enjoy the rights to which they are entitled. -- hopeful a proven
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theory, this is a proven reality. i should exercise that the concept extends beyond tolerance. ours deeply connected to dna as americans to everything that we are and everything that we came from. it is a concept that came and is based on respect and respect that demands legal equality. that thes practitioners of one faith understand they have no right to coerce others into submission, or to takeor silence
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their lives because of their beliefs. report is tof this highlight the importance of religious freedom through advocacy and persuasion. our primary goal is to help governments everywhere recognize that there societies will do better with religious liberty than without it. the world has learned through hard experience that religious liberalism encourages all while religious discrimination is often the source of conflict that endangers all. we hope to give governments and added incentive to honor the right and dignity of their citizens. it also has the benefit of equipping interested observers with an arsenal of facts. one of the more consequential facts of our era has been the
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ofelopment of new phenomenon nonstate actors who, unlike the last century with the violence that we saw in the persecution that we saw that emanated from states are now the personal prosecutors -- persecutors and preventers. most tolerant and most harmful has been the rise of international terrorist groups such as al qaeda, al-shabaab, boko haram. all have been guilty of vicious acts of unprovoked violence. captivesir control, have been given a choice between conversion, slavery or death. thedren have been among him's and among those forced to witness or participate executions, sometimes even of
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their own family members. entire populations of religious have beenroups killed. acts hasnance of these only multiplied when arbitrators seek to justify themselves by pointing the finger at god and claiming somehow that god licensed these acts. we are and we will continue to oppose these groups with far more than words of condemnation contained in this report. we will continue to help the survivors. in the middle east and africa we are assisting local survivors and responding to the needs, physical and psychological of women and girls who have escaped and been released after having been held captive. nightmare,, each
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each wound, is another reason to urgently address the root causes of extremism. i want to make three general points. as much as we opposed the actions of terrorists, we do not agree with governments that use those crimes as a pretext for prohibiting religious activities that are nonviolent and legitimate. those who misuse the terms terrorist and extremist are not fooling anybody. trying to create an artificial conformity is a prescription for frustration, anger and rebellion. againe learned time and that as citizens are denied the rights to practice and express their beliefs peacefully, they are far more likely to explore other and more often than not
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dangerous alternatives. right to religious freedom is not contingent on having a large number of followers. religious minorities, including those who possess no faith, should have the same rights. the pages of this report being filled withay are accounts of minorities being denied rights from countries pakistan,, iran, russia, saudi arabia, and many others. i want to emphasize the importance and urgency of the work being carried out, including the addition of a new special advisor on religious minorities. is a the initiative groundbreaking initiative to build a coalition of like-minded
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individuals to uphold the standard of religious freedom for all. i urge the release of men and women, detained or imprisoned anywhere in the world for the peaceful expression and practice of their religious beliefs. this includes the chinese christian human rights lawyer who was detained in late august just titled just just prior to a scheduled meeting and whose whereabouts are unknown. in closing, i know that religious bigotry is present to a degree in every continent and every country, sadly even including our own. it may be expressed through anti-semitism or prejudice against muslims for the persecution of christians, hindus, buddhists, seeks, and others. it may come in the guise of an attack against religion itself,
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as we saw so tragically and oregon -- in oregon. havesponse, we all responsibility to our firm are principles for religious freedom the world community has endorsed so many times. that help to uplift america and define our country, since the 17th century, one roger williams lifted his call for soul liberty and when some years later, the told the missionary delegation from boston, we do not wish to destroy your religion, we only went to enjoy our own. that is the fundamental principle of tolerance that guides us and is a value worth fighting for. with that i am pleased to yield the four tet ambassador david floor ton -- yield the ambassador david saperstein.
