Project – Mapping the UK’s responsibilities for human rights in UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies

The Island Rights Initiative is delighted to have been awarded a grant by the Legal Education Foundation to map the UK’s constitutional relationships with its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories from a human rights perspective.

The UK has Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CDOTs) around the world. Their populations are British citizens and the UK is responsible for their international relations, including human rights obligations. Despite the potential impact on them of Brexit, except for Gibraltar, they were not given a vote in the referendum on Brexit. This highlights fundamental questions about the relationship between the UK and its CDOTs. In particular it raises issues about the responsibilities the UK has for them in terms of international human rights including civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights and the respect for the right to self-determination. Each CDOT is unique. Some, like St Helena, are heavily dependent on the UK for their survival. Others, like Bermuda, are economically self-sufficient. Some are remnants of the UK’s colonial past while others belong to the Crown. This project aims to map the constitutional arrangements between the UK and its CDOTs in terms of international human rights obligations and responsibilities. This crucial funding is helping to support Island Rights Initiative’s ongoing policy engagement on these issues providing a clear background to Parliamentary evidence and other policy work.