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Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The Organisation of African Unity did hold a ministerial conference in Khartoum from 13-15 December 1998. Officials of the UN were present but the UK Government was not represented officially or unofficially. As noble Lords are aware, UNSCR 1054 calls upon "all international and regional organisations not to convene any conference in Sudan". This remains in force and is the criterion against which any future meetings will be considered by the Security Council.
Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale: The Chilean Embassy informed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 16 September 1998 of Senator Pinochet's intended visit when they made a routine request for the use of VIP facilities at Heathrow for his arrival in the UK.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn): There are similar requirements which apply either to local authorities or to police authorities. However, so far as I am aware, the only comparable precedent applying to both is found in Section 71 of the Race Relations Act 1976, which requires both local and police authorities to ensure that their various functions are carried out with due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has today designated Lord Taylor of Warwick and Janet Lewis Jones under Section 4(4) of the Video Recordings Act 1984. Lord Taylor and Janet Lewis Jones were appointed as Vice-Presidents designate of the British Board of Film Classification on 12 November 1998, and my right honourable friend has designated them, in that capacity, to replace Monica Sims.
Copies of the Notice of Designation and the text of letters that my right honourable friend has sent to both Lord Taylor and Janet Lewis Jones confirming the designation have been placed in the Library.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The level of service which can be provided is a matter for coroners and their local authorities to determine in the light of demand and circumstances. We would expect sensitivity and flexibility, but have no plans at present to require coroners to provide a daily service for applications to remove bodies out of England and Wales.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government's intention to review sexual offences and penalties was announced in June last year by Alun Michael, then Minister of State in the Home Office, during the Commons Committee stage of the Crime and Disorder Act. The review is intended to ensure that the framework of offences and penalties is fair, coherent and effective in protecting individuals, especially children and vulnerable people, and will reflect the society we live in today. Such a review requires considerable preparation, and the terms of reference and duration of the review will be announced very soon.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Government believe that the conspiracy provisions of the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998 should enable the prosecuting authorities to act in more cases of child abuse or pornography involving children. The purpose of the conspiracy provisions is to extend jurisdiction to cover conspiracy in this country to commit any criminal offence abroad. This goes much wider than the previous provisions of the Sexual Offences (Conspiracy and Incitement) Act, which only covered conspiracy to commit certain listed sexual offences abroad.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires local authorities and the police, working closely with other local organisations, to prepare and implement a local crime and disorder reduction strategy for their area.
Each local partnership has to decide what the main crime problems in its area are. Our recent draft guidance on children involved in prostitution makes it clear that this particular problem can often be a hidden one. However, the guidance we have issued to local crime reduction partnerships emphasises the essential importance of making energetic efforts to identify "hard-to-reach" groups in the community. It is important that if a partnership finds that child prostitution and living off immoral earnings are among the problems of concern locally, they should feature in the strategy.
The carrying out of the audit is a matter for local partnerships and we have no information as to how many audits have identified the existence of children involved in prostitution and living off immoral earnings as significant local problems.
As an independent charity, the institute will be free to establish its own terms of reference. As set out in the consultation document Supporting Families, in the first year the Government will fund the institute to undertake a work programme comprising the following:
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