The FCO's human rights work in 2013: Terms of reference

09 April 2014

The Foreign Affairs Committee is announcing an inquiry into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s human rights work in 2013, taking as a starting point the Department’s 2013 Report on Human Rights and Democracy, published on Thursday 10 April 2014.

The Committee invites submissions of evidence on any aspect of the UK Government’s human rights work for which the FCO has responsibility. The main areas covered by the FCO’s 2013 Report on Human Rights and Democracy include:

  • The UK’s human rights initiatives in 2013 
  • Promotion of human rights values in the fields of democracy, criminal justice and the rule of law, and equality and non-discrimination;
  • Human rights in safeguarding Britain’s national security;
  • Human rights in promoting Britain’s prosperity;
  • Efforts to promote and protect human rights through the UN; and
  • Human rights in ‘countries of concern’.

The Committee would particularly welcome submissions which address

  • The FCO’s work in protecting freedom of religion or belief;
  • The impact of the FCO’s ongoing Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (including its initiation at the UN of the Declaration of Commitment to end Sexual Violence in Conflict, and the forthcoming global summit in London in June 2014);
  • The FCO’s work in supporting women’s and children’s human rights;
  • The UK’s role on the UN Human Rights Council following its re-election there in November 2013.

The Committee plans to hold evidence sessions for this inquiry before the Summer Recess.

Submitting evidence

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to send written submissions, which should be received by the Committee no later than Tuesday 6 May 2014.
Please note: Submissions should be made using the web portal on the Foreign Affairs Committee website. Please click the link here: Submit written evidence online. If you have difficulty using the portal or if there is a particular reason why you would prefer to use a different method for sending a submission, please contact Committee staff.

Form of written evidence

Submissions should not normally be longer than 3,000 words. Ideally, each submission should contain:

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise or experience;
  • any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses; and
  • any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.

It is helpful to the Committee if the main body of the submission uses numbered paragraphs.
Submissions should be in MS Word format (we cannot process PDFs) with no use of colour or logos.
Guidance on submitting written evidence and data protection information is available here: Guidance on submitting written evidence  

Further information

Image: iStockphoto 

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