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Developing Countries: Drugs

Question for Home Office

UIN HL763, tabled on 23 June 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether their provision of aid for drug control in countries such as Iran and Pakistan is proving effective in reducing harm, and of whether there is a contradiction between their policy on this issue and their policies on eliminating the use of the death penalty.

Answered on

30 June 2015

The Government provides counter-narcotics assistance to a range of countries. We do so to tackle the international drugs trade and minimise the threat it poses to the UK and its citizens. To ensure that we remain consistent with our human rights principles all Government Departments must adhere to the Overseas Security & Justice Assistance (OSJA) Guidance. This enables a comprehensive and ongoing assessment of the human rights risks attached to international activity.

In March 2015, when Pakistan lifted the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, the Government reviewed its security engagement. All of our programmes in Pakistan continue to be conducted in full accordance with the OSJA guidance. The UK does not currently provide financial assistance for counter-narcotics programmes in Iran. We stopped provided financial assistance to UNODC programmes in Iran in 2007, and ended our bilateral cooperation with Iran on these issues in 2009.

The Government strongly opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. UK Ministers have and will continue to urge countries, including Iran and Pakistan, to repeal the death penalty and take action to ensure human rights are safeguarded.

Answered by

Home Office