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Human Trafficking

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will include checks for trafficked victims as part of the new watch list being introduced for aircraft passengers on high-risk routes. (207267)

[holding answer 22 May 2008]: e-Borders will require commercial carriers and owner/operators of all vessels scheduled to arrive in or depart the UK to submit to the e-Borders system, and provide detailed passenger, service and crew data prior to their departure to and from the UK.

Those data will be checked against watch lists, analysed, risk assessed and shared between UK border agencies. It will improve border security and assist in the fight against organised crime and illegal migration.

The UK Border Agency maintains a watch list of information and intelligence which is used to inform decisions. It is longstanding policy not to disclose the specific data held on this watchlist or the source of the data on it.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2008, Official Report, column 883W, on human trafficking, what definition of the term juxtaposed controls she uses. (209865)

Juxtaposed controls were introduced in France and Belgium to further strengthen and enhance the protection of the UK borders. Juxtaposed controls are established through bilateral agreements and allow the authorities of two states to operate frontier controls alongside each other in both states. They are fully reciprocal.

This reciprocal arrangement provides the French authorities with the facilities to operate their frontier control from the United Kingdom, while the UK Border Agency operates the UK frontier control from France and Belgium. This effectively allows UK Border Agency staff to check 100 per cent. of all passengers and their documents before they disembark to enter the UK. The French authorities, Police Aux Frontieres (PAF), are responsible for managing the security of the French border and do so from the English side of the juxtaposed control.

Juxtaposed controls have existed at the Channel Tunnel sites in Coquelles and Cheriton since the opening of the Tunnel System in 1994. The arrangements are governed by the Sangatte Protocol under the treaty of Canterbury. On 29 May 2000, the Additional Protocol to the Sangatte Protocol was signed to allow commencement of juxtaposed controls at designated Eurostar terminals in France.

The Anglo-French Le Touquet Treaty was signed on 4 February 2003, giving UK Border Agency staff the power to operate a juxtaposed control in France at the northern French Seaports of Calais, Boulogne and Dunkerque.

Juxtaposed controls currently operate at Calais, Boulogne and Dunkerque ferry ports, as well as the Eurotunnel terminal at Coquelles, and the Eurostar stations of Brussels, Paris, Lille and Frethun.

The French authorities operate their controls in the UK at St. Pancras, Ebbsfleet, Ashford International, Dover and Cheriton. These are the UK terminals which are currently served by the French operations covered under the terms of the various Treaties and Protocols which govern the operation of juxtaposed controls.