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John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on addressing the needs of street children. 
Ian Pearson: The UK regularly reminds the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities of the need to protect the rights of all vulnerable groups, including street children. The UK contributes to programmes through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children and other non-governmental organisations which aim to protect children. We maintain close and regular contact with the DRC President's ambassador for children, and will continue to work with civil society groups and the Congolese Government to push for further action to bring those who abuse children to justice. We will continue to urge the DRC Government to take more action on child welfare.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by his Department to support and promote reform of the (a) security sector and (b) army in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
Ian Pearson: Effective security sector reform is essential in ensuring long-term resolution of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in the great lakes region. It is a UK priority. We are providing experts to the EU's Security Sector Reform Mission which offers advice to the DRC Government on integrating rebel factions into a unified army, on options for longer term comprehensive security sector reform and which is also implementing a military pay and administration reform project to ensure monthly salaries reach the soldiers on the ground. The UK is allocating approximately £5 million to support soldiers and their families in the newly integrated brigades, and an additional £3 million this year to other army-related interventions. We have contributed US $25 million over five years to the regional Multi-Country Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration Programme, through which DRC's national disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme is funded, £9 million to a multi-donor police reform project, and £2 million to a justice reform project in the war-affected east of the country, an integral part of which will be support to the military justice system.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on (a) prohibiting physical and sexual abuse of children by law enforcement personnel, (b) creating child protection units in all major cities, (c) outlawing
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churches which practise abusive child deliverance ceremonies and (d) providing rehabilitative centres for children as an alternative to prison. 
Ian Pearson: The UK frequently reminds the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) authorities of the need to protect the rights of all vulnerable groups, especially children, and to bring to justice all perpetrators of abuse. We and EU colleagues have focused on eliminating abuses committed by security personnel. On 23 January, we and international partners presented President Kabila with a dossier of serious abuses committed by Congolese soldiers, which hon. Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group followed up on 6 April. We continue to support the UN Peacekeeping Mission's work in the human rights field, including their child protection units in major cities.
As part of our presidency of the EU, the UK led an initiative to raise awareness of the problem of so-called child witches" in DRC. We continue to work with the UN, civil society groups, established churches and the Congolese Government to address this problem and bring those who abuse children to justice. The UK has contributed to training programmes for justice sector workers, which includes training on child protection and the proper treatment of children within the justice system.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he will consider the result of the forthcoming referendum in Gibraltar to approve the new constitution as an act of self-determination for the purposes of Government policy on Gibraltar. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 24 April 2006]: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear in his written ministerial statement on 27 March 2006, Official Report, columns 4446W, the new constitution confirms that the people of Gibraltar have the right of self-determination.
The value of bilateral trade with India for goods and services in 2004 was approximately £6.41 billion (2005 figures will be released in July 2006). This was an increase from £5.91 billion in 2003. UK exports to India show a 25.4 per cent. increase to December 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.
To further strengthen bilateral commercial ties the Government have worked with its Indian counterparts in creating the Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO). Under JETCO the UK and Indian governments are working on the main action points to enhance bilateral trade and investment in specific sectors.
The Government also supports the private sector led Indo-British Partnership Network (IBPN). The main objectives of the IBPN are to provide a networking forum for all UK businesses interested in trade between India and the UK; to identify ways for UK firms to better access the India market and to inform government of the private sector's view of the barriers to trade between the two countries.
Ian Pearson: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the key Government body tasked with attracting inward investment into the UK. It works in partnership with the Regional Development Agencies and the Devolved Administrations. UKTI is focusing its efforts on attracting high tech investments to ensure that the UK meets the challenges and opportunities of globalisation and remains the No. 1 location in Europe for inward investment.
As part of the budget announcement on 22 March 2006, it was announced that UKTI is to take responsibility for co-ordinating a new drive to market the UK internationally as a business centre and to take the lead in a new strategy to attract Research and Development business into the UK.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received concerning the independence of trade unions in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
In June 2005, I met a delegation from the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions and the Iraqi Kurdistan General Workers during their visit to the UK. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials met Iraqi trade union representatives at our Embassy in Baghdad in February 2006.
Article 22 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees the right of Iraqis to form and join unions and professional associations. However, the Iraqi transitional Government issued Decree 8750 on 8 August 2005, which froze union finances while a new law on trade unions was developed. Unfortunately the hiatus in forming a new government and Parliament has also delayed the legislative programme. The freeze on finances is therefore still in force.
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Our embassy in Baghdad raised our concerns about citizens' fundamental right to form trade unions with the Iraqi Minister for Industry in September 2005 and with the Ministry of Civil Society in November 2005. We will continue to raise this issue with the new government, when it has formed.
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