To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to promote freedom of religion internationally.
19 January 2015
The promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief is one of the UK’s human rights priorities. We actively raise individual cases and work to combat discriminatory legislation and practices through multilateral systems and targeted project work.
As an example of our bilateral work, the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) has raised our concerns regarding misuse of blasphemy laws in Pakistan with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on several occasions, most recently in December 2014. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised our concerns with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 13 November. The Parliamentary-Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), also raised the misuse of these laws with Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK in October.
We are active in our project work in a wide range of countries and we will continue to be active bilaterally, multilaterally, through project work and in providing training to our staff to tackle religious persecution internationally.