SDG10: Reducing Inequality

Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons on 9th January 2019.

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Photo of Danielle Rowley Danielle Rowley Labour, Midlothian

What steps her Department is taking to ensure that the UK meets sustainable development goal 10 on reducing inequality.

Photo of Danielle Rowley Danielle Rowley Labour, Midlothian

We often talk in this place, at least on this side of the House, about the importance of universal public services like the NHS and inclusive education in ensuring that everyone, regardless of income, has access to essential services, which will bring about more equal societies. What is the Department doing to ensure that UK aid better supports the development of universal free public services in the countries in which it works?

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The hon. Lady is absolutely right that that forms a core part of our work not only on ending extreme poverty but in providing access to essential, lifesaving services. Whether it is helping with infants and preventing maternal mortality or providing 12 years of quality education, the Department is working around the world on those opportunities.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Conservative, North East Hertfordshire

My hon. Friend will be aware that I am a member of the independent commission on sexual misconduct set up by Oxfam following the Haiti issues and that the commission is about to produce its interim report. Does she agree that the way in which staff are treated by non-governmental organisations, showing proper respect and reducing inequality, is an important step towards meeting this development goal?

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for the work he is doing on this important issue. Last year the Department took a leadership role on addressing such issues not only within the Department but within the providers we work with around the world.

Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

What progress has the Department made in engaging with children and young people to achieve sustainable development goal 16.2 to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children?

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

Through our own work, through the International Citizen Service and through our work with many of our partner organisations, including UNICEF, we are working extensively on this issue. I am glad to be able to tell the hon. Gentleman that the UK is the largest donor to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children.

Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman The Second Church Estates Commissioner, Chair, Draft Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Bill Committee

Does the Minister agree that it will be impossible to meet sustainable development goal 10 unless people with disabilities are included in all our humanitarian and development work?

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to highlight this, which is why last year the UK held the disability summit and launched the disability strategy to make sure that those people are truly included in all our development work.