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Zimbabwe

Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress towards restoring democracy in Zimbabwe. [60246]

Mr. MacShane: There is now a strong international consensus opposed to the actions of the Zimbabwe regime. We will work to strengthen that consensus, while supporting credible regional efforts (in particular the joint initiative of South Africa and Nigeria) to restore democratic legitimacy to Zimbabwe.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the adherence of the Zimbabwean Government to the constitution in respect of (a) section 18(1) on the protection of the law and (b) section 18(9) on entitlement to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent court. [60184]

Mr. MacShane: It would not be appropriate for me to comment on individual constitutional clauses in isolation. But we have made clear on numerous occasions our deep concern at the Zimbabwean authorities' campaign to undermine the rule of law in Zimbabwe, and its persistent failure to protect and enforce the Zimbabwean people's rights under the country's Constitution.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures have been taken to ensure that those who commit violations of human rights in Zimbabwe are brought to international justice; and if he will make a statement. [60407]

Mr. MacShane: The UK Government and its EU and other international partners will continue to focus international attention on abuses of human rights in Zimbabwe.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will come into force on 1 July 2002. The Court will not have retrospective jurisdiction over crimes alleged to have been committed before that date.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to prevent President Mugabe from buying (a) arms and (b) anti-riot gear for the internal security purposes. [60195]

Mr. MacShane: The UK imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe in May 2000. This is implemented by prohibiting the export of goods and technology on the Military List which forms Part III of Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended.

In addition, on 18 February 2002 the European Union agreed a Council Common Position (2002/145/CFSP) imposing targeted sanctions including a full arms embargo, and an embargo on the sale or supply to Zimbabwe of equipment which might be used for internal repression.

The embargo on the sale or supply to Zimbabwe of equipment which might be used for internal repression is implemented in the Community by Council Regulation 310–2002 and prohibits the export to Zimbabwe from the Community of equipment listed in Annex II of the regulation. This includes, 'anti-riot helmets', 'anti-riot shields', 'body armour, other than those manufactured to

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military standards or specifications', portable devices designed or modified for the purpose of riot control or self-protection by the administration of an incapacitating substance (such as tear gas or pepper sprays)'.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimates the Government have made of the number of economic refugees from Zimbabwe in (a) South Africa, (b) Zambia, (c) Botswana, (d) Mozambique, (e) Madagascar and (f) the United Kingdom. [60189]

Mr. MacShane: The South African authorities estimate that there are up to two million Zimbabweans resident in South Africa, the majority being in the north of the country.

No reliable figures are available on the total number of Zimbabweans in Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, or Madagascar.

As the United Kingdom does not require Zimbabweans to obtain entry visas, it is not possible to estimate the size of the resident Zimbabwean community in the UK. Last year, however, the Home Office received 2,085 applications for asylum from Zimbabweans.

Lakshmi Mittal

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2002, Official Report, column 255W, on meetings with Embassy staff, what the benefit to the United Kingdom, in foreign policy terms, was of the Lakshmi Mittal Romanian steel contract. [60551]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 11 June 2002]: I refer the right hon. Member to the answers given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 14 February 2002, Official Report, columns 610–12W.

Chagos Islands

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much revenue has been generated by the sale of licences to fishing boats fishing in Chagos Island waters in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [57249]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 11 June 2002]: Revenue generated by the sale of licences for fishing in BIOT waters during 2001–02 was £800,892. This figure has yet to be audited.

Honduras

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have taken place between his officials and representatives of the Government of Honduras in respect of the number of murders of street children; and if he will make a statement. [59243]

Mr. MacShane: We regularly raise our concerns over the distressing plight of street children in Honduras in the framework of our bilateral relations and in international fora. In May 2002, an official from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while in Honduras, raised the issue of human rights with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and visited a juvenile rehabilitation centre in Tegucigalpa.

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EU Ambassadors in Tegucigalpa recently invited the new Human Rights Commissioner to attend a meeting where the plight of street children in Honduras was discussed.

The Honduras Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), a good example of a British Government poverty reduction strategy for developing countries, is designed to integrate actions and commitments to tackle child poverty. Through the PRSP, HMG is committed to strengthening the role of the Honduran Institute for Children and the Family especially in assisting vulnerable children and adolescents; and to helping implement Honduras' National Plan for the Gradual and Progressive Eradication of Child Labour.

Civil Service Recruitment

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the answer of 22 April, Official Report, column 230W, on Civil Service recruitment, if he will place in the Library a copy of the questionnaire sent to staff requesting information about education details. [60665]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Yes.

Migrant Workers

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the (a) activities and (b) budget of the Administrative Commission of the European Communities on Social Security for Migrant Workers. [57899]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: I have been asked to reply.

The Administrative Commission on social security for migrant workers is set up under Articles 80 and 81 of EEC Regulation 1408–71, which lays down the rules for co-ordination of member states' social security schemes for workers who move within the European Economic Area. The Administrative Commission's main function is to deal with administrative questions and questions of interpretation of the provisions of Regulation 1408–71. This enables consistency in implementation across the member states. Among its other tasks are the fostering and development of cooperation between member states in social security matters. It may also submit proposals for revising the Regulation.

The Administrative Commission is currently considering a number of items: the proposed European health card; implications arising from decisions of the European Court of Justice; the EU-Switzerland agreement; changes to forms used by member states where a claim for a benefit involves more than one state; matters relating to the electronic issue of documents; proposals for amending the EC regulation on the co-ordination of social security benefits and applications from candidate countries to list certain benefits in the annexes to that regulation.

The budget of the Administrative Commission for the current year is 1.600,000 euros which includes the technical assistance and translation costs.

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INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Street Children

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects are supported by her Department designed to improve conditions for street children in Central American countries; and if she will make a statement. [59242]

Clare Short: A list of projects funded through DFID's Small Grants Scheme and Joint Funding Scheme has been placed in the Library of the House.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the inherent rights and entitlements needed to guarantee a child's right to survival, development and an adequate standard of living. It is crucial that development strategies in all counties address issues of child poverty and secure child entitlements.

Examples of our work in this area include implementation of the Honduras Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which is a good example of a government poverty reduction strategy, which integrates actions and commitments to tackle child poverty. Through the PRSP the Government has committed to strengthen the role of the Honduran Institute for Children and the Family especially to assist vulnerable children and adolescents; and to implement the National Plan for the Gradual and Progressive Eradication of Child Labour.

The European Commission is also funding projects in Central America with NGOs. In Honduras they are strengthening public agencies working with children at risk, training judges, police and community workers and NGOs working with children. In Nicaragua and Guatemala there are projects addressing the sexual exploitation of children. These programmes total 3.8 million euros (£2.4 million) of which the UK share is approximately 608,000 euros (£400,00).


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