2020 DNC Foreign Policy Platform Plank Submission 2020
PRINCIPLED LEADERSHIP (insert on pg. 43)
When America leads, it must advocate for peace and equitable prosperity because all people deserve to live in dignity, their human rights respected. We believe protecting rights and opportunities for women and girls is essential for security, societal stability and long-term economic growth. Providing access to education and employment for young people and safeguarding the rights of minorities and marginalized people is important to the foundation of any just nation. The smart use of diplomacy, development, and economic policies that respect sovereignty and the rule of law can prevent crises, foster stability, and make the world a safer home for all.
To be a leader requires a commitment to global cooperation and diplomacy to advance equality and equity. Our role is not to be the world’s police force, nor is it to dictate the internal affairs of other governments, nor control their financial markets. War must always be the last resort, never the first choice. We reject American exceptionalism and primacy, and instead embrace partnerships to promote equality among nations and peaceful resolutions to conflicts.
Support our Troops, Keep Faith with Our Veterans, and End Perpetual Wars (insert page 36)
Although the United States has the strongest, largest and most funded military in the world, our safety and future do not lie through unchecked militarism. Nuclear proliferation, hidden spending accounts and perpetual wars do not keep us safe, but instead increase instability and injustice both here at home and abroad. We must redirect our priorities away from unchecked spending and the need to exercise hegemonic power.
Veterans and Service Members
To support and protect our troops, we will bring our soldiers home from occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and defund military actions that unnecessarily jeopardize our soldiers.
Our country has a sacred, moral responsibility to keep faith with all our veterans. We must take care of those who have put their lives on the line to serve our nation. That is why we will push for more educational benefits and job training, end chronic homelessness and address the epidemic of suicide amongst our returning troops, and protect and preserve the post-9/11 GI Bill for future generations. We will also ensure that reservists and Guard members are treated fairly when it comes to employment, health, education benefits, deployment, and reintegration.
We reject attempts to privatize the Veterans Administration and believe that the VA must be fully resourced so that every veteran gets the care they’ve earned and deserves, including those suffering from sexual assault, mental illness and other injuries or ailments.
Until the day when all Americans can enjoy the right to a Single-Payer healthcare system, we will fight for every veteran to have timely access to high-quality health care and timely processing of claims and appeals. We must also look for more ways to make certain the VA provides veteran-centric care, such as providing women with full and equal treatment, including reproductive health services; expanding mental health programs; continuing efforts to identify and treat invisible, latent, and toxic wounds of war; treating post-traumatic stress; and expanding caregiver programs to include all veterans.
Democrats honor the sacrifice of military families who serve alongside our service members. We recognize the unique concerns and challenges they face, especially after nearly two decades of continuous deployments. We will support military families with jobs, education, childcare, and health care, including services for victims of domestic violence. We will promote family-friendly policies and champion efforts to care for our military family members, especially for the spouses and children who have to rebuild their lives after numerous deployments, the loss of a loved one or life-altering injury or disability.
A Just Military
Democrats welcome and honor all Americans who want to serve and will continue to fight for their equal rights and recognition. We are proud of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and we commit ourselves to ensuring fair treatment for LGBTQ veterans, including by proactively reviewing and upgrading discharge records for veterans who were discharged because of their sexual orientation. Our military is strongest when people of all races, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identities are honored for their service to our country.
Democrats are committed to addressing the scourge of military sexual assault. We must increase efforts to prevent sexual assault and rape, and aggressively investigate and prosecute allegations. And we must make sure victims receive timely, appropriate and comprehensive treatment for physical, emotional, and psychological trauma resulting from sexual assault. Most of all, we must engender a culture that rejects toxic masculinity by engaging in ongoing training to correct the acceptance of it throughout all ranks and hold those in leadership who perpetuate its effects to account.
“Special report: For U.S. veterans, the war after the wars” (Reuters, 2010)
Military Spending (current page 36)
We call for a 30% reduction in our $700 billion dollar military budget, which would still leave that budget ($490 billion) far larger than China’s ($178 billon) or Russia’s military budget ($65 billion). In fact, the U.S. military budget is larger than the military budgets of the next 10 countries combined, including some of our rivals and long time allies — China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, England, South Korea, Japan and Brazil. Our military spending is unsustainable, funding 800 military bases in 80 countries and sowing seeds of resentment among local populations, while consuming 53 cents of every discretionary U.S. dollar.
