Tony Baldry MP becomes new chairman
of Conservative Human Rights Commission

In July 2009 Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague asked North Oxfordshire MP Tony Baldry to chair the Conservative Party’s Human Right Commission.

The Commission is made up of approximately 20 members, including members of the House of Commons, the House of Lords, senior members of the voluntary side of the Conservative Party, and a number of Conservative Parliamentary Candidates, who have a particular interest in Human Rights.

The Conservative Human Rights Commission seeks to work with other groups concerned about Human Rights and to ensure that the importance of Human Rights is kept high on the political agenda.

“The Conservative Human Rights Commission has been doing some very good work since its inception in 2005 under the leadership of Gary Streeter MP and then Stephen Crabb MP, who has become an Opposition Whip,” said Tony Baldry. “By definition, much Human Rights work is done painstakingly, country by country and amongst the members of the Conservative Human Rights Commission are those who have an outstanding expertise and record on campaigning in support of Human Rights in countries such as Burma, China, North Korea and Zimbabwe, and more recently, in support of the Human Rights of minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. That work will continue.

“However, I think the Conservative Human Rights Commission should also seek to do work on ways in which Governments and the political system can help bring to justice those most responsible for Human Rights violations and crimes against humanity. It should also look at how the international community might give greater support to Human Rights defenders around the world, particularly women, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, or what more could the international community have done to support and protect a woman like Natalya Estemirova, murdered recently in Chechyna.

“I hope that between now and the next General Election, the Conservative Human Rights Commission can undertake enquiries into how we strengthen the international system to bring Human Rights offenders to justice, how the international community can give greater protection to Human Rights defenders and bring forward recommendations that could be implemented by a future Conservative government.”