To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, what steps they are taking to develop a more strategic approach to partnering with and supporting human rights defenders globally; and, in particular, women human rights defenders.
19 July 2021
The UK strongly supports Human Rights Defenders worldwide to enable them to carry out their work safely and without fear. We are concerned about eroding respect for human rights, including targeted discrimination of women and activists and Women Human Rights Defenders online and offline. In 2019 I, as the Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, launched the document 'UK support for Human Rights Defenders' which was drawn up with significant and important input from relevant stakeholders, including Amnesty International, and which sets out how the UK Government engages with Human Rights Defenders to advance the human rights agenda globally.
Furthermore, the UK National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security sets out how the UK will work on tackling the obstacles to women's leadership and meaningful political participation such as lack of an enabling environment for women's rights organisations and women human rights defenders. Following the publication of the Integrated Review, the UK remains strongly committed to this agenda and will continue to support and work in partnership with Human Rights Defenders to promote open societies. The Review also commits the UK to work with women's rights organisations to tackle the discrimination, violence and inequality that hold women back. We will reflect these commitments in the various strands of strategic planning which will flow from the Integrated Review. The FCDO also monitors repression of HRDs in its annual Human Rights and Democracy Report, the most recent of which was published earlier this month. That report paid tribute to the courageous work of HRDs and listed support for them as a UK international policy priority.