We support a budget aligned with pressing national priorities — climate emergency, single-payer health care, robust public education, affordable housing — not one that usurps funds needed to bolster our social safety net or to provide for reparations and assistance to the countries devastated by U.S. military actions and sanctions.
We can reduce the overall financial and human costs of a runaway military budget by rejecting the perpetual “war on terror” that undermines the constitutionally vested authority of Congress and breeds more hostility toward our people.
As Democrats, we will end waste in a military budget that is riddled with fraud, cost overruns, and corporate price fixing. We will audit the Pentagon, launch a high-level commission to review the role of military contractors, and take greater action against those implicated in fraud.
“The U.S. Spends More on Its Military Than the Next 10 Countries Combined” (National Priorities Project)
“The Bipartisan $738 Billion Military Budget Deal” (National Priorities Project)
“China announces $178.2 billion military budget” (Defense News/Yeo, 5/22/20)
“Russia’s military spending: Frequently asked questions” (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute)
Foreign Policy in Focus/Don’t Go Back to Iraq — Five Steps the US Can Take Without Going Back to War (Institute for Policy Studies/Bennis, 2014)
Demilitarize Space (New)
While we support the peaceful exploration of space and the International Space Station, a cooperative global effort to learn more about the cosmos, we oppose the militarization of space and call for the U.S. to sign the Prevention Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty. Modeled after the Antarctic Treaty banning weapons in the South Pole, PAROS extends the 1967 Outer Space Treaty’s prohibition against nuclear weapons and missile defense in space to all weapons in space. We must dismantle the U.S. Space Force established to further militarize space, thereby escalating the global arms race while making Americans less secure.
Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (Alves, 1991)
Antarctic Treaty (U.S. Department of State)
CONFRONT GLOBAL THREATS (page 37)
There is no military solution to the threat posed by ISIS, an organization that employs violence, mass executions, decapitations, torture, rape, and slavery against foreign and domestic populations to establish an Islamic state. Escalating drone bombings against ISIS have proven ineffective, instead emboldening new enemies to join the ranks of ISIS to avenge the killing of their family members. Weakening ISIS requires eroding the support it relies on from tribal leaders, military figures, and ordinary Iraqis.
To disempower ISIS in the Middle East, we must end U.S. air strikes in the Middle East, freeze international arms sales to countries in turmoil, and organize a diplomatic alliance among the United States, Russia, and Iran to pressure the Iraqi government to adopt a more inclusive approach to governance. Additionally, we must push leadership at the United Nations to restart negotiations to end the civil war in Syria before ISIS regains its foothold in a country destabilized by years of civil war. We should increase U.S. humanitarian contributions to UN agencies for the millions of refugees and internally displaced people in and from both Syria and Iraq.
“If There’s No Military Solution, Why the Military Actions?” (The Hill, Bennis/2014)
“Six Steps Short of War to Beat ISIS” (The Progressive, Bennis, 2014)
“Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan” (Stanford, Sept., 2012)
Repeal AUMF (page 37)
Democrats seek repeal of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was used to initiate military attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, resulting in countless deaths of innocent civilians. The AUMF undermines Congress’ constitutionally vested powers to declare war and must be repealed to promote global stability and U.S. security. Any military action without Congressional approval would be an unconstitutional and illegal breach of office.
“After Nearly 18 Years, the House Passes Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Bill to Repeal the 2002 AUMF” (Lee)
Advance Denuclearization in North Korea (page 39)
We must take step-by-step, reciprocal, verifiable actions to advance denuclearization, build trust and safeguard peace between the United States and North Korea. “All or nothing” demands are a recipe for failure. We support important interim steps that include: opening liaison offices in Washington and Pyongyang; strengthening sanctions exemptions for humanitarian activities and removing travel restrictions; continuing the repatriation of POW/MIA remains; facilitating reunions between long-divided North Korean and Korean American families; ending the Korean War. Even though active hostilities between the United States and North Korea ended 66 years ago with an Armistice Agreement, there was never a formal end of the war with a peace agreement.
