I have today laid before Parliament a copy of the 2017 Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Report on Human Rights and Democracy (Cm number:9644).
The report analyses human rights developments overseas in 2017 and illustrates how the government works to promote and defend human rights globally.
The report assesses the situation in 30 countries, which the FCO has designated as its Human Rights Priority Countries. These are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.
This year marks the 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The report I have laid before Parliament today demonstrates that the principles and values enshrined in the Universal Declaration remain as crucial as ever.
It also serves as a reminder that ensuring universal respect for those principles remains a difficult task.
The UK Government will continue to play a significant part in this endeavour to protect the ‘inherent dignity’ of ‘all members of the human family’.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: