Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

We pursue our national interests and project the UK as a force for good in the world. We promote the interests of British citizens, safeguard the UK’s security, defend our values, reduce poverty and tackle global challenges with our international partners.



Secretary of State

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Lord Purvis of Tweed (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Scottish National Party
Martin Docherty-Hughes (SNP - West Dunbartonshire)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Allan Dorans (SNP - Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Alyn Smith (SNP - Stirling)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Labour
David Lammy (LAB - Tottenham)
Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

Liberal Democrat
Layla Moran (LDEM - Oxford West and Abingdon)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (PC - Arfon)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs)

Scottish National Party
Hannah Bardell (SNP - Livingston)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs Team Member)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Lyn Brown (LAB - West Ham)
Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)
Bambos Charalambous (LAB - Enfield, Southgate)
Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)
Fabian Hamilton (LAB - Leeds North East)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Catherine West (LAB - Hornsey and Wood Green)
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Ministers of State
Amanda Milling (CON - Cannock Chase)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Kemi Badenoch (CON - Saffron Walden)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Vicky Ford (CON - Chelmsford)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Elizabeth Truss (CON - South West Norfolk)
Foreign Secretary
Baroness Stedman-Scott (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
Scheduled Event
Tuesday 5th July 2022
14:00
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
5 Jul 2022, 2 p.m.
Implementing the Integrated Review: Tilt to the Indo-Pacific
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No.10) Regulations 2022
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th July 2022
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
Draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Governance and Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2022
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 12th July 2022
15:45
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Orders and regulations - Grand Committee
12 Jul 2022, 3:45 p.m.
Draft United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (Exclusions from Market Access Principles: Single-Use Plastics) Regulations 2022
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 6th September 2022
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Sep 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Thursday 30th June 2022
Commonwealth
Lords Chamber
Select Committee Docs
Thursday 30th June 2022
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Friday 1st April 2022
The FCDO’s approach to state level hostage situations

This inquiry will examine the processes and approaches taken by the UK Government in securing the release of the hostages …

Written Answers
Monday 4th July 2022
Developing Countries: LGBT+ People
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to her Department’s International Development Strategy, …
Secondary Legislation
Wednesday 22nd June 2022
Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 10) Regulations 2022
These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) to amend the Russia (Sanctions) (EU …
Bills
Monday 13th June 2022
Northern Ireland Protocol Bill 2022-23
Make provision about the effect in domestic law of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU withdrawal agreement, about …
Dept. Publications
Monday 4th July 2022
17:25

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Jun. 21
Oral Questions
Jun. 23
Written Statements
Jun. 29
Westminster Hall
Jun. 15
Adjournment Debate
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament


Make provision about the effect in domestic law of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU withdrawal agreement, about other domestic law in subject areas dealt with by the Protocol and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Monday 27th June 2022
(Read Debate)
Next Event - Committee Stage (Commons)
Wednesday 13th July 2022

Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) to amend the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/855) (“the 2019 Regulations”).
These Regulations are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (c. 13) to amend the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 2019/855) (“the 2019 Regulations”). The Regulations add new trade sanctions to Part 5 (Trade) of the 2019 Regulations.
View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
3,503 Signatures
(1,118 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
12,967 Signatures
(220 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
4,483 Signatures
(134 in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
50,252 Signatures
(39 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
12,967 Signatures
(220 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
4,483 Signatures
(134 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed
388,521
Petition Closed
14 Nov 2021
closed 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

The UK Government plans to introduce “Magnitsky law”, a law which targets people who commit gross human rights violations. Through this law or alternative means, this petition urges the UK Government to impose sanctions on China for their human rights violations on the Uyghur people.

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

View All Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Foreign Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Foreign Affairs Committee
Tom Tugendhat Portrait
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative - Tonbridge and Malling)
Foreign Affairs Committee Chair since 29th January 2020
Graham Stringer Portrait
Graham Stringer (Labour - Blackley and Broughton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Royston Smith Portrait
Royston Smith (Conservative - Southampton, Itchen)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Henry Smith Portrait
Henry Smith (Conservative - Crawley)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Bob Seely Portrait
Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Andrew Rosindell Portrait
Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Stewart Malcolm McDonald Portrait
Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Alicia Kearns Portrait
Alicia Kearns (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Chris Bryant Portrait
Chris Bryant (Labour - Rhondda)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Neil Coyle Portrait
Neil Coyle (Independent - Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Liam Byrne Portrait
Liam Byrne (Labour - Birmingham, Hodge Hill)
Foreign Affairs Committee Member since 5th January 2022
Foreign Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Implementing the Integrated Review: Tilt to the Indo-Pacific
5 Jul 2022, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Dr Alessio Patalano - Professor of War & Strategy in East Asia at King's College London
Dr Jamie Collier - Senior Threat Intelligence Advisor at Mandiant
Mihoko Matsubara - Chief Cybersecurity Strategist at NTT Corporation
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
Bill Emmott - Writer and Consultant and Former Editor-in-Chief at The Economist
Robert Ward - Japan Chair at International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

