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Afghanistan: Armed Forces

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Coussins Baroness Coussins Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 22 October (HL21, previously HL18069), what is the new policy relating to threats to and intimidation of interpreters in theatre in Afghanistan; and how it differs from the previous policy.

Photo of Baroness Goldie Baroness Goldie Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence has not previously placed a formal obligation upon contractors providing services in operational theatres to provide support to local employees who might face increased risk as a result of their association with the UK Armed Forces.

Under the new approach, the requirement for contractors to do so will be included within the Statements of Requirement for services where the Department has assessed that individuals recruited locally by the contractor could be at risk of being intimidated as a result of their association with UK Armed Forces such as the provision of interpreter support in countries including, but not limited to, Afghanistan. The Ministry of Defence would expect that any contractor working in these locations would undertake a range of measures that would effectively mitigate threats to employees. The cost of any such measures would be included in the costs charged to the Ministry of Defence.

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