To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance established by the government of the United States.
9 March 2021
The UK is a founder and active member of the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance ('Alliance'), which was established in February 2020.
The Alliance is a network of countries committed to the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). As the Minister of State response for Human Rights, I represented the UK at the first Ministers' Forum of the Alliance in November 2020. Following her appointment in December 2020, the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for FoRB, Fiona Bruce MP, represents the UK at meetings of the Alliance. We use our membership to coordinate advocacy with other states to raise awareness of cases of particular concern and advocate for the rights of individuals being discriminated against or persecuted for their faith or belief. Since its launch, the Alliance has increased its membership from 27 to 32 countries. In August 2020, the UK joined a statement (https://www.state.gov/covid-19-and-religious-minorities-pandemic-statement/) by the Alliance which recognised the impact of Covid-19 on minority and religious belief communities and called for the full respect for FoRB during the pandemic.