Skip to main content

Developing Countries: Human Rights

Question for Department for International Development

UIN 272859, tabled on 3 July 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he will take to ensure that, in line with the UN Statement of Common Understanding, a human-rights based approach is integrated within his Department's development co-operation and programming.

Answered on

11 July 2019

The UK is committed to respecting, promoting and protecting universal human rights. Respect for human rights is important in itself and for achieving stable, inclusive and prosperous societies. Human rights underpin freedom, democracy and rule of law and form the basis of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are at the heart of the UK Aid Strategy and the Department’s new Single Departmental Plan which guide DFID’s strategic decision-making.

DFID country offices’ planning processes take account of interdisciplinary analysis, including a country’s progress toward achieving the SDGs, and our aid relationships involve consideration of partner governments’ commitment to human rights.

DFID carries out, and regularly reviews, programme risk assessments, including the risks of unintended harm to people and to the environment, and our Supply Partner Code of Conduct sets high, legally enforceable standards for ethical behaviour and compliance with human rights by our suppliers in the delivery of DFID contracts.

DFID’s position paper, Governance for Growth, Stability and Inclusive Development, published in March, set a refreshed strategic direction for DFID’s work on governance, including a renewed focus on protecting democratic space, where this is under threat, and supporting the rule of law and civic freedoms. It is a key reference document for future planning.