Tip: To match a phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate"


View sample alert
Written Question
Bangladesh: Religious Freedom
9 Nov 2021

Questioner: Patrick Grady (SNP - Glasgow North)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support her Department is providing to (a) human rights organisations and (b) other non-governmental organisations in Bangladesh working to end religious and ethnic violence in that country.

Answered by Amanda Milling

The UK Government is committed to defending freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for all, and promoting respect between different religious and non-religious communities. Promoting the right to FoRB is one of the UK's longstanding human rights priorities.

Bangladesh is a human rights priority country for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Ministers and our High Commission in Dhaka regularly raise human rights concerns as part of continued dialogue with the Government of Bangladesh. The UK supports community leaders in Bangladesh to address the causes and effects of inter-religious, ethnic and political conflict. Through our development programming, we aim to ensure that the rights of minorities including, religious and ethnic minorities, are respected and that these communities are protected from discrimination. For example, our programming supports citizen groups across Bangladesh to come together to resolve grievances, mitigate religious and ethnic violence and advocate for inclusive and peaceful co-existence.


Written Question
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: Ethnic Groups
10 Sep 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many Black and ethnic minority staff hold management positions in his Department.

Answered by Nigel Adams

In the FCDO, "management positions" might apply to staff in any grade. As of 31 March 2021, 80% of UK Based staff in the FCDO declared their ethnicity and 17% self-identified as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. The cross civil service BAME average is 14.3%. This data is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/civil-service-statistics-2021, Table 37.We do not currently have the data for our Country Based Staff.


Written Question
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: Ethnic Groups
8 Sep 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of Black and ethnic minority staff employed in his Department.

Answered by Nigel Adams

As of 30 June 2021, 16.9% of FCDO UK Based Staff who declared an ethnicity self-identified as Black, Asian or minority ethnic.


Written Question
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office: Ethnic Groups
26 Jul 2021

Questioner: Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many Black and ethnic minority staff are employed by his Department.

Answered by Nigel Adams

As of 31 March 2021, 17.67% of UK Based Staff in the FCDO self-identified as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. We do not currently have the data for our Country Based Staff.


Written Question
Eritrea: War Crimes
22 Jun 2021

Questioner: Fiona Bruce (CON - Congleton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is giving to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to help ensure that that agency's joint investigations with the Ethiopian High Commission into atrocities in Eritrea are (a) independent, (b) transparent and (c) impartial, and whether those investigations address specifically the situation of ethnic and religious groups.

Answered by James Duddridge

We are appalled by systematic killing of civilians, widespread rape, including of children, indiscriminate shelling and the forcible displacement of ethnic Tigrayans. Those responsible for such abuses and violations need to be held to account.

We welcome the joint Enquiry of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into human rights violations and abuses in Tigray, and continue to press for unfettered access to the region and victims. Investigators must be given unhindered access to Tigray, be able to speak to the victims of the religious and ethnic groups most affected, and allowed to report their findings in full. We have lobbied in Asmara for Eritrean cooperation with the UNOHCHR Joint Investigation. The EHRC has previously shown its willingness to act independently and must continue to do so through the joint investigation, which we judge is the most credible prospect available for holding the perpetrators of atrocities in Tigray to account. The UK will therefore support the UNOHCHR to ensure that their joint investigation into atrocities in Tigray with the EHRC is independent, transparent and impartial. We will also continue to press the Eritrean government to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea to enable him to fully carry out his mandate.

The UK further welcomes the proposed African Union Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights, calls for the Government of Ethiopia to allow access to this inquiry and is in touch with the African Union on how we might support this effort.


Written Question
Eritrea: War Crimes
22 Jun 2021

Questioner: Fiona Bruce (CON - Congleton)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK is taking in Eritrea to help ensure that UN investigators have the necessary access to conduct an assessment of atrocities.

Answered by James Duddridge

We are appalled by systematic killing of civilians, widespread rape, including of children, indiscriminate shelling and the forcible displacement of ethnic Tigrayans. Those responsible for such abuses and violations need to be held to account.