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saperstein: i want to thank the secretary for his remarks. he made a number of commitments of support for this work when i came on and he has more than fulfilled on those commitments. the annual international religious freedom report provides an important opportunity for the united states to highlight in issue that continues to be a priority of the administration talking -- documenting how, where and when the freedom of religion or belief was violated or protected in every corner of the world. through the immense effort of countless state department officials, knowledgeable and ofeless staff and the bureau
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democracy human rights labor in washington as well as dedicated staff in each one of our embassies across the globe. maintains thet high standards of objectivity and accuracy for which we strive. ago i stoodr a year at a podium next to secretary kerry in this room when he announced my nomination for the position of ambassador at large and during my 10 month tenure i've been gratified for both the secretary and president in committing so many of the priorities i identified in my confirmation hearing and swearing in speech. we have since increased the number of staff in our office, allowing us to expand the monitoring work and to better express a variety of issues from the importance of religious freedom and countering violent extremism to the terrible global
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impact of blasphemy laws, simultaneously, we have expanded fort assistance programs that strengthen religious freedom. ofm also deeply appreciative president obama and secretary to the report appointment of the special advisor for religious minorities in the areas of southeast asia. i'm delighted that he is able to be with us today. he is building on our efforts including our work to protect those early days and weeks and iraq and the christian communities in the river every a river area of syria. to allow minority communities to be able to return home. january, i've also worked to build deeper partnerships with foreign governments to
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advance religious freedom. as these global challenges require a global response. thanks to the leadership of my canadian counterpart, we have forged an intergovernmental nations together to devise common strategies to promote and protect religious freedom for all. during my tenure i have noticed certain enduring truths. in many countries, religious freedoms flourish. people are free to choose their faith, speak about their faith, others ticket to the -- teach it to their children. the same places worship alone or together with others. cooperation flourishes and religious communities contribute significantly to the social welfare and serve as a moral compass to their nations. and far too many countries people face farming -- alarming, challenges.
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in a country where once proud traditions of multifaith and positive coexistence was the norm, we have witnessed growing numbers of religious minorities being driven out and in too many countries, prisoners of sufferus -- conscience cruel -- this gives a voice to all those around the world seeking to live their lives in accordance with their conscience or religious beliefs. striveincident report we to put a human face on this incredibly important human right that touches somebody many people across the globe and remains central to the identity of the american people. a number of trendlines stood out this year. the first one secretary has already mentioned is the single greatest challenge to religious freedom worldwide or certainly the single greatest emerging challenge which are the acts of
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terror committed by those who falsely claim the mantle of religion to justify their wanton indiscretions. has sought to eliminate anyone who deviates from their interpretation of islam. they have replaced individuals from their homes based on affiliations or ethnicity. they have killed thousands in violence and deliver attacks on christians and muslims who oppose the radical ideology. it has subjected the people of cameroon, chad, niger to unspeakable acts of violence and fatal attacks on places of worship. ofondly, the impact blasphemy laws and apostasy laws in pakistan, saudi arabia, egypt, sudan and a number of others as well as those that
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purport to protect religious sentiment from perfect. the united states uniformly opposes such laws. such laws are inconsistent with international human rights and fundamental freedoms and we will continue to call for their universal appeal. the existence of such laws to justify violence in the name of religion and to create an whichhere of impunity leads to false claims of blasphemy. third, repressive governments routinely subject their citizens to violence, discrimination, under surveillance, for simply exercising faith or identifying with a religious community. we see them traumatized by the plight of countless numbers. we remain deeply committed to seeing such individuals freed
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everywhere and the world. i saw firsthand how religious groups are forced to undergo onerous and arbitrary registration process to legally operate as vietnam considers amending its religion laws, we stand with the countries religious communities in calling for the easing of such restrictions. in burma, the candidate and i spoke out forcefully together against a series of discriminatory laws banning interfaith marriage and restricting conversion. many governments have used the guys to broadly protest religious groups for nonviolent religious activities or by imposing broad restrictions on religious life. continuing to use vaguely formulated anti-extremism laws to justify arrests raids on homes and places of worship. some been people under the age of 18 from participating in any
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public religious activities, supposedly on the ground that exposure to religion will be jew to violence. have increasedls controls on religious expression and practice including instances of banning beards and headscarves. a word about china. visit in august, i found that despite widespread continuing abuses, many places of worship were nonetheless full and flourishing. faith-based social service and welfare agencies operating orphanages and soup kitchens made highly positive contributions to the beings of their society. we have urged the chinese government to use that as a model of what can work nationwide. far more often, a restrictive policies stifle religious life preventing chinese people from experiencing such benefits.
