As the House is aware, the Government have been negotiating bilateral international instruments on deportation with assurances (DWA) with a number of countries in North Africa and the Middle East. To date Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with Jordan (10 August 2005), Libya (18 October 2005) and Lebanon (23 December 2005). We have reached agreement on separate arrangements with Algeria.
These MoUs on DWA provide a framework for assurances to be sought to facilitate the deportation of foreign nationals who pose a threat to the national security of the United Kingdom to their countries of origin in accordance with internationally accepted standards, in particular Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment).
Monitoring is one element of these arrangements aimed at providing effective safeguards against ill treatment of those being returned. Monitoring bodies have already been appointed in respect of returns to Jordan and Libya under the MoUs agreed with those countries. I am now pleased to inform the House of the appointment of the Institute of Human Rights (IHR) as the monitoring body in relation to returns to Lebanon. The contract for this appointment was signed on Friday 5 January 2007.
The Institute for Human Rights is a non-governmental body within the independent Beirut Bar Association. The IHR has experience in the monitoring of human rights and we believe that it will carry out its monitoring role under the MoU fully and robustly. We have offered the IHR capacity building support as it prepares for its role as monitor.