Skip to main content

Developing Countries: Religious Freedom

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 128149, tabled on 19 February 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how her Department conducts due diligence assessments and evaluates the commitment of its partners to the partnership principles and to promoting freedom of religion or belief.

Answered on

26 February 2018

All due diligence assessments on civil society organisations consider four areas: corporate governance and internal controls; ability to deliver the programme proposed; financial stability; and ability to manage downstream partners. They check for an ethics policy that includes coverage of human rights. A team of DFID staff under the supervision of a Head of Department carry out the assessment, drawing on specialist external expertise when required.

DFID assesses commitment to each of four Partnership Principles when considering providing funding to a government. This is done by specialist DFID Advisers under the supervision of a Head of Department. One of the Principles is ‘commitment to human rights’, which includes freedom of religion or belief. Evidence of lack of commitment to the Principles would influence choices on the amount and type of aid. DFID contractual and grant arrangements for organisations other than governments include specific clauses to prevent any discrimination against protected characteristics, including religion or belief.