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Ascension Island

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the recourse available to inhabitants of Ascension Island under the Human Rights Act 1998; and if he will make a statement. (156157)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not made a formal assessment of the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 to those who work and live on Ascension Island. It is a matter for the courts of St. Helena and dependencies to determine (under the English Law (Application) Ordinance and/or St. Helena Law (Application) Ordinance) whether UK Acts of Parliament should apply in these jurisdictions. However, the UK has extended the European Convention on Human Rights and the Right of Individual Petition to St. Helena and dependencies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he or his Ministers plan to visit Ascension Island; and if he will make a statement. (156230)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2007, Official Report, column 248W, on Ascension Island, what the programme of information and education consisted of; what materials have been distributed on Ascension Island; what public meetings have been held; and if he will make a statement. (156251)

The programme of information and education about the benefits of participation in the democratic process is ongoing. The Governor held open public meetings to discuss governance and democracy issues in May and September. Public consultation, including an open meeting in May, has taken place on new draft entry control and harbours legislation. Public consultation has also taken place during 2007 on taxation reform, for which consultation papers were published and circulated. The Governor and the Ascension Island Administrator have consulted the Ascension Island Advisory Group on a number of issues, including policy on property and businesses.