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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: As my right honourable friend the Minister for Europe answered in another place on 12 March (Official Report, Col 291W), the Government of Gibraltar have established a 2004 Tercentenary Committee. We shall consider carefully the question of UK government participation in commemorative events. There have been informal exchanges between Foreign Office officials and the Gibraltar Government on this matter, but we have received no request for general assistance. Rebo
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: All internationally legally binding treaties and agreements concluded by the UK with the US (and those concluded by the UK with any other States) are published and registered with the UN Secretary-General. This practice will equally apply to treaties which have been recently concluded and for which publication and registration is therefore pending. There are other forms of agreement where there is no obligation for the UK to either publish or register with
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Prime Minister stated in another place on 2 April 2003 that he takes anything that President Mubarak says extremely seriously. Her Majesty's Government believe that the question of how the conflict in Iraq turns out in the Arab and Muslim world will be dependent on what happens once this conflict is won. If people can see that the Iraqi people are given freedom, the ability to have a proper representative government and protection on human rights and are able to enjoy their prosperity, we believe that across the Arab and Muslim world the message will be positive.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): It is the general policy of the Home Office not to disclose any information it may hold on an individual or their immigration status to third parties. Joan
Lord Filkin: A United Kingdom passport is recorded as unavailable when it is not in the possession of the rightful bearer but has been neither lost nor stolen. One example of this would be when the passport has been submitted to a third party to assist in confirming identity and the bearer has an urgent travel requirement.
Through developments in the passport issuing system it will shortly be possible to provide figures which distinguish between passports recorded as having been stolen and those recorded as lost or unavailable. These figures will go back to November 2001 when the implementation of the current passport issuing system was completed.
As part of its fraud action plan the UK Passport Service is developing a comprehensive system for reporting, recording and disseminating information relating to passports which have been lost, stolen or recovered. This system will be operational by the end of this year and will be extended to UK passport issuing posts abroad and to the United Kingdom Immigration Service. This system will enable a number of reports to be produced including those that distinguish between passports recorded as having been lost and stolen. The new system will not include the category "unavailable". lynne
Lord Filkin: There is no charge levied by the United Kingdom Passport Service on people who report their passports lost, stolen or unavailable other than the fee required to replace the passport. The Passport Service operates on a net running cost regime and all its costs are recovered through passport fees.
Lord Filkin: Yes, the records held by the United Kingdom Passport Service make it possible to establish when an individual has reported their passport as being lost, stolen or unavailable on more than one occasion.
Lord Filkin: Dungavel House in Lanarkshire is an immigration removal centre for the detention of individuals held under the Immigration Acts. The facility, formerly HMP Dungavel, was acquired from the Scottish Prison Service in February 2001 and as an immigration detention centre in November of that year. By definition, individuals detained there are held in custody and may not leave the centre.
As at 28 December 2002, the date of the most recent published statistics available, there were 80 individuals recorded as detained at Dungavel, of whom 55 were recorded as having sought asylum at some stage. Those figures are not broken down by age. However, a one-off exercise on 2 April 2003 recorded that there were 21 children detained at Dungavel, of whom 15 were of school age, ie aged 5-16 years.
A programme of individually tailored education, developed with advice from the local education authority, is available to all school age children of family groups detained at Dungavel. The Scottish national curriculum provides the framework on which the education programme is based and it includes classes in subjects such as English, maths, science, food technology and history. Classes in music and art are also provided. We are satisfied that the education programme is sufficient to meet the needs of a constantly changing number of children of variable ages and abilities, most of whom will remain at Dungavel only for a very short period. Rebo
Lord Filkin: The latest available data on the number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers relate to 28 December 2002. As at that date 1,145 people were in detention, 795 of whom were recorded as having sought asylum at some stage. The number of those held in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and in Prison Service establishments therein are given in the table. At this date there were no asylum seekers recorded as being in detention in Wales.
|All asylum seekers(2)||Of whom, in Prison Service Establishments|
(1) Figures rounded to nearest five. With * denoting 1 or 2, and excludes persons in dual detention.
(2) Persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers who are recorded as having sought asylum at some stage.
The routine use of Prison Service accommodation for immigration detaineees ended at the beginning of 2002, but it remains necessary to hold small numbers of detainees in prison for reasons of control and security. The figure of 110 may also include individuals who are held pending deportation after completion of custodial sentences.
Information on Immigration Act detainees as at
29 March 2003 will be published on 30 May 2003 on
the Home Office Research, Development
and Statistics Directorate web-site at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds./immigration1.html.