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Global issues

Advisory Group on Human Rights

Foreign Secretary William Hague announced the formation of the Advisory Group in his 15 September speech entitled "Britain’s Values in a networked world".

On 11 November, he announced the members of the Group.

He said:

"The members of this group are eminent individuals with a broad range of human rights experience, drawn from NGOs, the legal and academic communities and international bodies. I am delighted that they have agreed to join this Group and look forward to working with them to improve and strengthen our international human rights work."

The members of the Group are:

  • Kate Allen*, Director of Amnesty International UK. Kate Allen is the Director of Amnesty International UK, a major human rights campaigning organisation with a quarter of a million members
  • Dr Chaloka Beyani, LSE and UN Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced People. Dr Beyani is a Senior Lecturer at the LSE, specialising in human rights law and recently assisted drafting the new Kenyan constitution.
  • Dr Agnès Callamard, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19. Agnès Callamard is the Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, a leading international NGO defending freedom of expression and information.
  • Joel Edwards*, International Director of Micah Challenge. Mr Edwards is International Director of Micah Challenge, a global Christian charity working for the eradication of poverty and implementation of the MDGs. He was formerly a Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Malcolm Evans OBE, University of Bristol, member of the United Nations Sub-committee on the Prevention of Torture. Malcolm Evans was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at Bristol. In addition to his expertise in torture prevention he is currently a member of the OSCE Advisory Panel on Freedom of Religion and Belief
  • Sapna Malik, Partner, Leigh Day and Co. Solicitors. Sapna Malik is a partner at Leigh Day & Co, with 12 years of litigation experience, specialising in bringing international claims and group actions.
  • Professor Susan Marks, LSE. Susan Marks joined LSE in 2010 as a Professor of International Law. Her research interests include democracy, poverty, torture and counter-terrorism.
  • Tim Otty QC, Blackstone Chambers. Tim Otty joined Blackstone Chambers in 2010 and is a leading commercial, public and public international law expert.
  • Tom Porteous, UK Director of Human Rights Watch. Tom Porteous directs the London Office of Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights.
  • Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, University of Essex, Member of the UN Human Rights Committee. Professor Rodley is Chair of the University of Essex Human Rights Centre. He is a former UN Special Rapporteur on torture and currently a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists.
  • Dame Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB. Barbara Stocking has been Chief Executive of Oxfam GB since 2001. Oxfam is a major international non-government organisation whose mission is “to work with others to overcome poverty and suffering”
  • Professor Surya Subedi OBE. Professor Subedi is Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds and serves as the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia.
  • Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive, the British Red Cross. Sir Nicholas has been Chief Executive of the British Red Cross since July 2001. The British Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the world's largest independent humanitarian organisation.

These individuals have been invited in a personal capacity, to provide external advice on human rights in foreign policy, and on options for addressing human rights problems.

The Group is hosted by the Foreign Secretary and will hold two meetings a year. The first meeting took place 2 December, where the Group discussed a wide range of human rights issues relating to conflict, security, counter-terrorism, and political and religious freedom, as well as specific countries of concern and broader strategic trends.

Junior ministers and Foreign Office officials are also chairing additional meetings on key issues agreed by the Group.

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