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Written Question
St Helena: Exhumation
Thursday 23rd May 2024

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government how many scientific or archaeological research studies have been conducted since 2008 on ancestral human remains to determine the origins of the enslaved people on the island of St Helena.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Approximately 8000 former slaves are buried on St Helena and died after being taken to the island by the Royal Navy's West African Squadron trying to halt the slave trade in the mid-nineteenth century. Their precise origins are unknown. Archaeological research was conducted on human remains unearthed in 2008 during preparatory work for St Helena Airport and a further two studies were subsequently completed. Research conducted concluded that some of the individuals likely originated from the Central Africa region.


Written Question
St Helena: Exhumation
Thursday 23rd May 2024

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what forms of consultation and engagement with ancestral, descendant, and diaspora communities on St Helena and beyond have been carried out since the ancestral human remains there were exhumed in 2008.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The St Helena Government was responsible for the reburial of the remains and set up a Liberated African Advisory Committee to create a master plan for their respectful reinternment and to create a memorial and interpretation centre to honour those who died. The Committee consulted the island's community, National Trust and custodians of international enslavement sites around the world. The UK Government provided support for the reburial which took place on 21 August 2022 with the extensive involvement of the local community.


Written Question
St Helena: Exhumation
Thursday 23rd May 2024

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what measures are in place to ensure the ethical treatment of human remains in Rupert's Valley on St Helena and to protect and preserve the burial ground against present and future adverse development.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The St Helena Government is responsible for the protection and preservation of the burial grounds in Rupert's Valley. Human remains unearthed during preparatory work for St Helena Airport were reburied on 21 August 2022 on ground designated as a cemetery under St Helena's Burial Grounds Ordinance, ensuring it is now a protected site.


Written Question
St Helena: Monuments
Thursday 23rd May 2024

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what plans there are to create a memorial and interpretation centre on St Helena to honour those whose remains were buried in Rupert's Valley; what is the timescale for those plans; and how will the cost be covered.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Plans for an interpretation centre and a memorial are set out in a Master Plan created by St Helena's Liberated African Advisory Committee (LAAC). An interpretation centre is planned under Phase Two to raise awareness of the role St Helena played in the slave trade and its abolition. A memorial monument is planned under Phase Three to remember the former slaves buried in Rupert's Valley. The LAAC is in the process of publicly raising funds for the centre and memorial so the timescale for the completion of these projects is not yet known.


Written Question
International Decade for People of African Descent
Friday 23rd October 2015

Asked by: Baroness Young of Hornsey (Crossbench - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent.

Answered by Baroness Anelay of St Johns

The British Government has no specific plans to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. However, we remain strongly committed to combating racial discrimination, xenophobia and racial intolerance. We actively work to tackle all forms of racism, both domestically and internationally. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has in the past highlighted the solid progress we continue to make on fighting racism.


The UK has one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world in place to protect communities from hostility, violence and bigotry. We keep it under review to ensure that it remains effective and appropriate in the face of new and emerging threats. Key legislation includes specific offences for inciting hatred on the grounds of race, religion, belief and sexual orientation; separate racially and religiously aggravated offences; and powers for the courts to increase the sentence of an offender convicted of a crime where hostility towards the victim was shown to be based on their disability, race, religion, belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.