Excerpt of Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond message on Human Rights
“Our British democratic values have developed over time with human rights at their core. We are reminded of this fact this year as we mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede in my constituency.
Human Rights Day – chosen by the UN General Assembly to mark the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is a day when Britain, a key promoter of such rights and values, can hold its head high. This Government was elected on a manifesto commitment to protect Human Rights. We are doing that in three ways.
…..we make most progress on Human Rights around the world when our approach appeals to others’ enlightened self-interest and is sensitive to their culture and history. In short, we have to persuade countries and governments that respecting human rights will be beneficial to them.
Human Rights expertise is an important part of the training our staff receive. Teams working in countries where we have particular concerns, and their colleagues in London, see Human Rights as an integral part of what we are trying to achieve with that country. This year the Foreign Office is supporting more than 75 Human Rights projects in more than 40 countries and we are continuing to pursue a pioneering approach to preventing sexual violence in conflict.
We were leaders on Human Rights in 1215, as the Magna Carta was sealed, and we remain leaders now in 2015.
As we promote and protect those standards across the world, we are approaching human rights diplomacy in our own, British way, to ensure we get the right results.” 10 Dec 2015©UK Foreign Office