We also must support South Korea’s diplomatic efforts, make the negotiating table more inclusive, with women, youth, and other members of civil society, and reject the framing that diplomacy is a gift to North Korea. Ignoring North Korea will just leave it a hostile and growing nuclear power with acute risk of arms proliferation.
“Pro-Diplomacy, Pro-Peace Principles to Guide Presidential Campaigns on North Korea” (Korea Peace Now)
Foreign Policy (New)
The goal of U.S. foreign policy should be global diplomatic engagement and conflict prevention based on partnerships with other nations. For too long we have relied on military force, such as war, occupation, and drone attacks to exploit resources, further U.S. hegemony, and attempt to solve problems that do not have military solutions, but instead are exacerbated by military actions that steal innocent lives, displace populations, and fuel terrorism.
We reject regime-change policies used to justify U.S. military intervention to overthrow governments. It is not the role of the United States to police the world, nor to control its financial markets.
The United States should join the International Criminal Court to seek legal rather than military remedies to world conflicts, restore full U.S. funding of the United Nations, support the Sister Cities program, and become a signatory to several treaties that would promote global cooperation and human rights, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; Convention on the Rights of the Child; Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture; Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty; the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Paris Climate Accord and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Equal partnership among nations increases U.S. security and global stability while encouraging international cooperation to tackle the climate crisis and extreme weather, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, that threaten to unleash famine, weaponize resource scarcity, and trigger mass displacement causing countries to fight over food and water as refugees are made homeless.
As a country with a desire to build a more democratic nation based on principle and compassion, inclusivity, and equality, we must hold the global community to the same standard.
A Bold Foreign Policy Platform for the New Wave of Left Lawmakers (In These Times, Bennis)
We call for our troops to return from Afghanistan to end a near two-decade occupation that has destroyed the country’s infrastructure, destabilized the region and enabled the rise of terrorist militias. It is time to defund this military occupation to, instead, fund programs that address domestic needs for single-payer health care, affordable housing, environmental protection and robust education. According to a U.N. report in 2019, the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan had surpassed 100,000, which was more than in any other conflict in the world.
To ensure accountability, Democrats must call for an independent and transparent investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
We will support the democratically elected government in its fight against corruption, crucial for peace and prosperity; safeguard advances, such as securing women’s rights and public education; and address general insecurity and targeted attacks against human rights defenders, including journalists, and high-profile women leaders. We will promote the active participation of individuals and groups outside the public sector, such as civil society, non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations.
As we bring our troops home from Afghanistan, Democrats will continue to push for an Afghan-led peace process and press both Afghanistan and Pakistan to deny terrorists sanctuary on either side of the border. We support a phased U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan racked by years of U.S. war, occupation, and drone bombings.
Democrats stand in support of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which mandates inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, and thus prevents Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Unequivocally, we must limit nuclear proliferation and work toward a safer world that is free of nuclear weapons.
We will restore the good-faith agreement negotiated with international partners to successfully dismantle Iran’s nuclear program.
Democrats urge an immediate lifting of sanctions that bar US companies from trading with Iran, along with foreign firms or countries that have trade relations with Iran. These sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy, burdening the Iranian middle class and weakening civil society.
Economic sanctions, a form of collective punishment and economic warfare, have failed to advance democratic reforms in a country of 81 million people, 61 percent of the voting population under the age of 30. Sanctions prevent Iran’s young, Internet-savvy population from access to the educational and technological resources that enable them to engage at a global level.
We recognize that the Iranian people seek a brighter future for their country and greater engagement with the international community. To promote peace, understanding, and regional stability, we embrace opportunities for cultural, academic, and other exchanges with Iran, discourage political and military intervention and recognize Iran’s sovereignty.
Diplomatic relations, especially with adversarial countries, is integral to long-term peace and security. Iran is a regional power in the Middle East and diplomatic relations between Iran and the West are crucial for both regional stability and long-term security of the United States and the region.
