Human Rights and Democracy 2013-14

Section IX: Working Through a Rules-Based International System

Comments on the Working Through a Rules-Based International System section of the 2013 Human Rights Report can be made below. They will be monitored and moderated by staff at the Human Rights and Democracy Department at the FCO who will also try and answer as many questions as possible.

Read this section of the report on GOV.UK

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2 comments on “Section IX: Working Through a Rules-Based International System

  1. Tess Kingham says:

    I believe that mention needs to be made of the need for human rights to be monitored as part of the mandate of MINURSO in the Western Sahara as part of the UN process of ensuring the Saharawi the right to self-determination. You have made mention of progress in Morocco but this needs to be qualified by the continuing allegations of human rights abuse in the non-self governing territory of Western Sahara. The UK, as a member of the UN Security Council, has a key role in protecting the human rights of the area under illegal occupation by Morocco, the area under the control of the POLISARIO Front and the camps near Tindouf. Until this is done there is a real danger that young Saharaiw will be attracted to extremist jihadist groups and this puts the stability of the whole region in danger.

    Mention needs to be made of the appalling human rights abuse carried out by the Moroccan state on the Saharawi who live under illegal occupation in Western Sahara. Saharawi who seek to express their right to freedom of expression are routinely beaten. Youtube videos routinely show Saharawi who seek to express their right to freedom of expression being routinely beaten, and arrested. Instances of torture, arbitrary arrest, unfair trials, disappearances, and murder are well documented by international organisations. The UN is failing to protect the right of freedom of expression and ultimately to the right of self-determination. The Report should make reference to this and what the UK is doing to protect the human rights of Saharawi.

    I would also like a response to the general question as to why no mention of Westren Sahara is made anywhere in this report when the UK has a key role in resolving the conflict over WS through a UN supervised referendum of self-determination. Thanks.

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      We consistently make clear, including in discussions at the UN Security Council, the importance of full respect for human rights in Western Sahara. We welcome the steps Morocco has taken and the commitments it has made to strengthen protection of human rights, including in Western Sahara, and encourage Morocco to build on this progress to address remaining concerns.

      The UK supports the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy in their efforts to resolve the dispute over Western Sahara through a negotiated settlement which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

      The following criteria were used to decide which specific countries to include in the Report:

      • the gravity of the human rights situation in the country, including both the severity of particular abuses and the range of human rights affected;
      • whether a deterioration or improvement in the human rights situation in the country would have a wider impact in the region;
      • whether the human rights situation in the country has an impact on wider UK interests; and
      • whether we are able to influence the human rights situation there.