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Gulf States: Human Rights

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 50624, tabled on 16 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy and Human Rights in the Gulf, entitled The cost of repression, published on 6 July 2021, what assessment the Government has made of the implications for its policies of the findings in that report that the beneficiaries of the Government's Integrated Activity Fund and Gulf Strategy Fund have facilitated and perpetrated human rights violations and potential war crimes and that the Government has made misleading and deceptive statements about those funds.

Answered on

22 September 2021

The FCDO's International Programme (IP), and within it the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF), is a vital tool in promoting positive change and reforms across the world, including in the Gulf. Our programmes help our partners to continue their human rights reform, address key climate change and green growth opportunities and challenges, tackle illicit finance, improve marine conservation, promote economic diversification, promote diversity and inclusion including on LGBTQ+ rights, and develop their institutions.

All cooperation through the IP, including the GSF, is subject to rigorous risk assessments to ensure all work meets our human rights obligations and our values. The Government does not shy away from raising legitimate human rights concerns, and encourage other states to respect international law.

We now publish an annual summary of the GSF's work on We will not publish further information where doing so presents risks to our staff, programme suppliers and beneficiaries, or which may impact our relationships with our international partners, and therefore our ability to influence their reform efforts.

We will provide updates on an annual basis.