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this reality has only been exacerbated by the growing crackdown including those seeking to work within china's legal system to enhance religious freedom and this does include a peaceful, respected, christian human rights lawyer whose were amounts -- whereabouts remain unknown. the fourth is the role of societal violence and discrimination. that which emanates not from the government itself but from other societal groups. the question is, what does the government due to try to ameliorate the conditions that lead to violence and what does it do to protect her arrest minority communities. strugglingments are to cope with the aftermath of terror attacks along with increased anti-semitism and anti-muslim actions and sentiments as hundreds of thousands of syrians, afghans,
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iraqis and others have fled to europe in recent weeks, we urge governments to uphold their obligations for the humane treatment of refugees to ensure individuals do not face harassment on account of their muslim faith. these challenges, we also see governments and individuals working to improve their communities and societies following the terror attacks in copenhagen, thousands of people in septembermark, 2014, curs extend's -- curs gzkstan's --r growing the just tensions and violence in sri lanka, generated by hard-line
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ethnic buddhist groups, a new government has staked out a much more tolerant group of religious diversity and to since that time some of these tensions have noticeably eased. while the challenges are are deeply inspired by the work of countless communities, civil society organizations and individuals around the world. working alongside us to ensure their governments live up to the commitment to protect freedom of religion and belief. theiricate our work to struggle and continue to fight for a world in which every individual is free to live out his or her conscience. i am now happy to answer any questions. a you have sketched out number of things going badly and a few things going well. is it possible to look at a global trend? if you look at the pew
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reports that i believe are a year behind our reports, over the last several years there has been a steady increase of people who live in countries who have theous restrictions there is a new phenomenon that has really escalated in the last 18 months.
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across europe, leaders of different countries and civil society leaders and religious leaders have all spoken out condemning these acts, standing deploying the police and militia to protect endangered minority communities and we've seen the expansion of interfaith efforts on every continent to try to a desk -- address the challenges. it is hard to give you the sum between the dangerous and encouraging parts of it. this report does not make that judgment it states in fact what is happening in each and every country. >> just to follow up the china situation, have they responded detention of the this individual?
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what are the circumstances of those detained around the same time? how do you explain that balance between religious freedom and expression, but increasing restrictions, especially when you were there? >> let me clarify what the situation was. at the end of our time in mainland china, these detentions took place. someone with a human rights legal background who met with us to give the analysis that person brought to bear on the subject to was detained the next day in houston attention. people from the community of wenzhou, i'm sure many of you read about it, that is a community where there has been an escalation of efforts to take down crosses from a few
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hundred churches, to dismantle and weurches in wenzhou wanted to meet with people there. we were denied permission to travel there but we were allowed to go to the capital of that province and that group of including three human rights lawyers, forming -- four pastors from the area and others were all detained. them have been released and several still face the possibility of charges that with junk i who is one of the most respected human rights lawyers in china, someone who has argued over and over again that they have to work within the legal system of china in order to win these battles and has proved very skilled at representing a range of religious groups, he and i believe one or two bank of the
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of the-- one or two others -- bureau hasights reached out to talk about these problems at a structural level. have continued to ask questions and we will continue on this and we hope that we will get answers. again, the report does not make the judgments about why these disparities of experiences, these encouraging and discouraging signs live side-by-side in the same country. it just sets out the facts and allows you folks to provide the interpretation. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. the report talks about a wave of anti-israel sentiment in europe and in 2014 it crossed the line into anti-semitism. i am wondering if you can
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explain to us how you define what that line was and what constituted anti-israel sentiment versus anti-semitic? >> we have a very brief paper on that if you like we can provide that to you, but very quickly, criticism of public policy of any nation israel, the united states, china, european nation, african nation, asian nation come a that is appropriate. that is part of the free marketplace of ideas in discourse. what crosses the line is when argue that israel is an inherently illegal state and doesn't have the right to and takes legal state actions that delegitimize those fundamental rights, it is right on the cusp of that line.
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it holds one country to different standards than it would hold any other country. normally we think of that as a denial of rights to persons or the imposition of obligations on a person not applied to other people, we normally think of that as racism. moneyin the minds of feels that when it steps over that line it constitutes anti-semitic activity and not just anti-legitimate discourse about israeli policies. what isis isook at doing in the middle east, would you describe that as a war on christians? what more can be done to help communities like that and resettle here? what would you tell russia about bashar al-assad's record on
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protecting minorities in that country? ofthat is a broad range issues, let me try to do this quickly. assad's record is absolutely clear. we have made that clear to the world and i think there is overwhelming consensus in the community about the horrific that the human rights assad regime has been engaged in . russia's intervention does not change what our message has been. in terms of bringing people here , the president has announced an expansion in the number of refugees we will be taking in and it is presumed that a number of those will include the expansion and people from that region. vigorously on the
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issue of protecting minority communities. isil is certainly targeting the christian community but is also targeting the mend the ends and those they wanted to wipe out. it is trying to decimate and if it's a rate the presence of those varied communities. be aow that if there will possibility to bring them home, we know what the ingredients are going to be. to aoken on this publicly number of the major christian groups concerned about this and also the groups concerned about the meetings with the shia muslim groups from the area who are affected by this as well. themis, we need to sustain and tohey are in place see that they are going to be
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willing to stay, mostly in so's presenceil i is removed and we clearly need to remove their presence for them to return home. that means -- that means there has to be school for their kids and better health care and job opportunities for the kids were graduating school, etc.. and the united states is the lead factor in providing that humanitarian need. secondly, there needs to be a security system when they return home in which they can trust because a lot of that trust was breached. rightey need to own the to have their own effective defense forces that have to be integrated with the iraqi and peshmerga forces. third there has to be a transitional justice system very people go back to their communities and some of their neighbors have taken over their businesses and their homes.
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system that be a will fairly adjudicate that and hold people responsible who assisted isil. on a macro level there has to be a change in the governance structures that allow those minority groups to have a real role in shaping the future of their country. prime minister abadi has made clear that is his intent. we see some of that represented in the appointments he has made and the united states is working with the iraqi government on that and finally there has to be an internationally engaged plan on the economic rebuilding so people will have a sense of hope. we know what those ingredients are. the united states with the u.n. and other nations are working on planning this and that is very important because if we waited until i saw were pushed out, that chaos would potentially be send in. we know what needs to be done
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and where pushing on those things that will benefit the christian community. there has been a christian community there for 1600 years. today, the church bells are silent. we will not rest until people have a right to live out their religious lives back in their home communities in accordance with their conscience. >> on religious freedom and human rights in north korea, they have to taint many of the religious and the pastors -- they have detained many of the religious leaders and the pastors. manyou please tell us, how of these are still in north korean prisons? can you guess? >> first, as you know korea
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remains a country of particular concern. it is one of the worst violators of human rights in the entire world. we have talked about that over and over again. the countries that are particularly concerned this past year continue this year. think everyone knows that list. secondly, we don't have direct relations so we continue through international partners by mobilizing these international coalitions to put continuing pressure for north korea to ease restrictions on religious frdom and to let everyone of those prisoners of conscience and there are far too many and they often face brutal conditions in the prisons.
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finally, the united states government is always working day in and day out to ensure that its citizens who are imprisoned unjustly without due process and for the exercise of fundamental, internationally protected rights are allowed to go free. and/or encounter a judicial system that does provide due process and fairness. we do that as best we can through the international contexts with north korea going on every day on an ongoing basis. the question of how many -- i don't know the answer. the specific cases we cannot comment on. protect privacy laws them from allowing us to talk about their situation and they are not in a position to give us authority or permission to do that.
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we cannot comment on the individual cases. >> do you ever get pushback from governments who may view the idea of the just freedom as a western concept? >> we do. it has been somewhat of a growing phenomenon. we make it clear over and over again that we are not trying to impose the standards of western companies of companies of any particular majority. standards,, european , article 18 is quite clear about a robust application of religious freedom.
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it is within that that we deal with it. let me point out that we respect the very traditions of people and we try to engage with them on their terms to find ways to address what concerns they might have about religion. about what would religiously constitute blasphemy and finding nonlegal ways to deal with that. resolution of the 1618 was a prime example of that. it enjoyed the support of others. ways to at non-penal address that. the justice department and homeland security department and state department are working with other experts. i know that we are out in other countries doing training programs about this and there
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have been a handful of countries and we will be expanding this and a much more global reach. it is one of the things i'm focused on doing. they try to bring them -- >> last few questions. , ambassador, for your time. last week that christians in the middle east feel that the west has abandoned them? how do you respond? how can we help? >> sometimes there are competing truths. two things that are absolutely true. there is a robust effort of the democratic world to help her checked the christian community. all of the efforts we are

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