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Developing Countries: Religious Freedom

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL3418, tabled on 22 November 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what priority is given within the Department for International Development (DfID) to issues related to religious liberty; how many staff, and what percentage of DfID's budget, are allocated to faith-related issues; who is the designated lead official on faith-related issues; and whether there are any plans to increase the staff resources allocated by DfID to deal with faith and faith communities.

Answered on

6 December 2016

The United Kingdom is committed to enabling all people to enjoy to the rights and freedoms defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and core treaties of international human rights law. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office leads Government policy on issues related to religious freedom and promoting and protecting religious freedom is important to UK foreign policy.

DFID collates expenditure data in accordance with the statistical reporting requirements of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. These do not separately identify spending on religious liberty. DFID has a dedicated focal point on faith-based organisations in its Inclusive Societies Department, and provides central funding to over 30 UK faith groups. DFID’s cadres of governance and social development advisers have specialist expertise on human rights and discrimination. Staff resourcing for this is constantly kept under review alongside other priorities.