Written Ministerial Statement to the House, by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, 18 September 2003.


Travel support for the relatives of British terrorist victims.


1. Last week we remembered the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, two years ago. In a few weeks, we shall be marking the first anniversary of the Bali bombings. The Government responded to these tragic events with practical support for the families of the victims beyond the consular assistance we would normally provide following the death or injury of British nationals abroad. We did so because of the exceptional nature of terrorism, in which individuals are random victims of attacks directed at society as a whole. I am announcing today a package of measures designed to support the families of victims of future terrorist attacks abroad, which is based closely on what was provided for the families of victims of September 11th and Bali.


2.  These measures are:


•   Return economy airfares to the airport nearest the site of the incident for two members of the victim’s family.


•   Accommodation for three to five nights


•   Travel insurance as appropriate and where available


•   Local Travel including transfers from airport to local hotel


•   Repatriation of bodies or remains


•   Immediate medical expenses of those killed or injured


•   Medical evacuation of those killed or injured to the nearest hospital.


•   Return luggage costs of those killed or injured


3.  The provision of the exact package, and the details of the assistance offered to the families will, of course, depend on the particular circumstances, including whether any of the costs are already covered by existing insurance policies. As a matter of course, we provide consular advice and support, both in London and at the site of the incident. We also endeavour to arrange insurance cover for family members where it would not otherwise be available.



4.  None of these measures can ever take away the pain and suffering which families will experience in these most horrendous of circumstances, but we sincerely hope they will at least remove some of the practical and administrative burdens from them, when trying to cope with the trauma of the incident.