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Lords debates government policy on countries which violate its citizen's human rights

The heads of several charities and organisations, including UNICEF UK and the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, and a former Attorney General, will debate the Government's policy towards countries which violate its citizen's human rights, on Thursday 21 November

Lord Alton of Liverpool, who tabled and will open the debate, said:

“The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is a document which is rich in prose but continually dishonoured in many countries today, 65 years after its adoption.

“Basic human rights are regularly violated across the world with people being killed, imprisoned, tortured, forced into labour, trafficked, sexually abused, displaced and disappeared simply for expressing their views openly or wearing, or saying, the wrong thing at the wrong time.

“I want this debate to highlight the human rights abuses that are an everyday occurrence in countries such as Nigeria, Burma, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and talk about what practical steps can be taken to bring about change for millions of people for whom the words of the Universal Human Rights Declaration don't match their reality.”

Other Members scheduled to speak include:

Lord Cormack, the Bishop of Derby, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Lord Parekh, the Earl of Sandwich, Lord Selkirk of Douglas, the Bishop of Wakefield, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Baroness Falkner of Margravine, Lord Patten and Lord Singh of Wimbledon are also expected to take part.

Lord Finkelstein, Baroness Kennedy of Cradley, Baroness Suttie and Lord Mendelsohn are expected to make their maiden speeches during this debate.

Baroness Warsi (Conservative) will respond on behalf of the Government.

The session will be webcast at and is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.

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