Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of Valerie Vaz Valerie Vaz Labour, Walsall South

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom's Report, Burma: Religious Freedom and Related Human Rights Violations are Hindering Broader Reforms, published in November 2014.

Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

We share the Commission’s concerns on freedom of religion in Burma, the situation of the Rohingya, the rise in hate speech and the draft faith-based legislation, along with how these are affecting Burma’s reform process. We have raised our concerns in detail on the proposed so-called ‘protection of race and religion’ laws both bilaterally and in company with our partners in the European Union. We work closely with civil society on these issues in Burma, particularly during our visits to Rakhine state, where the UK is one of the largest bilateral donors of humanitarian assistance. Our Annual Report on Human Rights details the full range of our concerns, and the actions we are taking to address them.

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