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Developing Countries: Religious Freedom

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL3960, tabled on 26 November 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what powers they have to insist that recipients of British development aid should respect freedom of conscience and religion, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Answered on

3 December 2015

The UK attaches great importance to ensuring that people of all faiths can participate fully in society and live without fear of abuse or discrimination. DFID works closely with the FCO to raise concerns about freedom of religion with partner governments to ensure that all citizens can claim their rights. The UK’s development and humanitarian aid is not targeted at specific groups but at the poorest, regardless of race, religion, creed, or nationality.


Before providing aid to a foreign government, DFID assesses the government’s commitment to four partnership principles, one of which concerns human rights. DFID provides aid to governments where we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and to respect human rights.