Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:28 pm on 29th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Desai Lord Desai Labour 6:28 pm, 29th July 2020

My Lords, many people have pointed out problems abroad which we should take seriously. One strand of opinion this evening is that we have our own place to clean up: the city of London, as my noble friend Lord Wood said, hides and protects a lot of corruption. The Government must, as part of this effort, which I welcome, clean up the reputation of the city; it should not be a haven in which corrupt money can be stashed.

Secondly, I want to emphasise a human rights violation which does not harbour in any particular country but is worldwide: modern slavery. I hope that the Government will seriously consider what we can do to combat modern slavery, which is in our country and elsewhere.

Lastly, when we criticise human rights violations, we should not just look at what used to be called third-world or less-developed countries. Many of our own allies have human rights violations in their territories. We know who those allies are, and we should have the courage to stand up and cite them for the violation of human rights. If we do not, our criticism of third world and other countries will not have the force it should.

I welcome the Government’s efforts, and I wish them luck.