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Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children were detained in custody after their earliest release date due to a lack of other accommodation in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: The data requested are not collected centrally and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost as it would be necessary to analyse the early release records of all under-18 custodial establishments manually.
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess whether any children were refused early release because the Youth Justice Board failed to keep its guidance and forms up to date in the last two years. 
Mr. Hanson: The Youth Justice Board (YJB) believes all establishments follow the most up to date rules and has no evidence to suggest that young people have been denied early release because of out of date guidance or forms.
Revised guidance setting out new criteria for the electronically monitored early release of young people serving a detention and training order was circulated to the governors of young offenders institutes, directors of secure childrens homes and directors of secure training centres in May 2002. A slightly amended version of this guidance (which did not change the criteria) was circulated in May 2003.
Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions the Chief Executive of the Youth Justice Board has held with the School Food Trust on the application of new nutritional standards to children in custody. 
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many personnel are involved in poppy crop eradication and diversification in Helmand Province; and what their targets are for 2007. 
Poppy eradication in Helmand Province is performed by Afghans in the Poppy Eradication Force (PEF) and in the Governor Led Eradication
(GLE) forces. There are approximately 615 personnel in the PEF. Governor Wafa has not confirmed how many personnel he will commit to the GLE force this year.
UK personnel do not conduct eradication, but do provide support to the planning and targeting work. Implementation of eradication is the responsibility of the Afghan Government. No eradication targets have been set for Helmand for 2008.
The Governments main involvement in livelihoods diversification in Helmand is through the Department for International Development (DFID)funded Helmand Agriculture and Rural Development Programme (HARDP). This is a three-year programme designed to increase the economic opportunities for rural poor people in Helmand, including those that make a living from growing poppy. Activities include construction of rural roads, wells and latrines; provision of legal credit; support for small-scale community development projects; and agricultural support. The overall target for the programme is to deliver improved livelihood opportunities for 590,000 people by the end of the third year.
HARDP is managed by the four-person DFID Livelihoods team based in Kabul. Additional programme support is provided by the three-person DFID Helmand team which is split between Kabul and Lashkar Gah. However, actual implementation is carried out by the Ministry for Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), and by a number of non-governmental organisations working under the auspices of MRRD and the Ministry for Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to end the illegal drugs trade in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: As Afghanistan's G8 "partner nation" on counter narcotics, the UK is helping the Afghan Government to improve the implementation of their National Drug Control Strategy, spending £290 million over three years on counter narcotics measures.
In August, my right and noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, announced the UK's new package of activities, aimed at tackling the drugs trade in Afghanistan. This includes:
enhanced interdiction, to disrupt the operations of influential traffickers and weaken their links to the insurgency. We will be allocating an additional £22.5 million for the Afghan interdiction forces;
greater focus on military support to counter narcotics. We will be working with the International Security Assistance Force to do more to maximise military support for counter narcotics operations within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation rules of engagement;
more support for counter narcotics criminal justice. The UK announced an extra £2 million at the Rome Rule of Law Conference in June;
better eradication. Afghan eradication forces need to improve. We will be working with the United States to assist them;
expanding the Good Performers Initiative to provide an incentive for governors to reduce cultivation in their provinces. We will be putting in £3.3 million; and
an extensive Afghan Government information campaign designed to convince farmers not to plant poppy. This is currently under way.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) the human rights situation and (b) democratic reform in Belarus; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government continue to be concerned about the lack of respect for human rights in Belarusin particular, the intimidation of civil society activists, detention of political prisoners and the situation of minority groups. Trade unions also face major difficultiesan International Labour Organisation Commission of Inquiry concluded that many of the basic civil liberties of trade union members and leaders in Belarus have been seriously infringed. The European Commission, fully supported by member states, conducted its own investigation which confirmed these findings leading to the temporary suspension of the Generalised System of Preferences from Belarus in June this year. We also take every opportunity to express our continuing concerns about Belarus human rights record with the Belarusian authorities and within the UN Human Rights Council and the UNs Third Committee, Human Rights.
It is encouraging that the recent opposition rally on 14 October was allowed to take place and that the security services had exercised restraint, but that the march was preceded by a wave of arrests and confiscation of property and materials on spurious grounds is of concern.
The UK and EU are committed to supporting democratisation and demonstrating to the people of Belarus the benefits of closer co-operation. The UK and EU have stated that they are willing to deepen the relationship with Belarus, but the Belarusian authorities must clearly demonstrate their respect for democratic values, fundamental rights and the rule of law.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has funded projects over the past two years in a number of key human rights areas, principally through the Global Opportunities Fund Reuniting Europe programme and the Devolved Programme Budget. Projects have focussed on local grassroots democracy building and youth participation in democracy activities. Funding has also been provided to expand the knowledge and understanding of human rights law, and provide assistance to local non-governmental organisations and independent media. We will, in co-operation with our partners in the EU and US, continue to help develop civil society and will look for every opportunity to improve contacts at official levels.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the recent attempts by right wing
separatists and business leaders in the Santa Cruz province of Bolivia to disrupt international air transport flying from Viru-Viru Airport. 
Dr. Howells: We are aware of recent developments surrounding Viru-Viru airport, including reports of violence. This is a matter for the Bolivian authorities, though we hope that such disputes can be resolved amicably and peacefully.