We welcome the joint Enquiry of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into human rights violations and abuses in Tigray, and continue to press for unfettered access to the region and victims. Investigators must be given unhindered access to Tigray, be able to speak to the victims of the religious and ethnic groups most affected, and allowed to report their findings in full. We have lobbied in Asmara for Eritrean cooperation with the UNOHCHR Joint Investigation. The EHRC has previously shown its willingness to act independently and must continue to do so through the joint investigation, which we judge is the most credible prospect available for holding the perpetrators of atrocities in Tigray to account. The UK will therefore support the UNOHCHR to ensure that their joint investigation into atrocities in Tigray with the EHRC is independent, transparent and impartial. We will also continue to press the Eritrean government to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea to enable him to fully carry out his mandate.

The UK further welcomes the proposed African Union Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights, calls for the Government of Ethiopia to allow access to this inquiry and is in touch with the African Union on how we might support this effort.


Written Question
China: Migrants
15 Apr 2021

Questioner: Stephen Kinnock (LAB - Aberavon)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether it is his policy that all (a) Uyghurs, (b) Kazakhs and (c) other members of Chinese ethnic groups resident in the UK, regardless of their immigration status, will be provided with consular and other appropriate assistance to establish (i) the whereabouts of and (ii) contact with their children in China in the event that they require such assistance.

Answered by Nigel Adams

The assistance the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) can provide to British nationals abroad is set out in the publication: Support for British nationals abroad: A Guide. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-british-nationals-abroad-a-guide As stated in our guidance we cannot provide this support to other countries' nationals, even if they have been resident in the UK.


Written Question
Naeemuddin Khattak
27 Oct 2020

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to respond to the representations made to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office by the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community about the murder of Professor Naeem Ud Din Khattak; and what representations they intend to make, if any, to the Pakistan High Commissioner to seek regular updates of the investigation into that murder.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We are concerned and saddened by the murder of Dr Naeemuddin Khattak on 5 October in Peshawar. The British High Commission in Islamabad will continue to monitor the case closely. The UK remains deeply concerned by reports of discrimination and violence against religious communities in Pakistan, including against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. I spoke at the launch event of the APPG for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's Report on the 21 July. I expressed the UK's deep concern regarding discrimination and violence against Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan. We engage at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan on the mistreatment of religious and ethnic groups, including from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

On 27 August, I raised our concerns regarding Freedom of Religion of Belief and the protection of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari. I also raised Freedom of Religion or Belief concerns with the Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, on 8 September and with Pakistan's High Commissioner to the UK, Moazzam Ahmad Khan, on 8 October.


Written Question
Overseas Aid
19 Jun 2019

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how the Department for International Development (1) supports marginalised religious communities, and (2) evaluates the success of existing projects, without disaggregating data by religion or target religious groups.

Answered by Baroness Sugg

The UK is firmly committed to protecting ethnic and religious minorities. Development and humanitarian assistance is provided on the basis of need, irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity. With the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, DFID supports marginalised religious communities: internationally in multilateral fora; by raising individual cases of persecution bilaterally; by highlighting discriminatory legislation and practices; and by funding targeted project work in many different countries. Where relevant, data is disaggregated by religion when projects are evaluated.


Written Question
Diplomatic Service: Ethnic Groups
23 Dec 2016

Questioner: Baroness Berridge (CON - Life peer)

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many heads of mission to international organisations from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are from a black or minority ethnic background.

Answered by Baroness Anelay of St Johns

As of the 30 November, of the seven of Heads of Mission to international organisations that have reported their ethnicity (86% of the total number of Heads of Mission to international organisations), none are from a black or minority ethnic (BME) background.

Continuing to improve the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's record on diversity, equality and inclusion is fundamental to our aim of being the best diplomatic service in the world. We undertake a range of interventions to improve our leadership and management capability and to remove barriers to the progress of under-represented groups in the FCO, to help people reach their full potential. Action includes a bespoke talent development scheme for BME staff; role models from all backgrounds; diverse interview panels at all grades; diverse shortlists for senior positions as the norm; and outreach to attract diverse talent into the FCO, focused on BME candidates and those from a low-socio economic background.