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Lord Davies of Oldham: The latest statistics suggest the number of adults drinking more than double the recommended limits has decreased among men and
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What assessment the Department for Children, Schools and Families has made of representations by the Association of Directors of Childrens Services about the creation of new smaller unitary councils. [HL591]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The Association of Directors of Children's Services responded to the Government's stakeholder consultation on proposals for unitary local authorities in June. The consultation document made clear that the Government would consider all comments and representations carefully before taking final decisions on the proposals. We intend to take those final decisions shortly.
What representations they have made to the Government of Pakistan on the censorship of Geo TV by the United Arab Emirates authorities on news and views programmes; and whether they will make representations to the relevant authorities to allow broadcast of Urdu channels for the European and American diaspora communities. [HL444]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Our high commission in Islamabad is in contact with Geo TV, and the high commissioner met one of its directors in Karachi recently. Although we have not made specific representations about Geo TV to the authorities in Pakistan or Dubai, we continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to lift all media restrictions.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): For pupils who completed their GCSEs in 2007, their schools will have on average received £40,000 in real terms revenue funding per pupil over the 11 years of their schooling from the age of five to 15.
Of those pupils, approximately 5,800 failed to achieve any passes at all, therefore the estimate of the costs of educating those who finished compulsory schooling with no qualifications is approximately £234 million in real terms over the 11 years.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government regularly engage with all interested countries, including countries with mainly Muslim populations, regarding Somalia. Representations to predominantly Muslim states are made both bilaterally and through the League of Arab States, which is a member of the International Contact Group on Somalia. Further representations are made through the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and at the UN. UN agencies are the primary provider of humanitarian assistance in Somalia.
Lord Malloch-Brown: The Government make representations to the Government of Somalia regularly, together with international partners, through the statements and communiques of the International Contact Group on Somalia, the EU Presidency, EU Special Envoy, the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council.
The Government also make representations bilaterally. My noble friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, did so when he met President Yusuf in February 2007. Aside from ministerial contacts, our high commissioner in Nairobi regularly highlights humanitarian responsibilities to the transitional federal Government. Most recently, the high commissioner met President Yusuf in Nairobi on 9 November, including humanitarian responsibilities in their discussion.
Further to the Statement by the Lord President (Baroness Ashton of Upholland) on 14 November (Official Report, cols. 477-95), what action has been taken, by whom and when, effectively to monitor the treatment of the nine foreign terrorist suspects repatriated under existing agreements with recipient countries; what specific arrangements will be made in the light of experience with existing agreements in any new agreements; and whether they will in future regularly make available reports on such monitoring. [HL349]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We have signed Memoranda of Understanding concerning the provision of assurances in respect of persons subject to deportation with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon. Arrangements allowing deportations with assurances (DWA) are also in place with Algeria on the basis of an exchange of letters, signed by the former Prime Minister the right honourable Tony Blair and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on 11 July 2006 and exchanges of diplomatic Notes Verbale.
To date, eight Algerian terrorist suspects have been deported to Algeria under these arrangements. Individual assurances were also sought in each case, concerning their treatment on return and criminal status in Algeria. A ninth individual holding dual Algerian/French nationality was deported to France outside the framework of the DWA arrangements.
There is no formal monitoring body in Algeria. Individuals deported from the UK under the DWA arrangements may remain in touch with our embassy in Algiers after their return and were invited to provide details of next of kin or an alternative contact point in Algeria. In turn they were provided with a contact point at the embassy and it was explained that they, or their nominated contact point, could maintain contact with the embassy after their return to Algeria. To date, two individuals have taken up this offer. Further to any deportation under these arrangements, UK officials also maintain close contact with the Algerian authorities.
What will be the impact on (a) the voluntary recording of archaeological finds by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and (b) the operation of the Treasure Act 1996 if the scheme's budget is reduced to the same extent that the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's budget is being cut. [HL371]
The PAS is of national importance and the MLA is committed to seeing it thrive and evolve. The MLA will continue to work with the British Museum and other stakeholders to build on the success the scheme has had in its goal of advancing archaeological knowledgefor finders, museums and, most importantly, the wider public.
The MLA believes the scheme fits with the wider Renaissance in the Regions agenda and intends to maintain current levels of support for 2008-09, while considering options for future funding in the context of wider priorities for museum collections and public participation.
What assessment they have made of the 7,500 complaints of torture and cruel or inhuman treatment documented by the Uganda Human Rights Commission; and when they last raised the issue of Uganda's record on torture and human rights abuses with President Yoweri Museveni. [HL501]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Uganda Human Rights Commission registered a total of 2,901 complaints about torture and cruel or inhuman treatment in Uganda between 1997 and 2006. In 2006 the commission experienced a decline in the number of complaints.
We continue regularly to raise human rights issues with the Government of Uganda. The UK takes an active role in Kampala in the Partners for Democracy and Governance Group (PDG) and its sub-group the Human Rights Working Group. Both groups regularly raise concerns with both the Ugandan Government and civil society. Human rights issues were last raised through the PDG with the Foreign Minister of Uganda on 24 October 2007. I raised these issues with Foreign Minister Kutesa during his visit to the UK in July 2007.
Whether they have made an assessment of the report by Human Rights Watch Nowhere to Turn, published in November, concerning torture and ill treatment in Uzbekistan; if so, what is their response; and what action they are taking. [HL376]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, Nowhere to Turn, assesses Uzbekistan's record on torture, co-operation with the UN agencies and new legislation in preparation. It looks at the effectiveness of current legislation, the complaints mechanism and punishment for perpetrators, the criminal justice system and the actual behaviour of law enforcement and others. The report goes on to provide details of individual cases. These details tally with the reports that we receive in Tashkent from victims, their families and lawyers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
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The issue of torture continues to form part of our dialogue on human rights with the Uzbek authorities. During the EU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue in May 2007, the EU expressed its concern at persistent reports that torture continues to be widespread. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 2006 annual human rights report also details our concerns. We stand ready to assist Uzbekistan to fulfil its obligations under the convention against torture. For example, our embassy in Tashkent funded the participation of an Uzbek human rights NGO at the UN committee against torture session on Uzbekistan. We will also continue to work with the Uzbek authorities towards improved respect for human rights in other areas; for example with the implementation of recent legislation on the abolition of the death penalty and the introduction of habeas corpus.
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