The Atlantic: How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism (June 5, 2018, Peter Beinart) https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/06/iran-sanctions-nuclear/562043/
As Democrats, we seek a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated by the parties that guarantees equality, security, and democracy for all. No matter what the final resolution regarding states and borders, Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike deserve peace, equal rights, dignity, and security. All deserve a normal life free from occupation, terror, and incitement. We oppose unilateral annexation of land, oppose recognition of Jerusalem as the sole capital of Israel, and support the right of all those who were forced from their homes to return to their homelands and receive reparations for their losses.
The final status of Jerusalem should be resolved through negotiation, and therefore we support relocating the American Embassy back to Tel Aviv, pending a final status agreement with the Palestinians. Furthermore, the Democratic Party supports reopening the American consulate in East Jerusalem, where the consulate had served as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians.
We reject the elimination of aid to Palestinian refugees distributed through UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This denial of aid has resulted in a humanitarian crisis for Palestinians living under Israeli control, enduring collective punishment, restricted movement, Jewish-only roads, and curfews, while suffering without access to clean water, healthcare, food, and education.
Additionally, we call for an end to military aid to Israel, which continues to build and expand illegal settlements, steal land, and blockade Gaza, where 2 million people live in uninhabitable conditions.
We uphold the right of the Palestinian people, as a population under occupation, to resort to forms of resistance such as boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS), strategies inspired by the non-violent traditions of the civil rights and anti-apartheid movements in our country and South Africa. We will discourage our elected officials from authoring or sponsoring anti-First Amendment anti-BDS legislation that chills speech and infringes on rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. We support robust public discourse.
As we strive to be a democratic country struggling to secure equal rights for all, it is the height of hypocrisy not to hold Israel accountable.
“Israeli annexation final nail in coffin”(Aljazeera News, Ibrahim & Mustafa, 7/1/20)
“Palestinian Refugees and the Right of Return” (American Friends Service Committee)
“Sanders says may relocate US embassy back to Tel Aviv if elected”
(AlJazeera News, 2020)
Jewish Voice for Peace
Palestine Legal/Right to Boycott
While we wish to build our long-term strategic partnership with India, we object to the treatment of its minorities, especially Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Dalits, who have been under increasing sectarian attacks. Hindu supremacist forces threaten India’s unity and integrity, as noted in reports of the US Department of State and the United States Commission of International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). We affirm USCIRF’s designation of India as a Country of Particular Concern due to its serious violations of religious freedom, and will work to persuade India to repeal its divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) that discriminates against Muslims. India must dismantle the detention centers built to house millions of Muslims declared as aliens, and withdraw plans to seek decades’ old proof of citizenship from its 1.3 billion people.
“USCIRF–Recommended for Countries of Particular Concern (CPC)- India”, in USCIRG.Gov https://www.uscirf.gov/sites/default/files/India.pdf
“Frequently Asked Questions: IRF Report and Countries of Particular Concern”, in State.Gov https://www.state.gov/frequently-asked-questions-irf-report-and-countries-of-particular-concern/
Democrats oppose the Indian government’s occupation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. On August 5, 2019, the authoritarian right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a nearly year long communications lockdown, abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, and the detention of ordinary Kashmiris including civilians, political prisoners, and minors. We demand that the right to self-determination enshrined in various UN resolutions be placed at the forefront of any negotiations that are UN brokered, multilateral or bilateral, between India and Pakistan, namely that the Kashmiri people be given the opportunity to determine their form of governance.
We recognize the right of return for all those displaced from Kashmir and unable to safely return, including Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus.
In addition, we demand that India cease the harassment and detention of civil society members including journalists, human rights activists, and lawyers documenting incidents of violence and abuse by the Indian government, its military forces, and other non-state actors. We ask for the immediate establishment of a commission of inquiry that would conduct comprehensive, independent international investigations into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir, as per the recommendations of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights.
By revoking the autonomy of Kashmir and advancing laws to displace indigenous Kashmiris with Indian citizens, the Indian government escalates the risk of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir.
Recent changes to domicile laws by the Indian government are intended to strip indigenous Kashmiris of their residency rights and create a process for redefining domicile to forcibly alter the demographics of Kashmir. The Indian Government is creating conditions ripe for the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Kashmiris and potentially foreclosing on the right of self-determination.
