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Colombia: Human Rights

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what training on (a) human rights and (b) other issues the Government has provided to the High Mountain Battalion in Colombia in the last five years. (205028)

UK assistance to Colombia focuses on counter-narcotics, human rights and international humanitarian law, and humanitarian de-mining. We do not disclose any aspect of our counter-narcotics assistance, and the parliamentary ombudsman has upheld this decision, as to do so would endanger the lives of those involved in this vital and dangerous work. However all assistance has human rights at its foundation, and is carefully monitored to ensure its integrity.

The Ministry of Defence do not provide training to whole units such as the “High Mountain Battalions”, though some of their officers and soldiers may well have received human rights and de-mining training from either UK staff, or from Colombian staff who have received UK human rights training.