New inquiry: The FCO's human rights work in 2011

25 April 2012

The Foreign Affairs Committee is announcing an inquiry into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s human rights work in 2011, taking as a starting point the Department’s 2011 Report on Human Rights and Democracy

The Committee invites submissions of evidence which assess the FCO’s human rights work during 2011. It would particularly welcome submissions which address:

  • the content and format of the FCO’s report, Human Rights and Democracy: The 2011 Foreign & Commonwealth Office Report;
  • the Government’s achievements as Chair-in-office of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, in terms of support for human rights overseas;
  • the likely impact of new and updated Government strategy and guidance documents published during 2011, including the Strategy for the Prevention of Torture 2011-15, the updated Strategy for Abolition of the Death Penalty, and the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance Human Rights Guidance;
  • the cross-Government strategy on business and human rights, expected to be published later in 2012, and how it should define the relationship between the FCO’s human rights work and the promotion of UK economic and commercial interests in UK foreign policy.

The Committee plans to hold evidence sessions for this inquiry in May and June 2012.

Submitting evidence:

The Committee encourages interested groups or individuals to make written submissions to its inquiry. Submissions should be received by 25 May 2012; earlier submissions would be appreciated.

Written submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. Each submission should contain the following information:

  • a short summary in bullet point form;
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, perhaps explaining their area of expertise;
  • 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.
  • Each submission should use numbered paragraphs, and be in MS Word format with as little use of colour/logos as possible.

Submissions should be sent as an e-mail attachment to with the subject line ‘Human Rights Inquiry 2012’. Paper copies may be sent to Foreign Affairs Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

View further information about submitting evidence.

Inquiry-related questions:

For questions in connection with this inquiry, please contact Kenneth Fox, Clerk of the Committee, on 020 7219 3278 or by email to

Media enquiries:

Members of the press with enquiries should contact Alex Paterson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 1589 or 07917 488488 or by email to

Notes for Editors:

The Foreign Affairs Committee has conducted an annual human rights inquiry, on the basis of the FCO’s report, each year since 1998 (with the exception of 2010, owing to the Dissolution and the change of Government). Last year’s inquiry led to the publication of the Committee’s Eighth Report, The FCO’s Human Rights Work 2010-11, HC 964 (PDF 710 KB), in July 2011. The Report was debated in Westminster Hall on 26 January 2012.

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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