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50 most recent Written Questions

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Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken towards the introduction of beneficial ownership in the British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

The Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies are self-governing jurisdictions with their own democratically elected governments, who are responsible for their own financial services policy. The Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies already share beneficial ownership information with UK law enforcement and have committed to introduce publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership. The UK Government welcomes this action; it is an important step forward and a positive response to the changing UK, global norms on corporate transparency. These commitments exceed the standards set by the Financial Action Task Force on beneficial ownership transparency, and put them ahead of most jurisdictions. The Overseas Territories Governments are making good progress, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is providing support with this, as required.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with prosecutors at the International Criminal Court at The Hague regarding (1) investigations, and (2) potential prosecutions, of (a) President Putin, (b) other members of the Russian government, and (c) members of the Russian military, for (i) crimes of aggression, (ii) crimes against humanity, and (iii) genocide.

It is for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor to independently determine who should be prosecuted for crimes committed in Ukraine, including those that ordered them, in accordance with his mandate under the Rome Statute. The ICC does not have jurisdiction to prosecute the Crime of Aggression in Ukraine because neither Russia nor Ukraine are States party to the Rome Statute. We respect the jurisdiction of competent national or international courts, such as the ICC, to determine if the crime of genocide has occurred in Ukraine. The UK will continue to provide the necessary assistance to the ICC to support its investigations, including an additional £1 million contribution funded through the cross-Government Conflict, Stability and Security Fund.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the Russian military has (1) attacked civilians in Ukraine indiscriminately, and (2) attacked hospitals, schools, and railway stations in that country, causing injuries and loss of life.

Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine is a premeditated and barbaric assault on a sovereign democratic state. Russia's deliberate targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, railway stations and cultural sites constitute war crimes. The UK and its partners will ensure Putin's regime is held accountable.

The UK is a leading bilateral donor to Ukraine, having committed £220 million in humanitarian assistance. We have delivered over 11 million medical items and are donating ambulances, generators and multiple non-food items. Frontline medical aid charity UK-Med will also receive funding of up to £300,000 to help train Ukrainian doctors, nurses and paramedics on how to deal with mass casualties.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will work with international partners to provide food supply guarantees to developing countries at risk of food shortages as a result of global food shortages and increasing food prices, caused by the war in Ukraine.

Over the next 3 years, the UK will direct £3 billion of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable countries and people to help them recover from crises. The UK played a leading role in persuading the World Bank to commit $12 billion of new funding in the next 15 months to respond directly to the food security crisis, as part of its global lending package of $170 billion. The UK is keen to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of the global response through strong coordination and collaboration, and we are therefore supportive of the G7 Global Alliance for Food Security and the US-led road map and country coalition. The UK has committed another £10 million to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) to build resilience in agriculture and food security in the poorest countries, bringing our total contribution to £186 million.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will take steps with the Secretary of State for defence to increase the (a) amount of support provided to Ukraine and (b) number of sanctions imposed on Russia.

Alongside our allies, we are united in support for Ukraine, and continue to provide economic and defensive support. On 30 June the UK announced a further £1 billion of military support which includes weapons, equipment and training to Ukraine, bringing the total since the outbreak of war to £2.3 billion. We do not speculate on future designations, or on cross-government discussions on potential targets. We have now sanctioned over 1000 individuals, and over 100 businesses since Putin's invasion of Ukraine. This includes oligarchs worth £117 billion. We have also implemented freezes on 18 of Russia's major banks with global assets worth £940 billion, and in conjunction with our partners we have frozen over 60% of Russian Central Bank reserves, worth £275 billion. We will continue to put more pressure on Putin's regime, including through further sanctions designations along with the humanitarian, economic and military support we are providing to Ukraine.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had recent discussions with her Montenegrin counterpart on protecting that country from potential Russian aggression in that region.

