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Hong Kong

Volume 167: debated on Wednesday 14 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many suicide attempts have occurred in Hong Kong detention camps for Vietnamese boat people since the inception of the camps: and if he will make a statement.

Eight people have inflicted injuries upon themselves in Hong Kong's detention centres since the closed camp policy started on 16 June 1988. One of those people was found to be suffering from a psychiatric illness and two gave their reasons for injuring themselves as family problems. Five people gave their reasons as a desire to protest against the policy of screening and repatriation. None sustained life-threatening injuries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information is given generally to Vietnamese boat women in Hong Kong detention camps as to the health attributes of the contraceptive drug Depo Provera and its consequences; and if he will make a statement.

The Family Planning Association offers the usual range of contraceptive techniques to Vietnamese women. In offering Depo Provera it explains that it is a drug administered by injection and that it is effective for 12 weeks. It also explains all the possible side-effects. Depo Provera has been approved for use by the World Health Organisation. It is made available to Vietnamese women in detention centres on the same basis as it is offered to the general population in Hong Kong.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign arid Commonwealth Affairs whether the staff in Hong Kong detention camps have administered the contraceptive drug Depo Provera to Vietnamese boat women held there; and if he will make a statement.

Various methods of contraception are offered to Vietnamese boat people on an entirely voluntary basis by staff of the Family Planning Association. Some Vietnamese women have chosen to use Depo Provera.