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Charities and Minister questioned on FCO's human rights work

19 February 2016

The Foreign Affairs Committee is holding two evidence sessions for a short inquiry into the FCO's administration and funding of its human rights work overseas.


Tuesday 23 February 2016

Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

At 2.30 pm

  • David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch

At 3.00 pm

  • Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 2.40 pm

  • Rt Hon Baroness Anelay, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), with responsibility for human rights policy
  • Rob Fenn, Head of the Human Rights and Democracy Department, FCO
  • Paul Williams, Director of Multilateral Policy, FCO

Purpose of session

Likely topics of discussion include:

  • The consequences of the Spending Review and apparent deprioritisation of 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:
    o whether it makes best use of available funding
    o whether it rewards initiative and local knowledge
    o 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

Subsequent inquiries later in this Parliament will examine specific human rights policy issues and cases in more detail.

Join the debate

Further information

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