"Human rights sidelined" in UK foreign policy, claims alternative
human rights report

Six human rights organisations have published an Alternative Human Rights Report, to coincide with the publication of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Annual Human Rights Report. In it, they present an analysis of the UK Government’s record on six countries – and accuse the Government of failing to prioritise human rights.

“As far as the British Government’s foreign policy priorities are concerned, human rights have not just taken a back seat, but have been locked away in the boot,” the report claims. UK policy is inconsistent, and human rights have been “sidelined under a general heading of sustainable development which comes a lowly seventh on the list” in its international obligations.

The report provides an analysis of policy regarding Burma, Tibet, Chagos Archipelago, Colombia, West Papua and Western Sahara. It gives the UK Government 19 out of a possible 60 marks for performance on human rights.

Ben Rogers, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, welcomed the Alternative Human Rights Report. “This is a shocking indictment of the British Government’s failure to deliver on its so-called ‘ethical foreign policy’. The British Government has been too slow to react to human rights violations. Its policy, at best, has been reactive rather than proactive,” he said.

The Conservative Party Human Rights Commission will be publishing its own Annual Report by the end of the year.

For a full copy of the Alternative Human Rights Report, see www.burmacampaign.org.uk