The Foreign Secretary wrote to Montenegrin Foreign Minister Krivokapic this week, underlining that we stand together as NATO Allies with clear shared values underpinning our aligned positions across defence, security and foreign policy, in particular as we respond to Russia's illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The Prime Minister and his Montenegrin counterpart in London last July agreed to continue to work closely together to counter Russia's malign activity. Last month, when the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Sir Stuart Peach, met Prime Minister Abazovic and Foreign Minister Krivokapic in Montenegro, he emphasised continuing UK support in tackling Russian influence, including through strengthening cyber security and countering disinformation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that holders of Gibraltar blue registration cards are not being denied entry into Spain.

We are aware of reports of Spain stopping some British nationals crossing the border from Gibraltar into Spain. The UK Government has raised this issue with Spanish authorities. We will continue to monitor the situation, and work with Spain to support British nationals wishing to cross the border, however the application of the Schengen Borders Code is ultimately a matter for Spain.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what role the UK is playing in helping to resolve tensions between Greece and Turkey.

Greece and Turkey are close friends and allies of the UK. We encourage both countries to resolve issues through dialogue and we support measures aimed at de-escalation and reduction of tensions, including existing deconfliction mechanisms within NATO structures. The Prime Minister reiterated these messages in his engagements with both President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis at the NATO Summit in Madrid, and during calls on 21 June.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what additional support the UK is providing to Lithuania in the context of Russia’s increasingly hostile stance towards that country.

The UK recently signed the UK-Lithuania Joint Declaration deepening our ties and marking the 100th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations. The UK is focussing our increased and largest ever contribution to NATO in the Baltic region, in alignment with our leadership of the Joint Expeditionary Force. NATO's new significantly strengthened military posture bolsters our Eastern Flank, ensuring that every inch of Allied territory is defended. The UK fully supports Lithuania's implementation of EU sanctions against Russia and commends Lithuania's robust stance in deterring aggressors worldwide.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what role the UK is playing in facilitating the applications of Sweden and Finland to NATO.

The UK Government has supported Finnish and Swedish applications for NATO membership and engaged regularly with both countries and NATO Allies to discuss the accession process. The Prime Minister spoke to President Erdogan of Turkey on 20 May and 21 June to emphasise that Finland and Sweden would be valuable additions to the Alliance. The UK welcomes the agreement between Turkey, Finland and Sweden, announced on 28 June, which paves the way for Finland and Sweden to join NATO. The UK also welcomes the formal invitation to both countries to join the Alliance, issued on 29 June. Their swift integration into NATO will make both countries safer, the Alliance stronger, and the Euro-Atlantic area more secure.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, if any, to the government of Bahrain to ensure that prisoners receive treatment for tuberculosis; and what assessment they have made of reports that prisoners in that country have (1) not been tested for tuberculosis when displaying symptoms, and (2) been denied medical care for the disease.

Officials and ministers have regular discussions with senior Bahraini counterparts on human rights, including most recently when Minister Milling co-chaired the UK-Bahrain Joint Working Group with the Bahrain Foreign Minister on 16 June 2022.

The Government of Bahrain has been clear that access to medical care for those in detention is guaranteed. We welcome these assurances, and urge continued transparency and encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make it her policy to allocate additional resources to the United Nations Development Programme to support land mine clearance in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

On 30 June the UK Government announced an additional £500,000 of funding to support mine action in and around the areas worse effected by land mine and unexploded ordnance in Armenia and Azerbaijan. This funding takes the total contribution to over £1 million since the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and will be used to provide vital training to ensure those in the region are equipped with skills to tackle land mine and unexploded ordnance effectively. At this point, the UK Government cannot commit to further funding.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to the Israeli Government on behalf of Ahmad Manasra.

We call on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice. I recently travelled to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) where I discussed a range of issues with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Roll.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 28 April 2022 to Question 157467 on British Nationals Abroad: Torture, what the findings were of her Department's most recent annual review of open torture cases reported to it by British citizens; and if he will publish a summary of that review's findings and trends in aggregate in the 2021 Human Rights and Democracy Report.

