State hostage-taking, where individuals are arbitrarily detained by foreign governments for diplomatic leverage, involves serious violations of human rights, including the right not to be subjected to torture and ill-treatment, the right to liberty and a fair trial, and in some cases the right to life. According to the UK Foreign Affairs Committee, the use of State hostage-taking is increasing internationally. However, the UK lacks a comprehensive strategy to ensure the safe return of hostages, resulting in ad hoc efforts which fail to acknowledge the systemic nature of the issue while delivering inconsistent outcomes. This briefing highlights the urgency of addressing this issue and makes recommendations that aim to prevent British nationals being exploited as pawns and instrumentalised by States as part of a practice where they are at risk of torture and ill-treatment.