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19 Nov 2008 : Column 657Wcontinued
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what records his Department holds of the number of UK nationals under the ages of (a) 18, (b) 25 and (c) 45 years who have died overseas in each of the last five years; 
(2) what records his Department holds on the number of (a) female and (b) male UK nationals who have died overseas in each of the last 10 years; 
(3) what records his Department holds on the number of UK nationals who have died abroad in suspicious circumstances in each of the last five years; 
(4) what records his Department holds on the number of female UK nationals who have died abroad in each month of the last two years; and what official cause of death was recorded on each occasion. 
Gillian Merron: This information is not held centrally, and to collate it would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many deaths of UK nationals abroad were the subject of further investigation by UK consuls in the last five years; 
(2) what powers (a) UK consuls and (b) his Department have to make inquiries deaths of UK citizens overseas. 
Gillian Merron: Foreign and Commonwealth Office consular staff, whether working overseas or in London, have no powers to investigate deaths overseas. Therefore, no deaths of UK nationals abroad have been the subject of further investigation by UK consuls in the last five years. However, we do make appropriate representations to the local authorities if there are concerns that their investigation is not being carried out in line with local procedures, or if there are justified complaints about discrimination against the person who has died or their family. Each case receives individual consideration.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) instruction and (b) guidance he issues to UK consuls on procedures to follow when a UK national is murdered overseas. 
Gillian Merron: The instruction and guidance given to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) consular staff on what to do in the event of the death of a British national overseas in suspicious circumstances is aimed to ensure that they provide the standards of support set out in our publications Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide, which can be found at
and in more detail in our Guide for Bereaved Families, which can be found at
Further guidance on procedures to follow is available to all consular staff. This guidance covers:
Reporting cases to Consular Directorate at the FCO in London, and providing regular updates.
If a death was violent or otherwise unnatural, warning families that the coroner will probably wish to hold an inquest if the body is repatriated to England and Wales.
The potential for involving a family liaison officer who may be deployed by the local police.
The need to give next of kin realistic expectations of when the body will be available for burial or cremation.
Maintaining regular contact with the local investigative authorities and keeping the family informed of developments, usually via consular directorate in London.
In suspicious deaths, where possible arranging for some samples to be taken, by appropriate medical staff, from the body before embalming.
Explaining to the family that we cannot investigate deaths ourselves.
The importance of not giving speculative opinions about the cause of death.
Providing information to next of kin on how to register the death.
Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by his Department on Plain English Campaign training courses for its staff in each year since 2005. 
Gillian Merron: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has not commissioned any training from the Plain English Campaign since 2005. The principles of Plain English are embedded in all our written communication courses.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms receives remuneration in respect of this role. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has asked Jack McConnell, Member of the Scottish Parliament to become his Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms. Mr. McConnell will be based in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), working with the FCO, Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence. His travel and other out of pocket expenses will be covered by the departments concerned.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil servants in his Department were seconded to work for (a) trades unions and (b) the Trades Union Congress in each year since 2003. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Ministers have visited the United States in the last 12 months on official business. 
Gillian Merron: There has been a significant amount of travel to the United States by Ministers in their official capacity over the past 12 months, and I will therefore write separately with the details.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received of the Uzbekistan Government allegedly contravening (a) the International Labour Organisation Convention on Minimal Age of Employment and (b) the Convention on Prohibition and Immediate Action for Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour; what steps his Department is taking in response; and if he will make a statement. 
We have been concerned by reports from our non-governmental organisations and informal monitoring by the United Nations Childrens Funds (UNICEF) representative in Uzbekistan that child labour has been used during this years cotton harvest. Our embassy in Tashkent is funding a project to establish stronger child labour monitoring systems to estimate the prevalence of child labour in remote rural cotton growing areas of Uzbekistan. The project aims to prevent
and combat child labour through informal education and vocational training. Our Embassy in Tashkent will also remain in regular contact with UNICEF.
We will continue to monitor the general human rights situation in Uzbekistan and to make known our concerns through a critical, but constructive dialogue with the Uzbek authorities. We welcome Uzbekistans recent ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on Minimal Age of Employment and the ILO Convention on Prohibition and Immediate Action for Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, and are ready to work with the Government of Uzbekistan in strengthening all aspects of human rights in Uzbekistan.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he has made to the appointment of 10 Zanu-PF provincial governors in Zimbabwe by means other than those agreed under the process sponsored by the South African Development Community. 
Gillian Merron: Robert Mugabes attempt to allocate ministerial portfolios and appoint provincial governors unilaterally runs counter to the spirit and letter of the political agreement signed with the two Movement for Democratic Change parties on 15 September. The UK with other EU member states has condemned these actions. We are supporting efforts to encourage a swift and equitable implementation of the agreement which reflects the will of the people of Zimbabwe as expressed in the 29 March election.