Democratic Republic of Congo

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Minister for Africa, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead, raised with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo during her recent visit the treatment of "shegues" (street children in Kinshasa) who have been sent to Angenga and Buluwo prisons.

Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Minister of State (Africa and the UN), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa and UN)

The UK Government are deeply concerned at the problems faced by children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We have worked with REJEER, a children's rights non-governmental organisation, to fund a leaflet aimed at children to explain their rights under the 2009 Child Protection Law. We are also funding projects for improving access to primary education through the Department for International Development which will help children.

I did not raise the issue of shegues with the Government of DRC on my recent visit, but we have asked the UN for confirmation of reports that street children are being imprisoned and of the conditions in the prison, which we are waiting to receive.

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