As an ally of the United States, India must urgently lift the communications blockade, cease human rights violations, and seek an end to the conflict by holding a referendum in accordance with international law. The U.S. should not enter into a new trade deal with India unless there is accountability for the Indian government’s actions in Kashmir and across the region. A free press, an independent and unbiased judicial system, a withdrawal of Indian armed forces from residential towns and villages, and a respect for human rights must be preconditions for doing business with the U.S. Similarly, future U.S. military assistance to the Indian government should be suspended pending a comprehensive and independent review of human rights violations in Kashmir, in accordance with the Leahy Law.
J&K’s New Domicile Order: Disenfranchising Kashmiris, One Step at a Time (The Wire, 2020)
“Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Kashmir:”
Office of the United Nations Human Rights of High Commissioner (2018)
The Democratic Party reaffirms that the war in Syria began with the uprising of the Arab Spring, during which the regime of President Bashar al-Assad attacked its own people for demanding an end to repression and release of political prisoners.
The United States should engage with Russia to urge the United Nations to take the lead in restarting international negotiations for a political resolution to the brutality of the government. Furthermore, the United States should work with the United Nations Security Council to delegate the International Criminal Court to conduct an independent investigation of all human rights abuses by the regime and his allies. All stakeholders must be involved, including Syrian civil society activists, women, and representatives of Syrian, Palestinian, and other refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) forced from their homes in Syria. All outside parties to the conflict — Syria’s neighbors and other international actors, including Iran — must be included. Washington must insist that any agreement provide protection for all communities in Syria and guarantee the right to safe return for all refugees.
As Democrats, we call for an immediate cease-fire by all parties in Syria and a comprehensive international arms embargo. We must stop sending arms to opposition forces while simultaneously renewing pressure on Russia, China, and others to stop sending arms to the Syrian government. Such a call would carry far more credibility if it were linked to a public U.S. commitment to end its own arms sales.
We support a UN Security Council resolution imposing a complete arms embargo and efforts to create local cease-fires and truces inside Syria. As Democrats, we care about Syria’s surrounding countries, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, where millions of refugees have fled, weakening the infrastructure, economy, and security of the region. Turkey is the biggest host country of refugees and should be part of any final resolution.
“Five Things the US Can Do to End the Syria Crisis” (The Nation, 2014)
As Democrats, we support the joint resolution to remove the United States from hostilities in Yemen as Congress did not authorize U.S. military involvement. We call for an end to the sale of U.S. weapons for Saudi Arabia’s failed proxy war on Yemen, which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, with 2.4 million children, according to UNICEF, at risk of starvation in one of the worst humanitarian crises in the last century. Continued U.S. support for the Saudi war and blockade of Yemen will only increase anti-U.S. sentiment in the Persian Gulf and make our country less secure. The answer is not war, nor providing U.S. intelligence and weapons, such as tanks, combat ships, and bombs, to Saudi Arabia to kill innocent people in attacks on hospitals and homes. The answer is a negotiated peace settlement. Any U.S. military action without Congressional approval is unconstitutional and illegal.
“80% of Yemen’s population are in need of humanitarian aid and protection.”
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons (existing page 39)
Democrats are committed to preventing the spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to eventually ridding the planet of these catastrophic weapons. We support a Nuclear Posture Review policy of “No First Use” as an incentive to non-nuclear armed nations to reject the development of nuclear weapons. If all nuclear-armed states agreed never to use nuclear weapons first then, in theory, nuclear weapons would never be used at all.
Adoption of a “No First Use” policy would also incentivize nations with nuclear weapons programs to cease research and production of new nuclear weapons, as well as dual use missiles, which blur the line between conventional and nuclear warfare.
Additionally, we support taking our nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert or prompt-launch status. Hair trigger alert, readiness to launch nuclear weapons in a matter of minutes, poses a risk these weapons could be launched by accident, without authorization, or by mistake in response to a false warning of an incoming attack.
Democrats support the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention, and Chemical Weapons Convention limiting nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery. We also encourage NPT non-signatories, India, Pakistan, Israel, and South Sudan, to sign the treaty. We push for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to stop the spread of loose nuclear materials and seek new opportunities for arms control. To this end, we will work to defund the development of new U.S. nuclear weapons, projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years.
