UK 2012 FCO report: Sri Lanka and Israel among 27 worst HR violators

The UK has listed Sri Lanka along with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, among 27 countries, where major human rights abuses are taking place in spite of its efforts to improve the situation.

The 2012 Foreign and Commonwealth Office report, titled Human Rights and Democracy 2012, targeted those the British considered as the worst human rights violators. The following is the full list of violators: "Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, China, Colombia, Cuba, North Korea, Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Susan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

In a section headlined ‘Human Rights in Countries of Comcern’, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "This section contains our review of the human rights situation in 27 countries where the UK Government has wide-ranging concerns. For this year’s report, we decided to review thoroughly the criteria we use for deciding which countries are of most human rights concern to the UK. We drew on feedback from the Foreign Affairs Committee and consulted with the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on Human Rights in doing so. Our geographical departments and Embassies and High Commissions overseas subsequently assessed all the countries in their regions against this newly revised set of criteria and human rights indicators to decide on a final list for countries and case studies to be included in this annual report. Ministers then made the final decision.

The criteria for inclusion were:

* the gravity of the human rights situation in the country, including both the severity of particular abuses and the range of human rights affected;

* whether a deterioration or improvement in the human rights situation in the country would have a wider impact in the region;

* whether the human rights situation in the country has an impact on wider UK interests; and

* how active the UK is in the country and whether we are able to influence the human rights situation there.

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