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Human Trafficking

Volume 453: debated on Tuesday 28 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the level of human trafficking in the Great Lakes region; what steps her Department has undertaken to facilitate the combating thereof; and if she will make a statement. (101633)

Within the Great Lakes region, armed groups, particularly those operating in north-eastern and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda continue to abduct and forcibly recruit children and adults to fight as combatants, or to work as porters or sex slaves.

We continue to raise human rights issues with regional governments, in particular the need to protect vulnerable groups. We also support the robust implementation of the mandate of UN peacekeeping forces deployed in the region to disarm foreign and domestic militias. When the newly elected Congolese Government is in place, we will insist that improving respect for human rights and disarming armed groups are top priorities.