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Written Question
Uganda: Homosexuality
Monday 17th July 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to introduce (a) travel bans and (b) sanctions on politicians promoting the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 in Uganda; what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on coordinating potential sanctions; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

I issued a statement on 29 May strongly condemning the Government of Uganda's decision to sign the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 into law. The UK does not speculate on future sanctions designations, as to do so would reduce their impact. We will continue to stand up for human rights and freedoms in Uganda and around the world.


Written Question
Pakistan: Ahmadiyya
Monday 15th May 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to monitor anti-Ahmadi rhetoric in (a) Punjab province and (b) Pakistan.

Answered by Leo Docherty - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Protecting and promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) remains central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, raised the treatment of Ahmadi Muslims with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on 30 January. On 9 January, Minister of State for Development Andrew Mitchell raised the issue with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The British High Commission in Islamabad continues to engage at a senior level with government representatives and civil society, including on recent attacks on Ahmadi mosques.


Written Question
Pakistan: Ahmadiyya
Monday 15th May 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with the Pakistani Government following a recent spate of violence against the Ahmadi community including the desecration of mosques.

Answered by Leo Docherty - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Protecting and promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) remains central to the UK Government's human rights engagement in Pakistan. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia and Minister responsible for Human Rights, raised the treatment of Ahmadi Muslims with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada on 30 January. On 9 January, Minister of State for Development Andrew Mitchell raised the issue with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The British High Commission in Islamabad continues to engage at a senior level with government representatives and civil society, including on recent attacks on Ahmadi mosques.


Written Question
Uganda: LGBT+ People
Monday 17th April 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to support LGBT+ people (a) fleeing or (b) seeking to flee Uganda following the passage of the anti-homosexuality bill in that country on 21 March 2023.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

I expressed the UK's profound disappointment with the decision of the Parliament of Uganda to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This Bill threatens minority rights and risks persecution and discrimination of people across Uganda. The UK Government is alarmed by the increasing criminalisation of LGBT+ people in Uganda and by the amendments to the Bill, including introduction of the death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality'. The UK Government is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country.

Through our High Commission in Kampala, we have raised these issues with the Government of Uganda and are working with members of the LGBT+ community and human rights defenders to understand their views and further protect the rights of these vulnerable communities. We will continue to work with the Governments of Commonwealth member states and civil society partners to reform outdated laws and end discrimination and violence against LGBT+ people.


Written Question
Uganda: Homosexuality
Monday 17th April 2023

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with the Ugandan Government on the anti-homosexuality bill passed by the Parliament of Uganda on 21 March 2023.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

I expressed the UK's profound disappointment with the decision of the Parliament of Uganda to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This Bill threatens minority rights and risks persecution and discrimination of people across Uganda. The UK Government is alarmed by the increasing criminalisation of LGBT+ people in Uganda and by the amendments to the Bill, including introduction of the death penalty for 'aggravated homosexuality'. The UK Government is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country.

Through our High Commission in Kampala, we have raised these issues with the Government of Uganda and are working with members of the LGBT+ community and human rights defenders to understand their views and further protect the rights of these vulnerable communities. We will continue to work with the Governments of Commonwealth member states and civil society partners to reform outdated laws and end discrimination and violence against LGBT+ people.


Written Question
Developing Countries: LGBT+ People
Thursday 22nd September 2022

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress her Department has made on supporting LGBT+ communities in (a) low- and (b) middle-income countries.

Answered by Vicky Ford

As co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC), the UK and Argentina oversaw the adoption of the ERC's first strategy and five-year implementation plan in July 2021. Donor coordination is one the ERC's priorities and was discussed at the ERC Conference co-hosted by the UK in Buenos Aires on 8-9 September.

Plans for levels UK funding for the 2022-5 Spending Round are not yet confirmed, but we will continue to focus on low and middle income countries in the global south. In June 2022, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced £2.7 million of new UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.


Written Question
Mauritius: Dogs
Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to recent reports of the inhumane treatment of dogs in a government-run facility in Mauritius, if he or officials of his Department will make representations to the Government of Mauritius on taking steps to ensure the humane treatment of dogs held in that facility.

Answered by James Duddridge

The mistreatment of any animal is to be deplored. The UK Government is committed to raising standards of animal welfare at home and abroad, and we believe that it is necessary to work with governments around the world to gain agreement to animal welfare standards. Our High Commissioner in Port Louis raised the issue of the treatment of stray and abandoned dogs recently with the Mauritian authorities. The High Commission regularly meets representatives of the Mauritian Government to discuss values championed by the UK and will continue to do so.


Written Question
Infant Mortality
Monday 7th December 2020

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to end preventable child deaths.

Answered by Wendy Morton

The UK is committed to ending the preventable deaths of mothers, new-born babies and children by 2030, as part of our leadership on global health. This is more important than ever, given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last 20 years, UK aid has helped immunise over 760 million children, saving over 13 million lives.

We will maintain our position as a global health leader, investing in Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance; the Global Fund for Aids, TB and Malaria; and the International Finance Facility for Immunisation. The UK is also partnering with countries to improve investments in health systems, including sexual and reproductive health and nutrition services, working towards universal health coverage. This will help to end preventable deaths, and address the impacts of COVID-19 on health systems in our partner countries.


Written Question
Sri Lanka: Human Rights
Tuesday 24th November 2020

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

What recent assessment he has made of the extent of human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

Answered by Nigel Adams

The UK Government takes the human rights situation in Sri Lanka very seriously.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, raised a number of human rights concerns, including harassment of civil society and militarisation of civilian functions, when he spoke with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gunawardena on 5 November.

We have urged Sri Lanka to address concerns in our statements to the UN Human Rights Council in February, June and September.

The UK will continue to highlight our concerns to the Government of Sri Lanka, and we will support human rights through our programme work including resettlement of victims of conflict and improving responses to sexual and gender based violence.


Written Question
Sri Lanka: Power Stations
Tuesday 8th September 2020

Asked by: Elliot Colburn (Conservative - Carshalton and Wallington)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of supporting an independent investigation headed by a foreign delegation to review the Chunnakam water pollution incident in the Jaffna Peninsula of Sri Lanka.

Answered by Nigel Adams

We are aware of the challenges Sri Lanka faces around water management and quality and the unique challenges faced by communities in northern Sri Lanka. Staff at the British High Commission in Colombo raised the issue of water quality during a visit to the North in July. A number of public bodies in Sri Lanka, including the national water supply and drainage board, have conducted tests and compensation was offered to those affected by water pollution caused by the Chunnakam Power plant. We will continue to engage with local government in the North to ensure these concerns around water management and quality are understood, and that measures are taken to ensure clean water.