Previous Section Index Home Page

17 July 2006 : Column 58W—continued

Tobacco Control

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made on the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control since it entered into force on 27 February 2005; and if he will make a statement. [84873]

Mr. Thomas: The UK was one of the first to ratify the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC): 168 countries have now done so. Since the adoption of the convention, the WHO FCTC secretariat has been working to ensure that as many countries as possible sign and ratify the treaty through awareness-raising among politicians, policy-makers, health professionals and society at large. Regional and national consultations to assist
17 July 2006 : Column 59W
countries in preparing for the ratification and implementation of the WHO Framework FCTC have taken place. The WHO Tobacco-Free Initiative is also providing technical support to countries to assist them with implementation.

In order to support the development of a strong FCTC and combat tobacco industry disinformation, an alliance of non-governmental organizations from around the world has been formed. Now comprising more than 200 groups from more than 90 countries, the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) is playing a key role in educating policymakers and strengthening cooperation across borders.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action the Government are taking to help reduce tobacco use in the developing world. [84874]

Mr. Thomas: The health impacts of tobacco use in developing countries are of increasing concern. By 2030, tobacco will be responsible for ten million deaths per year, and 70 per cent. of these deaths will be in the developing world. The UK is taking action to address this problem.

Firstly, the UK played a key role in negotiating and ratifying the WHO'S Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which sets international standards on tobacco price and tax increases, tobacco advertising and sponsorship, labelling, illicit trade and second-hand smoke among others. Secondly, we have recently given the International Development Research Centre a £1.1 million grant over 3 years for research into effective tobacco control policies and programmes that will minimize the threat of tobacco production and consumption to health and human development in developing countries. Thirdly, we provide advice to tobacco-dependent poor countries on constraints to their economic development and the livelihoods of their citizens.

As a final point, DFID's focus on improving health systems will impact on the adverse health effects of
17 July 2006 : Column 60W
tobacco. We are currently revising our health strategy and looking at whether we should be doing more on tobacco control. As part of developing our strategy, we are specifically commissioning some work to help guide us in this area.

Trade Matters

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was of (a) producing and (b) distributing the booklet, “Trade Matters”. [84373]

Mr. Thomas: Freer and fairer trade is vital for poverty reduction, and “Trade Matters” is DFID’s most popular downloaded publication. So far 150,000 copies have been printed in hard copy at a cost of around 64p a copy, totalling some £96,214. It would incur a disproportionate cost to disaggregate specific costs of distribution from the general costs of distributing all DFID publications. However, DFID has spent £26,928 on the promotion of Trade Matters, with flyers in The Independent, New Statesman, Big Issue in the North, Sunday Herald, The Grocer, SAGA magazine, and the full publication in the Women’s Institute magazine.


Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many internally displaced people there are in the former Republic of Yugoslavia, broken down by (a) current state boundary and (b) ethnic group; and if he will make a statement. [84137]

Mr. Thomas: According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the following numbers of people were internally displaced (IDPs) in the former Republic of Yugoslavia as of the end of 2005. The UNHCR does not have data on ethnic origin.

Country Refugees(1) Asylum seekers( 2) Returned Refugees( 3) IDPs( 4) Returned IDPs( 5) Stateless Persons( 6) Various( 7) Total

Bosnia and Herzegovina















Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo)













The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia






(1) Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. (2 )Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure. (3) Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the calendar year. Source: Country of origin and country of asylum. (4) Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. (5 )IDPs of concern to UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the calendar year. (6) Persons who are not considered nationals by any country under the operation of its laws. (7) Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns (in the case of Serbia, local residents deemed at risk by UNHCR). Source UNHCR 2005 Global Refugee Trends.

17 July 2006 : Column 61W


NHS Operations

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 798, on NHS operations, on what date figures showed that 768 Welsh patients had been waiting for more than six months for treatment in an English hospital. [85165]

Mr. Hain: Statistics Wales released figures on 28 June 2006 relating to NHS hospital waiting times as at 31 May 2006. These figures show that 768 Welsh patients were waiting for more than six months for inpatient and day care treatment at non-Welsh NHS Trusts.

Further information can be found at Folders.aspx

Sickness Absence

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2006, Official Report, column 571W, on sickness absence, how many staff in his Department have had two or more periods of sick leave of less than five days in two or more of the last three years. [84032]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office does not collect this information in this way, and obtaining this information could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

Home Department

Human Trafficking

4. Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Government plan to sign the Council of Europe convention on action against trafficking in human beings. [85248]

Mr. Coaker: The UK is currently considering whether to sign the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Human Trafficking. The Government are examining how the convention’s approach could best be harmonised with effective immigration controls. The responses to the recent consultation paper on a proposed UK Action Plan on trafficking in humans will assist the Government in taking a decision on signature.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency, together with the new UK Human Trafficking Centre, is at the forefront of tackling human trafficking within Europe. We have today launched a consultation paper setting out a further package of measures, such as increased data sharing and organised crime civil orders, aimed at helping law enforcement agencies better target and disrupt the activities of organised criminals.

