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Foreign Office Human Rights

Human rights work at the Foreign Office

22nd March 2017 London, UK

Rob Fenn

by Rob Fenn

Head of Human Rights and Democracy Department, FCO

If you seek his monument, look around you

I seem to have reached an age when there will be funerals. My father’s last year was bittersweet, after a life so fully lived. A similar mixture of grief and celebration permeated the funeral last month of Sir Nigel Rodley, the most distinguished British human rights expert of his generation. In these personal reflections I […]

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20th March 2017 London, UK

Joanna Roper CMG

Special Envoy for Gender Equality

Addressing the barriers that hold back women

We recently celebrated International Women’s Day, a day when we can celebrate the achievements of women in history and around the world. It’s also a day when we look to address the barriers that hold back women. I was delighted to have been appointed to the new role of Special Envoy for Gender Equality. This […]

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8th March 2017 London, UK

Caroline Wilson

Director, Europe

Women leading British diplomacy across Europe

“I would venture to guess than Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman” – Virginia Woolf hit the nail on the head. Too often the incredible work and leadership provided by women has been obscured by modesty, self-doubt, or in some cases outright sexism. The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth […]

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8th March 2017 London, UK

Boris Johnson

by Boris Johnson

Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs

The world would be a better place if all girls went to school

I am always dubious about so-called silver bullets that allegedly solve a host of problems. “Life can’t be that simple,” I think. “Surely there must be a catch?” But there is one step that would improve countless lives — and make the world an infinitely better place — if only every government summoned the will […]

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7th March 2017 London, UK

Fiona Blyth

Senior Policy Adviser, UKMis New York

Working for Somalia through the United Nations Security Council

Delivering support and achieving progress in Somalia requires more than one international partner. Multilateral institutions are a vital way of convening the international community and combining our efforts to have a greater effect. One of the many ways in which the UK supports progress in Somalia is through our Permanent Seat on the United Nations […]

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7th March 2017 London, UK

Sam Grout-Smith

Peacebuilding, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, UKMis New York

The fight to end slavery is still not won

To me, and I expect many others, the word slavery conjures up images of the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Although the institution of slavery has been almost entirely abolished around the globe, there are still millions of people living in conditions of slavery. When we talk of child soldiers, women trafficked into the […]

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24th January 2017 London, UK

Sue Breeze

Head of Human Rights for a Stable World Team

The Holocaust: Why is it still relevant today?

Introduction by Rob Fenn, Head of Human Rights & Democracy Department: By any standards, 2016 was a dramatic year. Finding myself in interesting times, my personal reaction has been to read history. My phone is now crammed with adventure novels set in an equally tumultuous period for the UK, the mid 17th Century – and […]

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11th December 2016 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Edmund Fitton-Brown

by Edmund Fitton-Brown

British Ambassador to Yemen

Human Rights Day

This week we celebrate the 68th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the people of Yemen who have suffered during two years of war this must feel like an abstract and distant concept. Prior to the conflict Yemen was already one of the poorest countries in the region and now, as a […]

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10th December 2016 Ankara, Turkey

Richard Moore

by Richard Moore

British Ambassador to Turkey

International Human Rights Day

10 December is Human Rights Day and around the world British Embassies will be expressing their commitment to universal fundamental rights. We do this because human rights are important in themselves. But they are also good for our societies and economies. The World Bank have said respect for human rights can “improve development outcomes and […]

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10th December 2016 London, UK

Rob Fenn

by Rob Fenn

Head of Human Rights and Democracy Department, FCO

Human Rights Day 2016

Box-ticking, or changing the real world? That was a question posed at our Minister’s event to mark Human Rights Day. Most people I talk to are ready to agree that the UK government tries to do the right thing. But many wonder whether we are getting past the level of generic reassurances, from other governments […]

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