The Annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom describes the status of religious freedom in each foreign country, government policies violating religious belief and practices of groups, religious denominations, and individuals, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world. It is submitted in compliance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices are submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress in compliance with sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA), as amended, and section 504 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. The law provides that the Secretary of State shall transmit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, "a full and complete report regarding the status of internationally recognized human rights, within the meaning of subsection (A) in countries that receive assistance under this part, and (B) in all other foreign countries which are members of the United Nations and which are not otherwise the subject of a human rights report under this Act." Reports on several countries are included that do not fall into the categories established by these statutes and that thus are not covered by the congressional requirement.
NOTE: As of 2012 (covering the year 2011), the Human Rights Reports no longer treat Religious Freedom issues.
The reports cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.