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Human rights inquiry announced

8 January 2016

The Foreign Affairs Committee is inquiring into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) administration and funding of its human rights work overseas. Subsequent inquiries later in this Parliament will examine specific human rights issues and cases in more detail, consequent upon the conclusions of the report following this inquiry.

Terms of Reference

The Committee would welcome written submissions which address the following issues:

  • The consequences of the Spending Review and apparent deprioritisation for the FCO's human rights work, particularly in the context of staffing and funding
  • The way in which the FCO's three new human rights priorities (democratic values and the rule of law, strengthening the rules- based international system and human rights for a stable world) operate in practice
  • The way in which the process used by the FCO to decide which local human rights programmes to support operates, particularly:
    • whether it makes the best use of funding
    • whether it rewards initiative and local knowledge
    • the impact of some states' legal restrictions on foreign funding of NGOs
  • The FCO's use of external advice in forming policy
  • How the FCO's work and performance on overseas human rights should be assessed internally and externally, and how it evaluates its own programmes and overall performance
  • The FCO's plans for the future format and content of its Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy

Deadline for submission

Written submissions are invited and should be received by the Committee no later than 4 February 2016.

Further information

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