At the most recent annual review, there were a total of 131 open cases where allegations of torture or mistreatment had been reported to consular staff. These cases include those reported in 2021 and those reported in previous years where these remain unresolved. The majority of allegations in these cases (75 of 131) involved reported torture or mistreatment that occurred during arrest or in police custody, although there is some regional variation.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of creating an augmentation force consisting of recently retired (a) diplomats and (b) other relevant officials to provide surge capacity in (i) Ukraine and (ii) other States facing emergencies; and if she will make it her policy to commission a pilot scheme to test the feasibility and practicability of that proposal.

The FCDO has established capabilities that provide surge capacity. These include FCDO's humanitarian and civilian stabilisation roster. These capabilities provide rapidly deployable, specialist expertise, are open to all non-civil servants, including retirees, and ensure the UK Government is able to access UK expertise to deliver impact and value for money for the taxpayer.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for the prosecution of senior officers of UK companies who have been found guilty of corruption in (a) African and (b) other developing countries.

Decisions on prosecutions, including those of any senior officers in UK companies, are made by UK law enforcement agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office and the Crown Prosecution Service and are not a matter for the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

However, tackling corruption in Africa and other developing countries is a priority for the Secretary of State and the FCDO provides support to the National Crime Agency (NCA) to investigate corruption in the UK which has a connection to developing countries. This support includes funding for the International Corruption Unit at the NCA to investigate cases where corrupt individuals have laundered money in the UK which has been stolen from developing countries, or where UK companies or individuals have engaged in corruption in developing countries. The FCDO also supports the work of the International Anti-Corruption Co-ordination Centre at the NCA, which co-ordinates an international response to corruption cases affecting developing countries.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has had discussions with her (a) Spanish and (b) Moroccan counterparts following the recent death of 23 migrants in Melilla.

Senior officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office have spoken to the relevant authorities in Spain and Morocco regarding the incident. We welcome the decision of both authorities to carry out investigations.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 28 April 2022 to Question 157468 on British Nationals Abroad: Torture, if her Department will publish aggregate information on the outcomes of torture cases in its 2021 Human Rights and Democracy Report.

The FCDO records all information about allegations of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (mistreatment) reported to us by British nationals, and the action taken in response to those allegations, within individual case files. The FCDO does not hold aggregate or centralised statistics on the outcome of torture and mistreatment cases.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan continues to face a serious and worsening humanitarian crisis. It is affecting just under half of the population, with 18.9 million people facing acute food insecurity. Over 6 million people have been internally displaced, and millions of children are out of school. The recent earthquake in eastern Afghanistan on June 22 has exacerbated humanitarian needs.

On 11 January 2022, the UN launched an appeal for $4.4 billion for 2022, the largest humanitarian appeal on record, reflecting the magnitude of the humanitarian challenge ahead. On 31 March 2022, the UK co-hosted a donor conference with the UN, Qatar and Germany and the UK committed £286 million for 2022/2023. The conference raised over $2.4 billion for the UN's humanitarian appeal.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will condemn (a) forced evictions of Palestinians and (b) demolitions of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories.

The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions and evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace. I met with Palestinian families affected by the ongoing demolition and eviction orders at Masafer Yatta during my recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and raised our concerns with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Roll on 22 June.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will hold discussions with her Israeli counterpart on that Government's obligations under international law to stop forced (a) evictions and (b) demolitions in the Occupied Territories.

The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, demolitions and evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace. I met with Palestinian families affected by the ongoing demolition and eviction orders at Masafer Yatta during my recent visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and raised our concerns with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Roll on 22 June.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the progress achieved with AUKUS counterparts on improving joint security.

Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific security are indivisible: we need both. The AUKUS partnership is a strategic opportunity for global security and for stability in the Indo-Pacific. The Foreign Secretary discusses AUKUS with her Australian and American counterparts frequently and they remain fully committed to the partnership.

We have commenced work in the four original areas of advanced capabilities under AUKUS and, as announced by the Prime Minister, the then-Prime Minister of Australia, and the President of the United States in April in their statement on progress, are also scoping opportunities for trilateral cooperation in other areas.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when her Department plans to publish its 2021 Human Rights and Democracy Report.

We intend to publish the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's 2021 Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report before Parliament rises for the summer recess.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support people in (a) Bangladesh and (b) India following the recent flooding of the Brahmaputra river.

I am deeply saddened by the impacts of the recent flooding in India and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the UK provided £195,000 to support the response during the first wave of flooding in May. We contributed a further £442,500 after the second wave of flooding in June. This funding continues to support the provision of cash assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, search and rescue operations, shelter management and provisional education materials. Since 2004, the Government of India has stated publicly it neither seeks nor accepts official international assistance ‎from foreign governments for disaster relief.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, in the context of the killing of church worshippers in the town of Owo, Ondo State on 5 June, what discussions she has had with the Nigerian authorities on steps they are taking to prevent further similar incidents in (a) the Christian-majority south and (b) other areas of Nigeria.

Increasing insecurity across Nigeria is having a devastating impact on affected communities. I [the Minister for Africa] publicly condemned the attack on a church in Owo, Ondo State, stressing the importance of those responsible being brought to justice. All religious communities should be able to practise their faith without fear. It is clear that religious identity can be a factor in incidents of violence in Nigeria. Both Christian and Muslim communities have been victims of violence. The root causes of violence are complex, and in the case of intercommunal violence, frequently relate to competition over resources, historical grievances and criminality.

I [the Minister for Africa] regularly discuss insecurity in Nigeria with the Nigerian authorities, and we are committed to working with Nigeria to help them respond. At the first dialogue of our Security and Defence partnership in February, we agreed to work together to respond to security challenges across the country, including serious and organised crime, kidnaps and terrorism. The UK Government will continue to encourage the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence, whilst also ensuring Freedom of Religion or Belief for all.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the political situation in Nigeria.

The UK Government follows political developments in Nigeria closely and has regular engagement with the Nigerian Government, political parties, civil society and religious institutions to discuss a range of issues, including security, the economy, trade, the environment and human rights. Nigeria is currently preparing for the February 2023 general elections, in which Nigerians will elect a new President. Through diplomatic engagement, cooperation with international partners and programmatic work, we will support the Nigerian government to deliver a free, fair and credible electoral process that represents the will of the Nigerian people.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the efficacy of UK Government support for Nigerian policing and security services over the last 12 months in (a) preventing killings, kidnappings, and robberies, (b) protecting religious figures and sites from targeted attacks (c) preventing the arming of civilians by state governments, and (d) preventing vigilantism and revenge attacks.

I [Minister Ford] regularly raise rising insecurity and its impact on the Nigerian people with the Nigerian authorities. During my February visit, I discussed this issue with the Vice President, Foreign Minister and several State Governors. I [Minister Ford] also discussed insecurity with National Security Advisor General Monguno, at our Security and Defence Dialogue in February.

Through our Security and Defence Partnership with Nigeria, we are working together to respond to rising insecurity, including kidnappings, criminality, and intercommunal violence. Examples of our support over the past 12 months include: supporting the training of approximately 1100 members of the Nigerian Army on prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; supporting the delivery of a Protection of Civilians course for 30 officers from the Nigerian Army; and provision of mentoring and capacity-building support to 40 officers from the Anti-Kidnap Coordination Unit. We have also launched a UK supported "Strengthening the Delivery of Peace and Security in Nigeria" initiative, to support dialogue and peacebuilding efforts in conflict-affected areas of Northern and Southern Nigeria.

We will continue to encourage and support the Nigerian Government to take urgent action to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to help secure the release of (a) Aiden Aslin and (b) Shaun Pinner.

HMG condemns the reported sentencing of two British Nationals, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, held by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine. As repeated statements by the Government of Ukraine set out, they are soldiers in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and are therefore prisoners of war. They should be treated in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, including the Geneva Conventions. The UK Government is engaging with the Ukrainian authorities on this issue as a matter of urgency and is fully supportive of all their efforts to secure the prisoners' release.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Rwanda’s current military involvement in the fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); and what discussions they have had with the government of the United States of America about their reported concerns over the presence of Rwandan forces in the DRC.

The security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is concerning. We welcome regional efforts to deliver a peaceful solution. In recent weeks we have raised our concerns about the increase in violence, hate speech and increased movement of armed groups with the Governments of DRC, Uganda and Rwanda, as well as the leadership of the UN Peacekeeping Mission, MONUSCO. The UK engages frequently and at a senior level with the Governments of Rwanda and DRC through our missions in the region, and in the UK. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon and the Minister for Africa most recently raised our concerns about the escalating violence in the region, with the Rwandan Foreign Minister last week. The Minister for Africa will also raise these concerns with the Government of DRC over the coming days. The UK is committed to supporting regional efforts to build stability and reduce violence in DRC, and we welcome the recent meeting of regional Heads of State in Nairobi towards this end.