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary and senior officials have repeatedly called for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners and remaining political detainees without condition, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
Working with our partners on the UN Security Council and in the EU, we helped ensure that both the UN Security Council Presidential Statement issued on 11 October and the European Council conclusions on 18 October called for the regime to begin a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi.
We are encouraged that UN Special Envoy Professor Ibrahim Gambari was able to meet Aung San Suu Kyi on 30 September and that since then Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed to leave her residence and meet with Burmese Government officials. Professor Gambari returns to Rangoon shortly and we hope we shall soon see the start of a genuine process of national reconciliation in which Aung San Suu Kyi plays a full part.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he has taken to encourage the (a) protection and (b) release of protestors imprisoned following recent events in Burma; 
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary and I have repeatedly called for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners and remaining political detainees without condition and to respect the human rights of Burmese citizens. Our ambassador in Rangoon travelled to the new capital, Pyinmana, on 25 September and 23 October to emphasise these messages.
We have pushed the regime to allow the entry of United Nations Special rapporteur on Human Rights, Professor Sergio Pinheiro, to the country to make his own assessment of the human rights situation in the country, including the welfare of political prisoners. We worked with EU partners to ensure that the special session of the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on Burma on 2 October, including a call on the regime to admit Professor Pinheiro.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps the Government have taken to strengthen mechanisms for the reporting of human rights violations in Burma; 
Meg Munn: Human rights is at the heart of our Burma policy. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made a written ministerial statement on 8 October 2007, Official Report, columns 12-15WS, on the situation in Burma. He issued a further statement on 11 October in response to the presidential statement, unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on 11 October, which the UK co-sponsored. This was the first formal action ever taken by the Security Council on Burma and called upon the Government of Burma to release all political prisoners and take all other measures to address human rights issues.
The belated decision of the Burmese Government on 23 October to agree to a visit by the UN Secretary-Generals special rapporteur for human rights in Burma, Professor Sergio Pinheiro is a positive step. We hope Professor Pinheiro will be able to visit soon and call upon the Burmese regime to co-operate fully with him so that he is able to fulfil the mandate of the Human Rights Council Resolution passed on 2 October. The resolution, sponsored by the EU, with the strong support of the UK, expressed deep concern about the situation in Burma. In our statement to the Human Rights Council, we drew attention to the regime's violations, including restrictions on the freedom of speech and association, and the suffering of Burma's ethnic communities. We have voiced our concern about the lack of co-operation the Burmese Government has given to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and call on the regime to grant urgent access to the ICRC so that they can resume their much needed activities in supporting human rights on the ground.
On 15 October, the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council called for a thorough and impartial investigation of the deaths of demonstrators, imprisonment of protesters and other continuing violations of human rights. In response to the Burmese Government's failure to exercise restraint in their treatment of the demonstrators, the Council of the EU agreed to implement stronger restrictive measures against the regime. The strengthened measures include a ban on the import of metals, minerals, timber and semi-precious stones and a ban on investment in these sectors. These measures are designed to target the interests of the Generals, rather than harm the people of Burma.
Earlier this year, a memorandum of understanding was agreed between the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Burmese Government which allows civilians to report on forced labour cases to the ILO representative in Rangoon. We hope the ILO will be able to continue working without interference by the regime.
We consistently raise human rights with the Burmese regime and we have pushed for strong resolutions on Burma at the Human Rights Council and UN General Assembly, Third Committee. Our ambassador in Rangoon has also highlighted our concerns in his meetings with the Burmese Government on an ongoing basis, most recently on 24 October.
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretarys statement of 11 October made it clear that we strongly deplore the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators and the wave of arrests that have followed. There has been an unprecedented degree of international condemnation.
Only a genuine process of national reconciliation, involving Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, all concerned parties and ethnic groups, will allow Burma to move towards greater stability and prosperity. The UN is working hard to achieve this and we are giving the fullest possible backing to their efforts.
Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Cypriot authorities on (a) restoring dispossessed Turkish Cypriots to their former homes and (b) paying them compensation following rejection by the Republic of Cyprus of the UN plan for a settlement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The issue of property in Cyprus is complex, with many Cypriots from both communities unable to return to their homes. Ultimately, we believe that this difficult issue is only likely to be fully resolved in the context of a comprehensive settlement. In this context, we continue to urge both sides to engage constructively with the UN to enable settlement negotiations to start as soon as possible.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the condition of (a) mosques, (b) Muslim shrines and (c) Muslim cemeteries in the Republic of Cyprus; and if he will
make it his policy to request the Cypriot authorities to protect such sites from damage; 
(2) if he will make it his policy to support the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot Government to protect and restore the architectural heritage of Northern Cyprus, including Christian monuments. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Pending reunification, preserving the cultural heritage of Cyprus, including Muslim sites in the south and Christian sites in the north, remains an issue of great importance. Our high commission in Nicosia maintains dialogue with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots on this issue. We welcome all efforts aimed at protecting and restoring religious heritage in Cyprus on both sides of the Green Line. The UN led process envisaged by the 8 July Agreement would provide a framework in which the issue of preserving cultural heritage could be discussed and addressed by the two communities.
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