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department has taken through (a) education programmes and (b) public campaigns to raise awareness of human trafficking. [82669]

17 July 2006 : Column 62W

Mr. Coaker: One of the aims of the recent police led multi-agency operation (called Operation Pentameter) which aimed at tackling trafficking for sexual exploitation was to raise awareness of the issue among the public and key stakeholders to be followed by a series of enforcement campaigns across the country. Examples of materials produced by Pentameter include posters in ports of entry in a variety of different languages and leaflets handed out to passengers at ports highlighting the dangers of trafficking.

Work abroad is also undertaken by the Home Office, in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development to prevent trafficking by investing in projects in key source and transit countries to raise awareness of trafficking.

In the recent consultation on proposals for a UK Action Plan on Human Trafficking views were invited on how to raise awareness among potential trafficking victims about the risks of being trafficked. A summary of responses was published on 21 June and the suggestions put forward will be considered in developing the final UK action plan to be published later in the year.

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding will be allocated to the UK Human Trafficking Centre in each of the next five years. [82667]

Mr. Coaker: The total amount of funding for UK policing, provided directly from the Home Office (Project Reflex) amounts to £5.7 million per annum and is allocated until 2008. The UK Human Trafficking Centre will be funded from within this.

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Right of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography to be ratified by the UK. [77174]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Office is undertaking a review to determine the extent to which the United Kingdom complies with the Articles set out in the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Government is keen to ratify the Optional Protocol as soon as possible but also wants to ensure that there are no gaps in the measures which exist to protect children in the way the Protocol intended. Once the Government are confident that the United Kingdom is fully compliant, the Optional Protocol will be ratified.

Community Support Officers

22. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to fill the projected budgetary shortfall between his Department’s grant to fund extra police community support officers in Northamptonshire and the cost of employing them. [85268]

John Reid: The delivery of 16,000 police community support officers nationally by next April, with 138 of
17 July 2006 : Column 63W
these in Northamptonshire, will be a significant boost to neighbourhood policing and tackling the Respect Agenda. The funding of PCSOs comes from general police funding, pooled Government grant in the Neighbourhood Renewal and Safer and Stronger Communities Fund, funding by partners in community safety and specific grant from the Home Office, not simply the latter as the hon. Gentleman has mentioned. Even so, we will be giving Northamptonshire Police Authority nearly £1.6 million of new money this year in the Neighbourhood Policing Fund.

Alcohol Exclusion Zones

Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of alcohol exclusion zones in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour; and if he will make a statement. [85260]

Mr. Coaker: No research has been undertaken into the effectiveness of designated public place orders (DPPOs) as they tend to form just one part of a wider local strategy for tackling alcohol-related antisocial behaviour. However, of the 184 local authority areas that have adopted DPPOs, 72 have more than one in place suggesting that the orders are helping police deal with the problem of alcohol misuse.

A series of alcohol misuse enforcement campaigns have targeted alcohol-related crime and disorder since 2004 through the use of fixed penalty notices and test-purchasing operations. Antisocial behaviour orders, contracts and dispersal powers are also powerful tools in dealing with antisocial behaviour or alcohol related disorder on our streets.

Biometric Passports

Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to allow people to pay for the new biometric passport in instalments. [85263]

Joan Ryan: Identity fraud costs the UK economy at least £1.7 billion each year and we have set up a public-private sector work programme to tackle all aspects of this problem. Our plans for a National Identity Scheme will also provide people with a highly secure means of protecting their identity.

Crime Reporting

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether arrangements are in place for the public (a) in Redbridge, (b) in Waltham Forest and (c) in England and Wales to report a crime to a third party for onward communication to the police; and if he will make a statement. [78555]

Mr. McNulty: Members of the public can report “non-emergency” crime and hate crime/incidents to a third party online via the national Police Portal ( Incident specific forms are available that seek information from the public. The information is then sent to the force in whose area the alleged crime is committed. Visitors to the portal are advised to dial 999 in an emergency.

17 July 2006 : Column 64W


Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many doctors have applied for work permits to complete their medical training in compliance with the newly introduced requirement; and if he will make a statement. [85259]

Mr. Byrne: I am advised that up to 13 July 2006 there have been 495 work permit applications for doctors to undertake medical training under the newly introduced requirement.

Next Section Index Home Page