§ Lord Alderdice
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why the UK is not a signatory to (a) the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation or Prostitution of Others, (b) the Optional Protocol of the Vienna convention on Diplomatic Relations concerning Acquisition of Nationality, (c) the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning the Right of Individual Petition, (d) the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, and (e) the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.[HL4203]
§ Baroness Scotland of Asthal
The UK is not a signatory to the Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation or Prostitution of Others because the convention, in the opinion of the UK and others, would criminalise a wider range of activities than is presently covered by criminal law.
With regard to the Optional Protocol of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations concerning the Acquisition of Nationality, I shall write to the noble Lord once further research has been completed.
On the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Government will look again at the right of individual petition under ICCPR once the Human Rights Act has been fully implemented. We have looked closely at the merits of adopting these additional rights, but have also taken into account the impact on the vital work of preparing for and implementing the Human Rights Act 1998.
On The Convention of the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, the UK has long supported the principle that there be no statute of limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity but considered certain provisions of the convention to be unacceptable. The convention has been substantially superseded by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
The UK is not a signatory to the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries because the Government have serious doubts that it would be possible to 23WA enforce it in the UK courts. Relatively few states have ratified the convention, and it is not therefore in force.