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Advisory Group on Human Rights

Volume 518: debated on Thursday 11 November 2010

In my statement on 15 September 2010, Official Report, columns 45-46WS following my speech on “Britain’s Values in a Networked World”, I announced that I would convene an Advisory Group on Human Rights to ensure that I have the best possible information about human rights challenges and benefit from outside advice on the conduct of our policy. I would now like to provide the House with further details.

Members of the group will be:

Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK

Dr Chaloka Beyani, LSE and UN Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced People

Dr Agnes Callamard, Director of Article 19

Mr Joel Edwards, International Director, Micah Challenge

Malcolm Evans OBE, University of Bristol, Member of the United Nations Sub-committee on the Prevention of Torture

Sapna Malik, Partner, Leigh Day and Co. Solicitors

Professor Susan Marks, LSE

Tim Otty QC, Blackstone Chambers

Tom Porteous, Director of Human Rights Watch, London

Sir Nigel Rodley, University of Essex, Member of the UN Human Rights Committee

Dame Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive of Oxfam GB

Professor Surya Subedi OBE, University of Leeds and UN Special Rapporteur for Cambodia

Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive, the British Red Cross

These are eminent individuals with a broad range of human rights and humanitarian experience. They are drawn from NGOs, the legal and academic communities and international bodies.

I will chair the group. I intend to hold two meetings a year. Ministers and officials will also chair additional meetings on specific issues agreed by the group. The first meeting will take place on 2 December 2010.

The members of the group will not be paid. FCO officials will provide the secretariat for the group from within existing resources.

As I made clear in my statement of 15 September, human rights are essential to and indivisible from the UK’s foreign policy priorities. This Government intend to improve and strengthen our work to promote human rights internationally.