Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign Office launches 2018 Human Rights and Democracy Report
30 countries’ human rights developments are analysed in the Foreign Office’s annual report.
The Foreign Office has launched its Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report 2018 today (Thursday 6 June 2019).
2018 marked the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. The report examines what the government has done to promote and defend human rights globally, echoing the principles and values enshrined in these Declarations. It focuses on the situation in 30 countries which the FCO has designated as its Human Rights Priority Countries* and highlights our work on a wide range of thematic issues.
The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said:
Human rights and democracy are fundamental to the values the UK champions on the world stage. I recently appointed Rita French as an International Ambassador for Human Rights to strengthen our ongoing work.
Today’s report makes for sobering reading. Respect for human rights globally seems to be at an all-time low. As Foreign Secretary I will ensure that British diplomats continue to defend and protect human rights wherever they are.
In particular, I am deeply concerned that 2018 saw the murder of 99 journalists around the world. A free press is essential to open societies. I believe the UK, alongside all democratic countries, must protect the freedom and safety of those who must be able to hold the powerful to account, without fear of retribution.
Minister of Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon launched the report to an audience of civil society, Ambassadors and NGOs today. He said:
70 years have passed since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set out the fundamental rights that all people are entitled to.
Today we must continue to fight for the vulnerable and those who are discriminated against for their colour, creed or religion because in too many countries across the world, human rights and the rule of law are not respected.
Standing up for human rights is not only the right thing; it also helps to create a safer, more prosperous and progressive world.
The report sets out the UK’s actions in a wide range of areas, including leadership on promoting media freedom and a commitment to deliver change for those who are abused, targeted or killed for their beliefs. It comes ahead of the international Media Freedom Conference which will be held in London in July. Co-hosted with Canada, the conference aims to highlight abuse of media freedom and raise the cost for those who wish to restrict it.
The Foreign Secretary recently appointed an International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, to help promote human rights globally.
- The 30 priority countries are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
Latest News from
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
20th Anniversary of NATO Intervention in Kosovo21/06/2019 17:02:00
FCO Minister for Europe, Sir Alan Duncan, yesterday spoke at an event organised by the Embassy of Kosovo at the National Army Museum.
Middle East Peace Process: Call to reduce the risk of violence21/06/2019 16:20:00
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the UN Security briefing on the situation in the Middle East Peace Process
Syria: A situation that is accelerating and it's exponential21/06/2019 15:33:00
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on the situation in Idlib, Syria.
11th Conference of the Pacific Community21/06/2019 15:08:00
Governor of the Pitcairn Islands, Laura Clarke yesterday spoke on Pitcairn's deep commitment to tackling the scourge of plastic pollution.
Building the peace and stability that Central Africans deserve21/06/2019 14:10:00
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on MINUSCA.
Landmark resolution on Persons with Disabilities in Armed Conflict21/06/2019 13:51:00
Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council on Resolution 2475 on Persons with Disabilities in Armed Conflict (20 June 2019).
Justice and accountability for Darfur20/06/2019 14:10:00
Statement given yesterday by Ambassador Jonathan Allen, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council briefing on the International Criminal Court Sudan.
Lord Ahmad statement to mark International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict19/06/2019 16:20:00
Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, urges global law makers to strengthen justice processes to hold perpetrators to account and respond effectively to the needs of survivors.
UK and Colombia mark new climate partnership with £8.5 million investment19/06/2019 15:34:00
The 2 countries strike new partnership to fight climate change and protect Colombia’s environment – one of the most biodiverse on Earth.
UK announces PSVI Survivor Champion role to end sexual violence in conflict19/06/2019 15:02:00
Today on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has announced the creation of its first PSVI Survivor Champion role as part of its Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI).