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Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the UK Government have made to the (a) Government of Colombia and (b) International Labour Organisation on the rights of trade unions to operate in Colombia. 
Mr. McCartney: I met with Colombian Vice President Santos at the UN Human Rights Council in March. While I welcomed the significant progress that Colombia had made, I pointed out that civil society and trade union development in Colombia continued to present big challenges.
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, has met with both British and Colombian trade unionists in the UK and Colombia. This close contact was enhanced during his visit to the region in September 2006 when he met again with trade unions in order to strengthen, links, learn from shared experiences and to demonstrate the importance the UK attaches to the role of civil society in Colombia. There was detailed discussions of the role of the new International Labour Organisation (ILO) office in Bogota, Colombia. Our Embassy in Bogota also regularly communicates with Colombian trade unions.
We remain concerned that threats against trade unionists and human rights defenders remain in Colombia. However, we are encouraged by the positive steps the Government of Colombia have been taking to improve the human rights situation. For example, a new unit of specialised prosecutors has been established to deal with cases of human rights abuses involving trade unionists, with greater resourcesa point specifically welcomed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in his report on Colombia, published on 15 March.
We continue to urge the Government of Colombia to meet their international obligations in regard to workers rights. But we believe that change can be best achieved through a supportive approach; and consider the ILOs Special Technical Co-operation Programme for Colombia to be one of the most effective ways of helping to bring about real and positive improvement in workers rights in that country. We are encouraged that the ILO has established an office in Colombia and hope that this will be a step forward in improving labour issues in the country.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has received on (a) proposals for the development of land in the Morphou area of Cyprus for tourist purposes and (b) proposals to distribute Greek Cypriot-owned land in the area to young Turkish settlers; and what steps she plans to take in response to the proposals. 
Mr. Hoon: We are aware of property development in the Morphou area, and have received representations from hon. Members, including the question tabled by my hon. Friend in February of last year. As explained in the response the previous Minister for Europe on 7 February 2006, Official Report, column 738, we maintain dialogue with the Turkish Cypriot community leaders on the issue of property, but are unable to control property development in northern Cyprus. We believe that the difficult and complex issue of property is only likely to be resolved in the context of a comprehensive settlement. To this end, we continue to urge both sides to engage constructively with the United Nations to enable settlement negotiations to start as soon as possible.
Mr. Hoon: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not formally met representatives from the European Movement since assuming her position, but I have had the opportunity to meet a range of contacts. For instance, in January 2007, I spoke at a panel-style debate organised by the European Movement as part of a series of Speak Up Europe debates being held across the European Union. On 22 March, I gave a keynote speech at a European Movement conference at Chatham House called Celebrating 50 years of the Treaty of Rome.
Mr. Hoon: Chancellor Merkel wrote to Heads of State and Government in January asking each member state to nominate a focal point and accompanying aide to liaise with the Presidency in their consultations in preparation for the 50th Anniversary Declaration. The UK focal points are Mr. Kim Darroch (Head of the Cabinet Office European Secretariat) and Ms Shan Morgan (EU Director in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office).
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there is a deadline for a formal response by the President of Sudan to the UN Secretary-Generals letter of 24 January requesting Sudanese agreement to the heavy support package of United Nations support to the African Union Mission in the Sudan; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The UN Secretary-General did not set a deadline for President Bashir to respond to his letter of 24 January. However, President Bashirs delay in doing so, and now his refusal to endorse the Heavy Support Package as agreed between the AU and UN, highlights Sudans reluctance to have the UN deploy in Darfur. This is part of a wider pattern of non-co-operation with the international community. The UK will be pushing for tougher measures in the Security Council against Sudan, including a country-wide arms embargo and further targeted sanctions.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the US Administration on their attempts to prevent Venezuela from attending the Community Democracies meeting in Malawi scheduled for June 2007. 
Mr. Hoon: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers and officials have made no representations to the US Administration on their position on Venezuelan attendance at the Community of Democracies meeting scheduled for Bamako, Mali, in November 2007.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were in receipt of both carers allowance and working tax credits in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans his Department has to ensure that single parents receive the same weekly rate of carers allowance as a parent living with a spouse, civil partner or another person; and if he will make a statement. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether regulations on time limits which apply to the collection of civil debts also apply to the collection by the Child Support Agency of historical arrears of child maintenance. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether regulations on time limits which apply to the collection of civil debts also apply to the collection by the Child Support Agency of historic arrears of child maintenance. 
When a non-resident parent has defaulted on child support payments, and arrears have accrued, as a result the Child Support Agency may instigate debt recovery by alternative measures such as of civil court action or by employing the services of an external collection agency. If the non-resident parent is employed then a Deduction from Earnings Order may be implemented to recover both ongoing child support maintenance and an amount towards arrears.
Although in England and Wales most civil debt is subject to the Statute of Limitations, the time bar relating to collection of child maintenance debt is determined by the Child Support (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, Regulation 28 (2A) as amended by the Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2006. When pursuing collection and enforcement through the courts this legislation has the effect of removing the 6 year limitation in respect of all amounts that became due after 12 July 2000. The Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973, limits the age of debt recoverable through the Scottish civil courts to twenty years.
Where a Deduction from Earnings Order has been implemented there is no time bar limiting the age of the arrears that can be recovered using this method.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of repeat applications for disability living allowance for under 18-year-olds (a) were down rated and (b) received no new award in the last period for which figures are available; what proportion of such applications were appealed in that period; and what proportion of those appeals were successful. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the take-up rate of disability living allowance for children; and if he will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of households in receipt of disability living allowance for a child receive it for (a) two children and (b) three or more children. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Full Employment Agency is a matter which we are discussing with the Scottish Executive. No estimate has been made by DWP of the cost of the number of staff who will be employed by the proposed agency.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of (a) all leavers, (b) female leavers and (c) male leavers from new deal 50 plus (i) found unsubsidised jobs and (ii) returned to jobseeker's allowance on leaving the programme in each year since 2000. 
|New deal 50 plus|
|Percentage of leavers with an immediate destination of:|
|Leavers||Year of leaving||Unsubsidised employment||Jobseekers allowance|
Information on the immediate destination of leavers from new deal 50 plus is only available from February 2004.
Figures are based on calendar years. Earliest data are for February 2004 and latest data are to May 2006.
Latest complete year data are to December 2005.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were on the New Deal 25 plus programme in each month since 1998; and how many were in the (a) Gateway and (b) Intensive Activity Period in each month. 
|New deal 25 plus|
|Of which, participating in:|
|Total participants||Gateway||Intensive activity period|
1. Information is only available from April 2001.
2. Gateway figures include people who have been invited to their first Gateway interview but who may not yet have attended the interview.
3. Participant figures include those on the follow-through stage of the programme which occurs after the intensive activity period.
4. Latest information is to August 2006.
5. Figures are rounded to nearest 10.
Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions.
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