India: Overseas Aid

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Stephen Crabb Stephen Crabb Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to allocate additional funding for work to promote access to justice in Orissa state, India.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The pilot project to improve access to justice, by increasing awareness of citizens' rights and the capacity of lawyers to effectively pursue cases for victims of the communal violence in 2008 ran until 31 March 2010. We will assess its impact and, together with our EU partners, will continue to monitor the situation in Orissa including any appropriate follow-up action. The EU delegation reported the findings of their visit to Orissa to the EU with recommendations for further areas for follow up including on access to justice. The delegation also raised the issue with appropriate state authorities during their visit to Orissa and with the Indian Government during the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue meeting on 25 March 2010. While acknowledging evidence of progress in some key areas including the setting up of two fast track courts, the EU side also identified areas for future action, on access to justice for victims of the violence, to assist in the reconciliation process.

The pilot project funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to promote access to justice in Orissa ran until 31 March 2010. We will now assess its impact and consider appropriate follow-up action such as additional funding. We will also continue to monitor progress on delivery of access to justice for the victims of violence in Orissa.

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