Philippines: Minority Groups

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 7th February 2019.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Philippines on the protection of religious groups in that country.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The UK is committed to the promotion of human rights, including freedom of religion and belief. Whilst we have not had specific discussions with the Philippine Government on religious freedom, we have regular discussions on human rights, including our concerns about the conduct of the "war on drugs" and the situation of human rights defenders. This included the UK/Philippines High Level talks that took place on 19th November.

The UK believes places of religious worship are sites for peace and reflection. The terror attacks on the Catholic Cathedral on the island of Jolo on 27 January and on a mosque in Zamboanga on 30 January go against the very essence of this.

Last week the Foreign Secretary launched a review into what more the FCO network can do to support religious freedoms for Christians around the world.

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