To ask Her Majesty's Government which projects they are funding in Colombia relating to the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law; who are the recipients of funding for such projects; how much they receive; and what are the purposes of the projects. [HL3783]
As the Foreign Secretary's Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of 30 March makes clear, we have made tackling impunity a new priority for our work in Colombia. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has allocated £250,000 in 2009-10 for this work. Projects are still under development.
We will work alongside the United Nations (UN) Office of Drugs and Crime and Colombian NGOs to take forward this work, which will aim to develop the skills of those involved in the Colombian criminal justice sector including lawyers, prosecutors, judges and civil society in investigation and trial skills. For example, we have recently supported a UN project to improve criminal prosecution of sexual crimes committed against women and girls, and in 2009-10 are supporting a project to reduce conflict-related impunity through policy recommendations for the criminal justice system.
The UK Government are funding a broad range of projects to strengthen human rights in Colombia, promoting civil society and supporting human rights defenders. All our assistance is scrupulously monitored to meet the highest standards of probity and effectiveness, and has human rights norms and principles at its core.
Projects already approved for 2009-10 and beyond total almost £1 million, and a further £170,000 is to be allocated for human rights projects in areas such as freedom of speech, democracy and tackling discrimination. For example, we are supporting a project on promoting civil society and human rights defenders (with Oxfam) and a project on improving integration of human rights and democracy issues in the media (with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Journalism School of the Javeriana University and NGO partners).
The UK Government are funding a broad range of projects to promote the implementation of United Nations (UN) human rights recommendations in Colombia, alongside international and civil society partners. A full list of on-going UK projects in Colombia can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/word/north-central-south-america/COLOMBIA_UK _PROJECT_2009_10.