“The Future of U.S. Nuclear Policy: The Case for No First Use” (Belfer Center, Gerson, 2011 )
Taking Nuclear Missiles Off Hair-Trigger Alert (Union of Concerned Scientists)
We are prepared to cooperate with Russia when it is in the interest of global peace — as we did on reducing nuclear stockpiles and ensuring Iran could not obtain a nuclear weapon, but we will not hesitate to denounce Russian aggression. We support equitable and fair trade deals with Russia based on respect for the sovereignty of nations as opposed to corporate patronage, and will continue to stand by the Russian people and push the government to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens.
We will build on President Obama’s historic opening to Cuba, restoring full diplomatic relations, returning Guantanamo to Cuban sovereignty, and ending the travel ban and embargo, which includes essential construction materials like glass and concrete. We will seek collaboration on scientific advances, especially in the field of medicine, where Cuba has pioneered hopeful medical treatments for cancer, its professionals providing heroic aid to people in countries stricken by Ebola, COVID-19 and other diseases.
We will also stand by the Cuban people and support their ability to decide their own future and to enjoy the same human rights and freedoms that people everywhere deserve.
Regarding Venezuela, we will turn away from the harmful and failing policies of the Trump administration’s focus on sanctions, coup attempts and threatened military intervention to effect regime change. Whatever fault we may legitimately find with the government of Venezuela, we acknowledge that it was democratically elected, and the majority will of the people of Venezuela must be respected. We reject any attempt to install puppet regimes.
As a party that values civil rights for people everywhere, we call for an end to sanctions against Venezuela, which has caused difficult humanitarian conditions for its people. A nation’s economic problems do not justify uninvited outside intervention. We will demonstrate our leadership by embarking on a new chapter that rejects colonial policies as anachronistic, and engages in diplomatic relations based on the principles of respect for sovereignty and equal rights.
Myanmar Rohingya (Formerly Burma)
We condemn the widespread genocide, torture, rape, displacement, and religious freedom violations against Rohingya Muslims and Christians in Myanmar perpetrated by government security forces and ultra-nationalist Buddhist extremists.
According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), as of July 2019, 120,000 are internally displaced and confined to camps with severe limitations on their movement. Nearly a million civilians have been forced to flee their homes to relocate to camps in Bangladesh, contributing gravely to the weakening of Bangladesh’s economy as well as impacting children who are being denied registration at birth, therefore lacking legitimate legal identity to secure refugee status.
In response to reports of the military indiscriminately killing civilians, destroying homes, mosques, churches, and food stores, Democrats support USCIRF’s recommendations to: re-designate Myanmar as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC; impose targeted sanctions on Myanmar government agencies and officials responsible for severe violations of religious freedom; reinstate the designation of a National Emergency in Myanmar terminated by executive order; increase funding for assistance programs to prevent genocide or atrocities.
We believe that repatriation must be linked to restoration of rights and property, along with safety guarantees, such as the establishment of a UN-defended safe zone in Myanmar.
USCIRF–RECOMMENDED FOR COUNTRIES OF PARTICULAR CONCERN (CPC)
Burma Task Force
Protect Human Rights (page 41)
As Democrats, we recognize religious freedom as an inalienable right and are therefore committed to its preservation and advancement. We support the right of all countries to speak out against human rights abuses worldwide, including threats to religious freedom. An economic measure may be imposed in cases where the United States designates a “Country of Particular Concern” (CPC) or “Special Watch List”, in accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), and where non-economic policy options have been exhausted.
The IRFA defines particularly severe violations of religious freedom as systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom, including practices such as torture, cruel punishment, prolonged detention without charges, abduction or clandestine detention, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of persons.
We condemn ISIS’ genocide and sexual enslavement of Christians, Yezidis, Muslims, and others in the Middle East, as well as the detention of over a million Muslims in China, and imprisonment of Baha’i faith leaders in Iran.