We regularly discuss these issues with our international partners, including the Government of the United States. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and engage with all local and regional partners to improve the security situation.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in Bangladesh on the floods from the river Brahmaputra in June 2022.

Lord Ahmad, Minister for South Asia, discussed the impacts of the floods with the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister on 27 June. The flood response was also raised in a recent meeting with the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister and COP26 President-Designate. We regularly engage at an official level on climate adaptation and resilience. Our £120m Bangladesh Climate and Environment Programme, announced at COP26, has a focus on resilience in climate vulnerable areas. The programme will support the scaling up of locally-led adaptation and help households to cope with climate impacts.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to her Department’s International Development Strategy, what plans she has to work with local LGBT+ groups; and if she will reverse the reduction in funding for LGBT+ rights in low and middle-income countries as set out in the Global Resources 2019-2020 report on Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Communities.

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with governments and civil society partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

Since 2018, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced a further £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth. This includes the vital work of organisations such as The Commonwealth Equality Network, Kaleidoscope Trust, and Human Dignity Trust.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the (a) Trade Union Congress of Swaziland's complaint against the Government of Eswatini for violating conventions 87 and 89, (b) death of Mr. Sabelo Dlamini, a worker taking part in a Trade Union protest and (c) other attacks on trade unionists reported in that complaint; and what recent assessment she has made of the extent to which Swaziland meets the human rights requirements of the Commonwealth.

Following the violent confrontations in 2021, the UK remains disappointed by the lack of progress towards meaningful dialogue in Eswatini to address the restrictions on democratic and civil rights. The High Commissioner raised our concerns with His Majesty King Mswati III and senior Ministers earlier this month, and explored ways in which the UK and other international partners could facilitate constructive engagement. The Prime Minister also raised the political situation with the King at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda.

The International Labour Organisation has recently facilitated a bipartite dialogue between representatives of employers and workers to address outstanding questions of labour rights and mistreatment. This has provided a platform for constructive exchange and the High Commission is supporting efforts for further inclusive exchanges with other stakeholders.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on the (a) reported recent human rights violations in the Kingdom of Swaziland and (b) potential implications of those reports for (i) trade, (ii) overseas development aid and (iii) other relationships with that country.

Following the violent confrontations in 2021, the UK remains disappointed by the lack of progress towards meaningful dialogue in Eswatini to address the restrictions on democratic and civil rights. The High Commissioner raised our concerns with His Majesty King Mswati III and senior Ministers earlier this month, and explored ways in which the UK and other international partners could facilitate constructive engagement. The Prime Minister also raised the political situation with the King at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda.

The International Labour Organisation has recently facilitated a bipartite dialogue between representatives of employers and workers to address outstanding questions of labour rights and mistreatment. This has provided a platform for constructive exchange and the High Commission is supporting efforts for further inclusive exchanges with other stakeholders.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help tackle the criminalisation of same-sex relationships in Commonwealth countries; whether her Department has made funding available to LGBT+ organisations which work to tackle that legislation in those countries in the last year; and if she will take steps to make the UK a leading funder of those organisations.

As Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights across the Commonwealth, including through partners such as The Commonwealth Equality Network, Human Dignity Trust and Kaleidoscope Trust.

Since CHOGM 2018, UK funding has facilitated the provision of technical assistance and capacity building to eight Commonwealth countries seeking to repeal or reform legislation that discriminates on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. This is extremely sensitive work, often conducted discreetly due to political, social and cultural sensitivities.

On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced £2.7 million of new UK funding to support the vital work of LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders. We will continue to work closely with like-minded countries and civil society organisations to defend the human rights of LGBT+ people, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 25 May (HL513), what assessment they have now made of the effectiveness of talks between the UK and the government of Nigeria in advancing the rights of the Nigerian people.

The UK Government is committed to promoting human rights for all Nigerians, and supporting efforts to respond to rising insecurity across Nigeria. We regularly raise these topics with the Nigerian Government and other Nigerian interlocutors including religious and community leaders. These discussions allow us to: demonstrate UK Government interest; push for progress; agree future cooperation; and understand what is proving effective in responding to negative developments. For example, in the Minister for Africa's meetings with religious and community leaders during her February visit, she heard about the importance of investment in dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding to tackle the drivers of conflict. The outcome of that discussion is helping to shape our future engagement and activity to respond to conflict and insecurity.

