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For operations in Iraq, between 1 January 2006 and 15 April 2007, 866 UK military or civilian personnel were evacuated for medical reasons. Over the same period, 164 UK military or civilian personnel have been admitted to UK Field Hospitals classified as
wounded in action, of whom 24 were listed as Very Seriously Injured or Wounded and 34 were Seriously Injured or Wounded.
For operations in Afghanistan, between 1 January 2006 and 15 April 2007, 367 UK military or civilian personnel were evacuated for medical reasons. Over the same period, 132 UK military or civilian personnel have been admitted to UK Field Hospitals classified as wounded in action, of whom 18 were listed as Very Seriously Injured or Wounded and 16 were Seriously Injured or Wounded.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the outcome was of the investigation into the shooting of demonstrators for jobs at Al-Amarah in January 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Des Browne: Members of the 1st Battalion of the Light Infantry deployed to a riot in Al-Amarah on 10 January 2004 to assist the Iraqi police. Two Iraqis were shot by UK forces, one of whom died. Both were preparing to throw grenades, having already thrown other grenades or explosive devices at UK vehicles, and were a threat to our forces and to local Iraqi civilians.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training in human rights legislation was given to (a) UK troops and (b) private military companies engaged by the UK before they commenced activities in Iraq; and whether private military companies operating at the request of the UK Government are regarded as public authorities for the purpose of the Human Rights Act 1998. 
Des Browne [holding answer 23 April 2007]: Prior to deploying on operations, all armed forces personnel are given training which includes Law of Armed Conflict and theatre-specific operational law and cultural awareness briefings. Once personnel have deployed, an in-theatre briefing is delivered which reinforces the previous training and updates them on any subsequent developments.
The MOD has not employed any private military or security companies in Iraq and therefore has not been involved in the delivery of training to their personnel, or in determining their status in respect to the Human Rights Act 1998.
Mr. Ingram: On 30 March 2007 Secretary of State for Defence announced the intention to acquire six Merlin helicopters from Denmark and the modification of eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters to a support helicopter role.
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There are also some other helicopters on order, information on the number and type of which I am withholding as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions (a) the Royal Navy and (b) the Defence Property Agency have had with Portsmouth university about disposals of departmental (i) land and (ii) property; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the initial findings of the Royal Air Force board of inquiry into the loss of the Nimrod XV230 over Kandahar Province in Afghanistan in September 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Board of Inquiry continues to work to determine the cause of the accident involving Nimrod MR2 XV230 on 2 September 2006. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment at this stage. The findings of the Board will be released as soon as possible after conclusion of the Inquiry; a redacted copy of the report will be made available to the next of kin, other interested parties and placed on the MOD website.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 67, to the hon. Member for Gower, on nuclear weapons treaties, which of the nuclear weapons reductions since 1998 have taken place as a result of multilateral disarmament negotiations. 
Des Browne: The disarmament measures undertaken by the UK, which I referred to in my answer of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 67W, were pertinent to our obligations towards achieving the general and complete disarmament objectives of Article VI of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, a multilaterally negotiated treaty. None of the measures have taken place as a result of any separate multilateral disarmament negotiations. The UK has for many years retained only the minimum nuclear capabilities we require and as a result we have the smallest stockpile of any of the nuclear weapon states recognised under the NPT. We believe it will only be useful for us to include our deterrent in multinational negotiations once further progress has been made in reducing global nuclear stockpiles. The UK remains committed to progress in multilateral disarmament and plays a strong role in all the relevant forums.
Mr. Ingram: We are currently reviewing our long-term requirements for all the UKs military helicopter bases under Project Belvedere. It is too early to say what the outcome of this study will be and what, if any, impact this will have on Dishforth Airfield. An announcement will be made in the House when we are able to say more.
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 9 March 2007, Official Report, column 153WS, in which I advised that we expect the swap of the two Apache squadrons from Dishforth and the two Lynx helicopter squadrons from Wattisham to take place sometime between June and September of this year.
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 5WS, and my letter to her of the same date, that the build up of the A6 communications hub at RAF Leeming has already commenced. The initial move was successfully completed on time in April 2006. We expect that the relocation of communications personnel to the RAF Leeming hub will be complete in 2009.
Mr. Ingram: The hon. Member will be aware from my written statement of 8 May 2007, Official Report, column 5WS and my letter of the same date that the build up of the A6 communications hub at RAF Leeming has already commenced. The initial move has been successfully completed on time in April 2006. We expect that the relocation of communications personnel to the RAF Leeming hub will be complete in 2009.
The Deputy Prime Minister: Sadly, the slave trade and slavery did not end with the passing of Acts of Parliament in 1807 and 1833. Human beings are still sold, abused and forced to work against their will. This Government are taking action to tackle these modern forms of slavery, both at home and internationally.
The House will be aware that, on 23 March, the Government signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings. We are now examining what changes might be required to our procedures and legislation to ensure we can fulfil all our obligations and implement the provisions effectively. We will then move towards ratification as soon as we can.
Above all, we are providing essential financial support to end the slavery of ignorance, which blights the lives of so many children around the world: including £8.5 billion on the Education for Every Child initiative, to secure better futures for children across the world.
Among a range of further engagements, I gave a keynote speech at the World Cities Forum in Shanghai, spoke at the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development conference on a low carbon economy, visited a UK engineering firm, addressed a seminar on risk management and hosted a reception to launch the next phase of our sustainable development dialogue with China.
The Deputy Prime Minister: With its Chinese counterpart, chaired by State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, the taskforce represents a shared commitment to furthering bilateral relations, and to enhancing cooperation across an increasingly wide range of joint interests.
Key achievements arising from taskforce recommendations have included the establishment of annual UK-China prime ministerial summits, greater co-operation across five key areas of trade, an increased number of exchanges between UK and Chinese universities, proposals to simplify Chinese student visa arrangements and to introduce annual UK-China education summits, the signing of a UK-China sustainable development dialogue and the development of a UK-China working group on climate change.