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Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the number of internally displaced people in Colombia; and if he will make a statement. (310551)

There are varying figures on the total number of displaced people in Colombia, but the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) puts the figure at almost 3.3 million. Further details can be found on the UNHCR website at:

We continue to urge the Colombian Government to take all appropriate steps to help these people, addressing the most urgent issues they face, including extreme poverty and the loss of their land.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK projects to reduce impunity in Colombia. (310552)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced a further £250,000 in UK project funds to help tackle impunity in Colombia in March 2009. These projects are ongoing in the current financial year, and it is too early to make an assessment of their effectiveness. The largest relevant project is being implemented with the assistance of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime and is being specifically tailored to meet needs identified by those involved in the Colombian judicial process, including investigators, lawyers and judges. Specialised training will commence in February 2010.

The other project funded with the additional money is a report reviewing the five years of operation of the Accusatorial Criminal Justice System. It will produce examples of best practice and draft proposals to present to Congress and the authorities aimed at improving the judicial process.