Probably the worst place in the world at the moment to be female or a child is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where dreadful violations of human rights have been occurring, particularly in the east. Can the Secretary of State please give me his assessment of the current situation, especially as UN forces intend to withdraw in June this year?
Henry Bellingham (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Africa and the United Nations), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; North West Norfolk, Conservative)
I share my hon. Friend's concern about what is happening in the east of the DRC, particularly in the Kivus. We are working closely with a number of non-governmental organisations, and with MONUSCO, the UN mission in the DRC. We will focus relentlessly and tirelessly on the points that he raised.
Sounds nice and caring, doesn't it? But is the DRC really the worst place on earth for children? It may well be. I can't think that Saudi Arabia is particularly great for women either. But let's think for a moment about countries which have refused to sign the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. It's not a long list:
The United States of America
Which is why an 11-year old is being automatically tried for murder as an adult.
Uppal's question is simply a soft question to a minister designed to make them both sound caring without making the slightest bit of difference. And clearly the minister knows nothing at all about the situation and has no intention of doing anything about it.