USCIRF Releases 2020 Annual Report with Recommendations for U.S. Policyhttps://www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases-statements/uscirf-releases-2020-annual-report-recommendations-us-policy
Denounce Religious Persecution in China
Estimates of between 1–3 million Uighur, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and other Muslims have been imprisoned in more than 1,300 Chinese concentration camps in Xinjiang for wearing long beards, refusing to consume pork or alcohol, or other such activities that are deemed to be indicators of “religious extremism”. In these camps, they have experienced torture, rape, sterilization, forced labor, deprivation of food, political indoctrination, and other abuses. A half million children have been separated from their families and placed in boarding schools designed to assimilate and indoctrinate them at an early age.
The China Tribunal has reported to the UN Human Rights Council that China has been forcefully harvesting organs from Uighers, members of the Falun Gong religious group, and other prisoners. Their report states that prisoners have been “cut open while still alive for their kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, cornea and skin to be removed and turned into commodities for sale” and that as many as 90,000 transplant operations which utilize these organs occur every year.
We support the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)’s recommendation to: re-designate China as a “country of particular concern”; impose targeted sanctions on Chinese government agencies and culpable officials if the situation is not reversed; publicly express concerns about Beijing hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games; support the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R.6210/S.3471), which would prohibit the importation to the United States of textiles, cotton, and other goods from Xinjiang; prosecute U.S. companies that provide components and financing for China’s surveillance industry tied to the detentions.
“China Putting Minority Muslims in Concentration Camps,” U.S. says (Reuters, 2019)
“In China’s Crackdown on Muslims, Children Have Not Been Spared” (New York Times,Qin, 2020)
Uighur Concentration Camps in China: New Sanctions are Not Enough (Quinn, 2020)
In accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we support the right of return for all displaced peoples.
The world is experiencing a refugee crisis with more than 60 million people displaced as a result of U.S. military intervention and economic sanctions, as well as internal conflicts, discrimination, climate crisis migration, and fear of persecution.
We support U.S. reparations for those made homeless as a result of U.S. wars, occupations, and drone attacks, and call for an international summit to address this humanitarian challenge. Refugees, particularly women and children traumatized by wars and human rights abuses, deserve financial assistance to resume normal lives.
As an utter rejection of the current Republican administration’s xenophobic policies, we must welcome refugees and look for ways to help innocent people who are fleeing persecution, while at the same time ensuring security for our nation.
No parent would take their child and travel thousands of miles on foot except under dire, dangerous circumstances. Decades of disastrous foreign policy decisions in Latin America and bad trade deals have led to destabilization, poverty and armed right wing militias in South and Central America. We support a summit of leaders from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and other countries to address the root causes of migration.
Democrats support progress toward more accountable governance and universal rights. As autocrats around the world crack down on civil society and imprison those who demand greater freedom, we will continue to support groups and individuals who fight for fundamental human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
We will support strong legislatures, independent judiciaries, free press, vibrant civil society, religious freedom, and equality for women and minorities. We will support the development of civil society and representative institutions that can protect fundamental human rights and improve the quality of life for all citizens, including independent and democratic unions.
Democrats will protect American citizens abroad. We condemn the practice of unlawful detention or imprisonment, especially of journalists and civil rights activists.
We will always seek to uphold our values at home and abroad, not just when it is easy, but when it is hard. That is why we oppose torture without exception and why Democrats condemn Donald Trump’s statements that he would engage in torture and other war crimes. We agree with military and national security experts who acknowledge that torture is not an effective interrogation technique.
Closing Guantánamo Bay
The Democratic Party remains committed to closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay and ending indefinite detention without trial or conviction. Keeping the facility open is a disgrace that serves as a recruiting tool for extremists and undermines our standing in the world.
In the Middle East, Democrats will support financial aid and resources for a disproportionate number of refugees displaced as a result of U.S. military aggression. Some of the most adversely impacted refugees migrated from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine. We will provide support and security for countries in the region that are hosting a disproportionate number of refugees. We stand by the people of the region as they seek greater gender equality, equity, economic opportunity, and freedom.
The Americas are a region of singular strategic, economic, and cultural importance and opportunity for the United States.
As Democrats, we call for the deconstruction of the wall on our southern border because we recognize the right of persecuted people to seek asylum, the importance of preserving species’ habitats, the hardship placed on separated families, the strain placed on U.S.-Mexico relations, and the extraordinary expense.
