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Human Rights Watch Open Letter to UK Political Parties

2019 UK General Election

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12 November 2019

Dear [Party Leader],

I am writing to you on behalf of Human Rights Watch, an independent non-governmental organization that works on human rights around the world.

The outcome of the general election on 12 December has the potential to greatly affect human rights in the UK and through the UK's foreign policy around the world. For that reason, we are keen to hear the position of your party on eight key human rights questions.

1. What steps will you take to defend the Human Rights Act?

2. How will you ensure that whatever the ultimate outcome of Brexit, people living in the UK will continue to enjoy human rights protections derived from EU law, including worker's rights, and that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in other EU countries will be protected?

3. How will you mitigate climate change to protect people's rights and will you ensure people's right to peaceful protest around the climate crisis?

4. How are you planning to end reliance on food banks and protect people's right to food in the UK?

5. Will you commit to maintaining a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia and to ensuring that UK arms export licences are applied rigorously when there is evidence of war crimes by a receiving state?

6. Will you publicly intervene when human rights defenders and journalists around the world are persecuted, imprisoned or killed for doing their jobs?

7. What steps will you take to ensure the UK maintains its leadership on human rights when pursuing trade deals and security cooperation with other countries?

8. What is your strategy for ensuring justice for war crimes, torture and other atrocity crimes, whether in Myanmar, Syria or elsewhere, and including when members of the British armed forces are implicated?

Thank you in advance for your responses, which we intended to publish on our website.

Your sincerely,

Benjamin Ward

UK Director (Acting)

Human Rights Watch

This letter was sent to the leaders of the Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Democratic Unionist Party, the Independent Group for Change, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the Brexit Party.

Source: Human Rights Watch