'There is no such thing any more as a quarrel in a faraway country which is indifferent to our interests...States where human rights are gravely violated, because the rule of law has broken down or because only repression and violence can sustain a ruling clique in power, are the main source of risk to our and our allies' security...So promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law is right at the heart of working for our interests.'
- Parliamentary Under Secretary, Bill Rammell, in a speech on 25 November 2003.
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 Project Fund (HRPF) has been a key instrument in implementing policy in this area. Although it has recently been superseded by the Global Opportunities Fund you can read here about past projects the Foreign Office has funded.
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.