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United Kingdom

Monthly Event Reports

January 2024 | End of 15-year-limit on voting rights enfranchises overseas voters

On 16 January, an estimated 3.5 million British citizens living abroad became eligible to vote in parliamentary elections and referenda in the UK. Amendments to the Representation of the People Act, together with provisions on overseas voting in the Elections Act (passed in 2022), paved the way for the abolishment of a rule that citizens could only be registered to vote for 15 years after leaving the UK. The changes allow any citizen abroad who has previously lived in, or been registered to vote, in the UK to register as an overseas voter. The Electoral Commission has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the changes and to encourage the newly eligible UK citizens abroad to register to vote. An estimated 233,000 overseas voters were registered to vote in the 2019 general elections. UK electoral law allows any registered voter to donate to political parties and campaigners in the UK.

December 2023 | Government seeks to revive Rwanda asylum scheme after legal challenges
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The government has asked the Parliament to declare via a majority vote that Rwanda is safe for asylum seekers, introducing a new Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) bill. The move follows a Supreme Court ruling on 15 November 2023 which found that the safety of asylum seekers deported to Rwanda could not be guaranteed and ruled the planned asylum scheme to be unlawful. In parallel, the government has updated a 2022 bilateral agreement between the UK and Rwanda, which made plans for asylum seekers arriving in the UK to have their asylum claims processed in Rwanda and be relocated accordingly, without recourse to return to the UK. The updates to the agreement seek to respond to the risks raised in legal challenges to the scheme, according to Home Secretary James Cleverly, establishing a new appeal body to hear individual cases and an independent committee to monitor Rwanda’s asylum system and minimize the risk of asylum seekers being returned to their home countries.

November 2023 | Telecommunications regulator begins implementing Online Public Safety Act
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The UK’s telecommunications regulator, Ofcom, began rolling out codes of conduct and guidelines to enforce the Online Public Safety Act. The new law, which received Royal Assent on 26 October following campaigning by children’s rights groups, requires companies to remove illegal content from their platforms (or risk a hefty fine of 10 per cent of the company’s annual revenue from Ofcom). On 9 November, Ofcom opened consultations with industry on its first batch of proposals for how services can identify illegal content, and mitigate the risks of harms, including annual reviews by company management of risk monitoring and management of potential harms to children on their services, leveraging automated detection of child sex abuse material, and prioritising content management according to the virality and potential severity of the content. The final decisions will be published in autumn 2024, and submitted to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology before being put to a vote in Parliament.

October 2023 | Government removes barriers to access to IVF for same-sex couples

The government scrapped in vitro fertilisation (IVF) legislation, improving equality for people living with HIV and same-sex couples when trying to conceive. As a result, discriminatory requirements to pay for costly screenings for infectious diseases (such as for hepatitis B or rubella) before accessing IVF, applicable only to same-sex couples, have been lifted. In addition, people with non-transmissible HIV (individuals with an undetectable viral load) will become eligible for fertility treatment, following years of campaigning and advocacy by HIV rights charity National AIDS Trust. The decision is expected to take effect before the end of 2023.

Explore past monthly event reports

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
67 326 569
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (since 2022)
Head of government party
Conservative Party
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post
Women in lower or single chamber
34.70%
Women in upper chamber
28.60%
Last legislative election
2019
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
3.23
Head of state
King Charles III
Selection process for head of state
Hereditary or election by hereditary state rulers
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
11/10/2022
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
42.29% (2017)
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
Regional Treaties
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 4 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
Signatory
Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
Protocol No. 7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
No Action
Protocol No. 12 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
No Action
Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rights
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rule of law
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024
Representation neutral Participation
Oct 2023
Nov
Dec
Jan
Feb
Mar 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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