'Promoting human rights is integral to the Government's wider foreign policy and security agenda. It is and will continue to be part of a global strategy bonded by our commitment to play our part in creating a better world. Some have argued that we can only expect governments in the developing world to take human rights seriously when we have helped them to overcome the problems of grinding poverty. Political freedom, they say, will grow from economic prosperity.
But in my book these are two sides of the same coin. Experience shows us that economic growth without respect for human rights rarely endures. The recent aid packages announced by the EU and G8 are necessary and welcome. But, as the G8 Heads of Government recognised, the key to ending poverty in the long term lies in improving good governance, the rule of law and democracy - concepts which are underpinned by respect for human rights.'
- FCO Minister, Ian Pearson, on 21 July 2005.
Human rights remain at the heart of the foreign policy agenda and the UK works through international forums and bilateral relationships to spread the values of human rights, civil liberties and democracy which we in the UK demand for ourselves.
The section on What are human rights? deals with the place of human rights in foreign policy and outlines main issues of contention - torture, religious freedom, equality, death penalty, child rights and freedom of expression. It also lists the key international bodies with which we work to promote human rights.
Former Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, undertook to publish an annual report on human rights from 1998 onwards. All human rights reports are available on the Reports page.
The News offers an archive all ministerial statements and press releases on human rights issues.
The Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance Programme (HRDGGP) is a key instrument in implementing policy in this area. You can read here about the programme's objectives, structure and funding.
For more information please visit the links on the left to access the human rights pages. We would value your feedback on the information provided.