HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 c630W
Mr. Welsh

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures were taken by his Department during the recent hunt for the MV Etireno; and what steps his Department(a) has taken and (b) intends to take, to combat the trade in child slavery. [159859]

Mr. Wilson

The UK was the first to respond to the Benin authorities' request for help to search for the Etireno. HMS Glasgow was in the area and we offered her services. This offer was declined when it became clear that the Etireno had returned to Benin.

The UK is firmly committed to eradicating slavery and bonded labour worldwide. We played a leading role in drafting and securing agreement to the International Labour Convention 182 on the worst forms of child labour. We are working with international and non-governmental organisations and industry to address the problem of child slavery, and are looking at what we can do to increase these efforts.

I am meeting industry representatives, and also Ministers from the Government of Cote d'Ivoire, on 4 May.