The UK Government has delivered programmes and projects in support of our commitment on promoting security and human rights. For example, we have funded projects in Kaduna, Plateau and Benue states, aimed at promoting tolerance and understanding, strengthening links and dialogue between civil society groups, religious leaders and religious (and non-religious) groups; and advocating for responsible journalism. At the first dialogue of our Security and Defence partnership in February, we agreed to continue working together to support long-term solutions to address the root causes of violence in Nigeria.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 25 May (HL513), what were the outcomes of the discussions between the Minister for Africa with community leaders, religious leaders and the Vice President and Foreign Minister of Nigeria on the topics of violence, human rights, and the security situation in Nigeria.

The UK Government is committed to promoting human rights for all Nigerians, and supporting efforts to respond to rising insecurity across Nigeria. We regularly raise these topics with the Nigerian Government and other Nigerian interlocutors including religious and community leaders. These discussions allow us to: demonstrate UK Government interest; push for progress; agree future cooperation; and understand what is proving effective in responding to negative developments. For example, in the Minister for Africa's meetings with religious and community leaders during her February visit, she heard about the importance of investment in dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding to tackle the drivers of conflict. The outcome of that discussion is helping to shape our future engagement and activity to respond to conflict and insecurity.

The UK Government has delivered programmes and projects in support of our commitment on promoting security and human rights. For example, we have funded projects in Kaduna, Plateau and Benue states, aimed at promoting tolerance and understanding, strengthening links and dialogue between civil society groups, religious leaders and religious (and non-religious) groups; and advocating for responsible journalism. At the first dialogue of our Security and Defence partnership in February, we agreed to continue working together to support long-term solutions to address the root causes of violence in Nigeria.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to call on Rio Tinto to pay compensation to local people affected by the escape of (1) toxic uranium, and (2) lead, pollution from the mine near Anosy in Madagascar.

We are aware of allegations of pollution from the QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) ilmenite mining operations in south-east Madagascar. QMM, a joint venture between Rio Tinto and the Government of Madagascar, has denied the allegations. The UK welcomes ongoing efforts involving the national and regional authorities, QMM and the local community to establish the facts in the case and address the concerns of local residents.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken to provide support to LGBT+ community groups in (a) low- and (b) middle-income countries who are seeking reform of discriminatory laws in those countries.

The UK is committed to championing LGBT+ rights internationally and supporting those who defend them. Ministers and our overseas missions work closely with partners to advance LGBT+ equality, and promote the implementation of new laws and policies that better protect LGBT+ people from violence and discrimination.

Since 2018, the UK committed over £11 million in programmes to support the promotion and protection of LGBT+ rights. On 24 June, the Prime Minister announced a further £2.7 million of UK funding to support LGBT+ grassroots human rights defenders, and advance equality and freedom across the Commonwealth.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much her Department spent on external consultants in each of the last five years.

FCDO consultancy spend in 2020-21 was £2.7 million. Total FCO plus DFID spend for years 2019-20, 2018-19, and 2017-18 was £3.0 million, £2.6 million and £1.3 million respectively. Consultancy spend for 2021-22 will be reported in the FCDO's annual report and accounts, which will be published shortly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with her Cuban counterpart on the imprisonment of Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara and Maikel Osorbo Castillo Perez following recent protests in that country.

We are clear that human rights must be respected by the Cuban Government; that all Cubans have the right to protest peacefully and that the threat of arrest and excessive sentencing must not be used as a tool to restrict freedom of expression or the right to assemble. The sentences handed down to Luis Manual Otero Alcántara and Maykel Castillo are a clear violation of these principles.

In conjunction with the UK and other international partners, the British Embassy in Havana sought to attend the trial of Otero Alcántara and Castillo but were refused entry. The UK was one of the first countries to call for the Cuban people to be allowed to express their views freely and peacefully following the Cuban Government's response to demonstrations on 11 July and we continue to raise the detentions of protestors and excessive sentencing directly with the Cuban Government, both in London and Havana.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many meetings of the National Security Council she has attended since April 2022.

The National Security Council is a committee of the Cabinet. It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many written requests her Department has made to the Egyptian authorities for consular access to the British detainee Ala’a Abd el-Fattah.

The UK Government continues to raise Alaa Abdel Fatah's case with the highest levels of the Egyptian government and is working urgently to secure consular access to ensure his welfare. We are concerned by reports that he is on a sustained hunger strike. We continue to be in regular contact with his family to provide support.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her international counterparts on the humanitarian, security and political situation in Myanmar.

