Third Sector: Public Consultation

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 19th July 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Hodgson of Abinger Baroness Hodgson of Abinger Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to consult with civil society on the development of their plans for supporting, at an international level, (1) open societies, (2) media freedom, (3) anti-corruption efforts, (4) human rights and the rule of law.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The FCDO values civil society organisations (CSOs) as important policy and delivery partners at the forefront of delivering UK objectives. We have an ongoing policy dialogue with CSOs on open societies, and are committed to working in partnership with a diverse range of organisations across the whole of the UK and southern-based CSOs, both large and small. Civil Society plays a critical role in defending media freedom. In addition to regular consultations with CSOs, for example around the G7, we work closely with the 17 CSOs in the Consultative Network of the Media Freedom Coalition.

On anti-corruption issues we regularly engage with CSOs, for example holding civil society roundtables on our new anti-corruption sanctions regime and participating with colleagues from the Joint Anti-Corruption Unit in regular engagement with the UK Anti-Corruption Coalition. Ministers meet regularly with the Advisory Group on Human Rights, a group of 14 experts including civil society representatives. Open Societies were discussed at the most recent meeting. CSOs are also strongly represented in the UK war crimes network. Modern slavery is another important part of our human rights work. We are supporting the Home Office to review the government's modern slavery strategy and will engage external partners, including CSOs.

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