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Human Rights: FCO Annual Report

Baroness Young asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office annual report on human rights will be published as a Command Paper at 2.30 pm on 20 July. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and distributed throughout Parliament in the usual way. The report will be placed on the FCO websites ( and and will be available through the Stationery Office.

Sierra Leone: UN Diamond Embargo

Baroness Howells of St Davids asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1306(2000) on 5 July which prohibits the direct or indirect import of all rough diamonds from Sierra Leone to the territory of member states. The resolution also decides that rough diamonds controlled by the Government of Sierra Leone through a certificate of origin regime shall be exempt from the measures when the UN Sanctions Committee on Sierra Leone has reported to the council that an effective regime is fully in operation.

Britain played a leading role in promoting Resolution 1306 in the UN Security Council. Diamonds are at the heart of the tragedy in Sierra Leone and this resolution sends a powerful signal about the need to end the trade in conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone.

The embargo on Sierra Leone rough diamonds is established for an initial period of 18 months. At the end of this period the Security Council will review the situation in Sierra Leone, including the extent of the Government's authority over the diamond-producing areas, in order to decide whether to extend the restrictions for a further period and, if necessary, to modify them or adopt further measures.

The embargo is implemented in the UK by means of an amendment to the Open General Import Licence. It is implemented in a similar manner in the Isle of Man. Orders in Council under the United Nations Act 1946 have been made to implement the restrictions in the other Crown Dependencies and in the Overseas Territories.

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Sudan: British Military Cemeteries

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many British military cemeteries are situated in Sudan; where they are located; and how many British and Commowealth war graves are to be found in these cemeteries.[HL3353]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I understand from the Commonwealth Graves Commission that there is one British military cemetery in Khartoum, where nearly 1,000 Commonwealth war dead of the two world wars are buried or commemorated. Of the war dead, nearly 600 who have no known grave are commemorated on a memorial within the cemetery.

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How often, and on what occasions, British Embassy officials visit British military cemeteries in Sudan; and when was the last such visit.[HL3354]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: British Embassy officials visit the military cemetery in Khartoum at regular intervals, the most important occasion being of course Remembrance Day. Our ambassador last visited the cemetery in May 2000.

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How frequently the Commonwealth War Graves Commission visits British military cemeteries in Sudan.[HL3355]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I understand from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that visits are made annually to the Khartoum Cemetery. The last visit was in May 2000.

Sudan: British Council Projects

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What have been the annual budgets of the British Council since 1990; and what projects have been funded by the British Council in Sudan since 1996.[HL3357]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The turnover figures for the British Council since 1990 are as follows:


The British Council has funded the following ongoing activities in Sudan since 1996: library and information services, English language development, governance and human rights and cultural heritage projects and promotion of the UK. Additionally, until 1998 the council worked in basic and higher, as well as medical and environmental education.

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Strategic Export Controls

Lord Brooks of Tremorfa asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish their Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls for 1999.[HL3515]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The annual report was published on Friday 21 July. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House and in the Vote Office from 12 noon.

The report is also available on the FCO's website at

Entry Clearance Refusal: 1999 Report

Lord Grenfell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to place in the Library of the House the 1999 report by Dame Elizabeth Anson, the independent monitor, relating to the refusal of entry clearance where there is no right of appeal.[HL3521]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: I have arranged for copies of Dame Elizabeth's report of 1999 to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses on Friday, 21 July. I welcome the report and note Dame Elizabeth's comments and suggestions, which will receive careful consideration.

Gaming Machine Industry: Payment Methods

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of the anticipated impact of conversion to euros on the number and total value of coins in circulation and the consequences for the gaming machine industry, what progress is being made with a deregulation order to allow note acceptors, smart cards and replay-off-win meters for gaming machines.[HL3236]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): Subject to consultation with interested bodies, we see good arguments for some relaxation of the present

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restrictions on payment for the use of gaming machines other than by coins, whether or not euro coins are in use. We are currently discussing with the British Amusement Catering Trades Association, which represents the gaming machine industry, the terms of the consultation document which would be required for an order under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994. We hope to issue it shortly.

Young Offenders: Living Arrangements

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they possess any information on the proportion of young offenders who at the time of offending were:

    (a) residing in the parental home;

    (b) in care;

    (c) in other accommodation; and

    (d) homeless.[HL3284]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The information requested is not held centrally. Local youth offending teams record details of a young offender's circumstances, including family relationships and living arrangements, in helping to plan and deliver intervention work to prevent further offending. The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales will be asking youth offending teams to provide it with information on the level of offending by children being looked after by a local authority.

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Youth Justice Board collects information on the financial means of support available to young offenders at the time of offending.[HL3285]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Youth Justice Board does not collect this information. Local youth offending teams assess living arrangements and family circumstances when dealing with individual young offenders.

Asylum Seekers: Rent Levels

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will monitor changes in rent levels in areas selected for the dispersal of asylum seekers.[HL3323]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: In negotiating contracts for the provision of accommodation and related services for asylum seekers, the National Asylum Support Service takes into account a range of factors in determining whether the terms offered by a prospective contractor represent value for money. One of these will be the comparative cost of the accommodation itself.

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Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 27 June (WA 66) in relation to the advertisement for the post of Lieutenant Governor of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, what was the cost of advertising and interviewing candidates for this post.[HL3344]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The cost of advertising the post of Lieutenant Governor of the Bailiwick of Guernsey was £9,348.30. It is not possible to identify separately the interviewing costs.

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