This year it will be 65 years since the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Open any newspaper or news website today and you find depressingly many and varied examples of continuing breaches of those universal rights in countries around the world.
Advancing respect for universal human rights is a priority for UK, and EU, foreign policy. For that reason, every year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes a Human Rights Report. The Report covers our global human rights priorities and countries of concern. On 15 April our Foreign Secretary William Hague launched the FCO Human Rights and Democracy Report 2012.
If you follow the Embassy on Twitter or Facebook or read my last blog you will know how the UK as G8 President is prioritising the issue of tackling rape and sexual violence in conflict. This year there is a new section on the Preventing of Sexual Violence Initiative in the Report.
At the launch event the Foreign Secretary was joined by two guest speakers; Dr Ahmed Shaheed, Human Rights Council special Rapporteur on Iran, who shared his insight into the work of the UN and Madeleine Rees from the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and a member of the PSVI steering board spoke more widely about the violence against women, including sexual violence.
We want to know what you think too. On the FCO’s Human Rights and Democracy homepage you can submit your comments on this important issue.