Developing Countries: Religion

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure that UK aid distribution workers that are from religious minorities within the recipient country are not subject to religious discrimination.

Photo of Nigel Adams Nigel Adams Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK Government works to ensure that those responsible for the distribution of aid, including religious minorities, do not face discrimination as a result of their faith.

FCDO calls for rapid and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid workers to those in need. We strongly advocate for compliance with International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles, which serve to protect aid workers and those they seek to assist. International Humanitarian Law states that parties to a conflict must allow humanitarian relief for civilians in need, which is impartial in character and conducted without any adverse distinction. They must not withhold consent to the delivery of aid arbitrarily. Parties to a conflict must not discriminate against aid agencies and/or their personnel delivering aid of this nature because of their faith.

We work to prevent any discrimination against aid agencies and their personnel delivering aid because of their faith. FCDO conducts thorough due diligence assessments of its partners to ensure that they have the ability implement their work without discrimination. We have processes for reporting harassment or discrimination for all of our partners and staff.

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