Press release

Foreign Office Advisory Group on freedom of religion or belief

Baroness Warsi chairs first meeting of Foreign Office group on Freedom of Religion or Belief to discuss vision and strategy.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office today hosted the first meeting of a new Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, chaired by Senior Minister of State, Baroness Warsi. The new group, which is a sub-group of the Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Group, is made up of experts in the field and is intended to advise FCO Ministers and staff on how to build on the active approach they already take to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide.

Commenting on the first meeting of the new group, Baroness Warsi said:

Freedom of religion or belief is a personal priority for me. Across the world, people are being singled out and hounded out simply for the faith they follow or the beliefs they hold. The persecution of people because of their faith or belief has, I believe, become a global crisis. I want to make sure we have the best advice available. This is why we have set up this new Advisory Group, made up of real experts in the field, and of those who are working every day in practical ways to defend the right to freedom of religion or belief. I look forward to working with them as we seek to move towards a world where no-one is persecuted for what they believe.

I am pleased to announce the following members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Advisory Group on freedom of religion

Kate Allen UK Director Amnesty International
Waqar Azmi Chairman Remembering Srebrenica
Mashood Baderin School of Law SOAS, University of London
Shami Chakrabarti Director Liberty
Andrew Copson Chief Executive British Humanist Association
Joel Edwards International Director Micah Challenge
Malcolm Evans Professor of Public International Law University of Bristol
Tom Gallagher Professor of Ethnic Conflict & Peace University of Bradford
Ed Husain Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Council on Foreign Relations
Edward Kessler Executive Director Woolf Institute
David Mepham UK Director Human Rights Watch
Trevor Pears Executive Chairman Pears Family Charitable Foundation
Tariq Ramadan Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies University of Oxford
Mervyn Thomas Chief Executive Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Roger Trigg Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick and Senior Research Fellow, Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford

Further information

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