We will instead embrace our neighbors and pursue strong, fruitful partnerships across the region, from Canada to Latin America and the Caribbean. We will bolster democratic institutions, promote economic opportunity and prosperity, and tackle the rise of drugs, transnational crime, and corruption.
To this end, we will close the Fort Benning Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), formerly known as the School of the Americans, notorious for training torturers and supporting dictators throughout the Western Hemisphere responsible for massacres and disappearances of dissidents.
More recently, WHINSEC has trained U.S. Border Patrol agents to use weaponry against undocumented immigrants, and is constructing models of US cities at Fort Benning to simulate ICE raids tantamount to warfare on civilians in places like Chicago and Arizona.
ICE is building ‘hyper-realistic’ houses at Fort Benning to train for immigration raids
(Ledger-Enquirer, Wooten, 2019)
Shut Down the School of the Americas/WHINSEC (Jacobin Magazine, 2019)
We will strengthen the U.S.- Caribbean regional relationship through economic development and comprehensive immigration reform.
And we will build on our long-term commitment to Colombia and work with Central American countries to stabilize the Northern Triangle. In Haiti, we will support local and international efforts to bolster the country’s democratic institutions and economic development.
As Democrats, we are committed to resolving the 120-year-old controversy surrounding the statehood of Puerto Rico by respecting the outcome of Puerto Rico’s democratic referendums on statehood versus independence. Until that time, the United States must recognize that Puerto Ricans are citizens deserving of full representation in Congress. Puerto Ricans should be able to vote for the people who make their laws, just as they should be treated equally. All American citizens, no matter where they reside, should have the right to vote for the President of the United States. Finally, we believe that federal officials must respect Puerto Rico’s local self-government as laws are implemented and Puerto Rico’s budget and debt are restructured so that it can get on a path towards stability and prosperity.
We will also help more Haitians take advantage of Temporary Protected Status.
Submitted by the following 2020 DNC delegates:
Hanieh Barnes, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-45)
Born and raised in Tehran; founding member, Women’s March Los Angeles
Fundraising coordinator for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Aaron Bagheri, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-24)
UCSB for Bernie; Doctoral math student, son of Iranian immigrants.
Head Steward, Academic Workers Union, UAW 2865
Karen Bernal, Bernie 2020 DNC (PLEO) Delegate (CD-6)
Former Chair, CDP Progressive Caucus; Organizer, Bernie Delegates Network
Sudi Farokhnia, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-45)
CA ADEM 2019, Women’s Rights Activist, Co-founder of Iranian Circle of Women’s Intercultural Network (ICWIN), Member, Progressive Democrats of America, Community Organizer
Dr. HaeMin Cho, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-12)
Progressive Democrats of America-SF
Sam Hindi, 2020 Bernie DNC delegate; member of DNC Credentials Committee. Son of Palestinian refugees, councilmember and former mayor of Foster City.
San Mateo County Democratic Central Committee Alternate, 2016 and 2020
Member of the CDP Finance Committee.
Kari Khoury, 2020 Bernie DNC Delegate (CD-9)
Murad (Moe) Sarama, Bernie 2020 Delegate (CD-6)
Past Chair, Arab American Caucus; Democrats for Justice in Palestine; Central Committee member, Democratic Party of Sacramento County
Faisal Qazi, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-35)
Amar Shergill, Bernie PLEO CD-7, CDP Progressive Caucus Chair
Indian American activist
916 230 4878
Asa Strout, Bernie 2020 DNC delegate (CD-15)
Progressive Community Advocate out of the SF East Bay. Board Member and CEO to Unify Livermore.
Igor Tregub, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-13)
Katy Roemer, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-13), Registered Nurse
Sameena Usman, Bernie 2020 DNC delegate (CD-17), CA ADEM Delegate (AD-25) 2017–2021
Government Relations Coordinator for CAIR-SFBA, Board member for Secure Justice and Sacred Heart Community Service
Marcy Winograd, Bernie 2020 DNC Delegate (CD-24)
Activist/UTLA/CTA, former Sec., CDP Progressive Caucus; Jewish Voice for Peace; PDA; former congressional peace candidate.