International cooperation, including with human rights mechanisms – Government action
UK Government actions:
- Between May and August 2022, the UK Government submitted several reports to the UN: its report for the fourth Universal Periodic Review of the UK; its report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child; and its report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- In November 2021, the UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), at which the Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed.
- In July 2021, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office published its Human Rights and Democracy Report 2020 outlining activity taken to defend human rights internationally.
- In June 2021, the UK Government submitted its latest report on civil and political rights to the UN Human Rights Committee.
- In May 2021, the UK Government submitted follow-up information to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, following the Committee’s review of the UK in 2019.
- In November 2020, in response to financial pressures created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the UK Government announced a temporary reduction in Official Development Assistance from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5% in 2021/ In July 2021, the House of Commons approved fiscal tests that need to be met to restore the 0.7% target.
- In October 2020, the UK Government was re-elected to the UN Human Rights Council for 2021‒
- In September 2020, the UK Government reiterated its support for the work of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, which is considering the existing international framework on the human rights of older people to identify protection gaps.
- In September 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was merged with the Department for International Development to become the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
- In August 2020, the UK Government submitted a follow-up report to the UN Committee against Torture on the implementation of recommendations made by the Committee in 2019.
- In May 2020, the UK Government published an update on its implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
- In April 2020, the UK Government missed the deadline for reporting to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Its State report remains outstanding.
- In June 2019, the UK Government became the co-chair of the intergovernmental Equal Rights Coalition that seeks to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. The UK’s term as co-chair ended in September 2022.
- In June 2019, the UK Government published its first Voluntary National Review of efforts to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015.
- In May 2019, the UK Government created the new role of International Ambassador for Human Rights.
- In December 2018, the UK Government endorsed the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which recognises that migrants’ human rights must be respected, protected and fulfilled.
- Between 2018 and 2021, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office funded the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its role as chair of the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions.
Read our assessment of the UK Government’s progress on international cooperation, including with human rights mechanisms.
This list is a summary of key actions and is not intended to be exhaustive.
The assessment was made based on the evidence available up to 10/12/2022