We consistently raise the situation in Myanmar with counterparts, including at the UN, G7 and ASEAN, to try and bring an end to the crisis. We have also coordinated a number of joint Foreign Minister statements, including to mark the first anniversary of the coup on 1 February.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) on 22 February (122816), what plans they have, if any, to respond to a letter by 27 human rights organisations on 17 January which called on them to help resolve the case of Dr Abduljalil Alsingrace who is detained in Bahrain.

Our apologies for the delay in responding to the letter in question, this was due to an administrative error. A response was issued on 22 June.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that more than 2,500 civilians have been abducted or forcibly removed from Ukraine by Russian forces.

We condemn Russian atrocities, including the alleged abduction and deportation of innocent Ukrainians. The UK has supported multilateral mechanisms to assess the situation in Ukraine, including the OSCE's Moscow Mechanism report, which found multiple instances of clear violations of international law by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Attorney General also led a scoping mission to the region from 8-11 May, to assess how the UK can help the Ukrainian Prosecutor General to identify and collect evidence of atrocity crimes. Alongside international partners, the UK is committed to assisting Ukraine's domestic investigation into war crimes, in addition to the International Criminal Court investigation. We also continue to hold the Russian Government to account. On 16 June, the UK announced a new wave of sanctions including against the Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for her alleged involvement in the forced transfer and adoption of Ukrainian children.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assistance her Department is providing to those people affected by the earthquake in Afghanistan on 21 June 2022.

The UK is providing £2.5 million to help give immediate life-saving support to people in Afghanistan affected by the earthquake on Wednesday 22 June. £2 million will go to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) Cross to provide shelter, healthcare, water and sanitation. The IFRC is already working on the ground to respond and help address the urgent humanitarian needs - including in Khost and Paktika, the two provinces most heavily impacted. A further £500,000 will go to the Norwegian Refugee Council to provide shelter and cash assistance to those affected. UK supported international partners, co-ordinated by the United Nations, are delivering assistance and assessing ongoing humanitarian needs. The UK is in direct contact with them to offer assistance and stands ready to consider any requests for aid or support. UK funding is channelled through UN partners and NGOs and no funding goes to or through the Taliban.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her international counterparts about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The Foreign Secretary is in regular contact with international counterparts on Afghanistan. Most recently, at the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in May 2022, they addressed the current security, humanitarian, and human rights situation as well as longer term prospects for the country and region. FCDO Ministers and the Foreign Secretary continue to engage international partners in support of UK objectives and long-term stability for the Afghan people. Her ministers have regular discussions with humanitarian actors working in Afghanistan, most recently during Lord Ahmad's trip to Geneva in June 2022, where he met the Red Cross and United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Our commitment to Afghanistan is enduring and work on priority areas, including responding to the humanitarian crisis remains one of our highest priorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the opinion of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention relating to Jagtar Singh Johal, what diplomatic and consulate support her Department has provided to Jagtar Singh Johal and his family.

The UK Government takes all allegations of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, very seriously and we regularly raise Mr Johal's case directly with the Government of India at official and Ministerial level. The Prime Minister raised Mr Johal's case with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 April as part of a wide-ranging discussion. The Foreign Secretary last raised Mr Johal's case with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, on 31 March 2022 and met with Mr Johal's family to discuss their concerns on 9 June. Consular staff have attended a number of hearings in Mr Johal's case in an observer capacity, and did so on 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 June. This Government will continue to look to raise our concerns about Mr Johal's case at all appropriate opportunities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's guidance entitled, Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme Pathway 3: eligibility for British Council and GardaWorld contractors and Chevening Alumni, published on 13 June 2022, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of the limit of 1,500 applicants to that pathway in meeting the needs of those eligible groups.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) will build upon the UK's continuing efforts to support those at risk. Through the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) over 9,500 eligible Afghan citizens and their family members have been approved for resettlement. The ACRS will see up to 20,000 people from Afghanistan and the region resettled to the UK over the coming years. Under the third Pathway, up to 1500 people will be referred for resettlement in the first year from three specific cohorts - eligible at-risk Chevening alumni and British Council and Gardaworld contractors. The capacity of the UK to resettle people under this scheme is not unlimited. However, beyond the first year of the third pathway, the Government will work with international partners and NGOs to welcome other groups of Afghans at risk.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)