Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:10 pm on 29th July 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Altmann Baroness Altmann Conservative 6:10 pm, 29th July 2020

My Lords, I congratulate my noble friend on laying these regulations and on his excellent opening remarks. I welcome these measures, and share the Government’s desire for global Britain to be a stronger force for good and stand up against human rights violations. I congratulate the Government on their robust protection of the freedoms of religion and belief, in this country and abroad.

These measures will help hold people to account around the world. Indeed, it is vital to find ways, with other countries if possible, to punish torture, enforced labour and other abuses. I am delighted that these measures will also include non-state actors. I join other noble Lords in congratulating Bill Browder on his work, his bravery and his determination to pursue justice. I encourage my noble friend to continue to look at expanding these measures to include sanctions against corruption. Could he tell the House what the Government are doing to consider action against those complicit in perpetrating horrendous human rights violations against the Uighurs?

I also ask my noble friend to consider the issues raised by the noble Lord, Lord Hain, and other noble Lords. There is so much we need to do, but I commend the cross-party work on these issues and the Government’s actions to ensure that we do not look the other way. If such egregious human rights violations have no consequences, such actions may proliferate. To borrow the words of Edmund Burke, all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to be silent. We must never be silent when it comes to punishing perpetrators of human rights abuse.