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Developing Countries: Religious Freedom

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 34429, tabled on 18 April 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if she will make an assessment of the potential contribution of measures to support freedom of religion and belief to achieving (a) Sustainable Development Goal 16 and (b) other sustainable development goals.

Answered on

25 April 2016

The UK will continue to promote universal human rights as an integral part of building prosperity and stability around the world and attaches great importance to ensuring that people of all faiths can participate fully in society and live without fear of abuse or discrimination. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) leads on the UK’s work in promoting freedom of religion and belief overseas. 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. This is indeed part of our work to promote the golden thread of democracy, and achieve Goal 16 and the other Sustainable Development Goals. For the UK, the Sustainable Development Goals’ pledge to leave no one behind is one of the most important principles of the post-2015 Agenda. We have been a champion of Goal 16 to promote peaceful and inclusive societies and access to justice for all. We are working to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals will be monitored closely.