A human rights expert at UEA has suggested that identity-based violence was a major issue that was neglected in the general election manifestos of all major political parties.

Dr Kate Ferguson, a researcher from the school of History is the author of a recently published report which focused on the pledges of various UK political parties in relation to identity-based violence.

The report found that the Liberal Democrats were the only party to explictly acknowledge the governmentís responsibility to protect particular populations from various forms of violence such as genocide or ethnic cleansing.

Dr Ferguson suggested that all other major parties, excluding UKIP, highlighted the UK governmentís obligation to support the combatting of these forms of violence abroad as well as in the UK.

According to the report, several major parties recognised the importance of the halt of arms sales to regimes which perpetuate these kinds of violence. Since 2010 Britain has sold arms to 22 of the 30 countries on the UK government’s own human rights watch list.

Dr Ferguson stressed the importance of protecting populations abroad from increased levels of identity-based violence, emphasising the UK government has a responsibility towards marginalised groups in other countries. She said “Until this challenge can be viewed holistically, certain victim groups will fall through the gaps.”

The report also concluded that many of the commitments made in manifestos were only made in response to pressure from civil society, and do not indicate a wider commitment to protecting all victims of identity-based violence.

Discussing the findings, Dr Ferguson said ìWe would have liked to see more commitment to the sense of responsibility to protect all populations – whether here in the UK or overseas – from identity-based violence.”

Nonetheless, Dr Ferguson was “pleased to see a commitment to social cohesion and the protection of vulnerable groups acrosss the party manifestos.” She said “It is absolutely critical that the next UK government put this rhetoric into practice to promote a more unified society.”