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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 180063, tabled on 16 October 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether it is his policy to (a) reassess UK security (i) assistance to and (ii) co-operation with Governments that appoint individuals accused of involvement in torture to senior positions on security bodies and (b) withdraw that assistance when those allegations are deemed credible.

Answered on

23 October 2018

The Government applies its Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) guidance to any assistance provided overseas. The OSJA guidance is a framework to assess and manage any human rights risks associated with UK assistance . OSJA assessments completed for specific projects or cases are regularly reviewed and updated in line with developments in the country concerned. This informs how the assistance is pursued.

In countries where Her Majesty's Government is regularly engaged in security and justice assistance, the relevant diplomatic mission maintains an in-country assessment and provides it to all interested departments or agencies to aid them and provide consistency in the OSJA process.

The OSJA guidance was updated in January 2017. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office engaged with a number of human rights organisations (including members of the Foreign Secretary's Advisory Group on Human Rights), as part of the revision. I am confident that the new OSJA process remains the most comprehensive and demanding tool of its type anywhere in the world.