HC Deb 17 March 2004 vol 419 cc348-9W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what cross-departmental discussions involving his Department have taken place regarding the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights. [161479]

Fiona Mactaggart

I am not aware of any cross-Whitehall discussions about the Covenant involving Home Office Ministers or officials. My Officials, along with officials in other Government Departments whose responsibilities are covered by the Covenant, contributed to the UK's last report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the implementation of the UK's obligations under the Covenant in January 2001. Following the UN Committee's recommendations in 2002, my officials contributed, in Spring 2003, to the Government's submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights' inquiry into how the Government are taking forward the UN Committee's recommendations. The Home Office's primary responsibility covered by the Covenant concerns racial discrimination.