The right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) is a longstanding human rights priority for the UK. Conflict and insecurity are often rooted in intolerance and persecution on the grounds of religion or belief.
In 2023 the UK hosted an international Ministerial conference on FoRB. During the conference, the UK announced new funding to support FoRB defenders as well as funding and expertise for countries prepared to make legislative changes to protect FoRB.
Since the conference, we have continued to make this a priority in our work. We have worked with at the UN, G7 and in the OSCE, to promote FoRB. In June this year, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a UK-UAE co-penned resolution on Tolerance and International Peace and Security, including wording on FoRB.
The UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for FoRB, Fiona Bruce MP has chaired the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) for the past two years, The Alliance has broadened its membership, growing to 45 members, friends and observers.
The Alliance conducts regular joint advocacy on the cases of individual prisoners of conscience and has issued statements highlighting the issues facing religious minorities such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Baha’i community and Jehovahs Witnesses, as well as those facing Jews and Christians.
Our commitment to FoRB is unwavering, and we look forward to continuing our work with the OSCE.