Speculation over human rights report
23 August 2010
Human rights organisations have voiced their displeasure at rumours that the Foreign Office is looking to scrap production of its annual report on human rights abuses to save money but the FO has denied this will happen.
Reports have been circulating that the government had told civil servants to stop working on the document, which is used as an ethical trading guide for MPs and businesses.
Menzies Campbell, former Liberal Democrat leader, said if the report was stopped the government would be guilty of "downgrading human rights".
And Amnesty Director Kate Allen earlier said: "The report is not perfect, but it offers an annual assessment of the UK's activities on human rights. Without it there will be a big hole."
However, the Foreign Office said that while it was looking at whether it made sense to produce "expensive glossy colour publications of the past", human rights would not be diluted and were the "irreducible core" of British foreign policy. The FO said: "It is not in our character as a nation to have a foreign policy without a conscience or to repudiate our obligation to help those less fortunate."