§ Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what measures the UK Government are taking to encourage the recognition of(a) the Convention travel document issued to refugees and (b) certificates of identity issued by the UK as official travel documents by countries that do not recognise them as such; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) which countries recognise (a) the Convention travel document issued to refugees and (b) certificates of identity issued by the UK as official travel documents, and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what measures he is taking to facilitate the travel to countries who do not recognise the Convention travel document issued to refugees and certificates of identity issued by the UK as official travel documents by UK residents who hold such documents; and if he will make a statement; 
§ Beverley Hughes
[holding answer 23 July 2002]: All countries which are signatories of the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees recognise the travel document issued to refugees under Article 28 of the Convention. We are not aware of any particular difficulties encountered by refugees resident in the United Kingdom when using this travel document.
The Certificate of Identity (CID) is a travel document issued to foreign nationals who are resident here but unable to obtain a passport from their national authorities. It is issued on a discretionary basis, not under an international convention. Non-recognition of the document by a number of European Union Member States who are members of the Schengen Group, notably France, Germany, Greece and Spain, means that CID holders who want to travel abroad for short visits, or other temporary purposes, are often unable to do so. It is a matter for individual countries whether the CID is recognised as a travel document.53W
The issue has been discussed regularly at meetings of consular representatives from the London Embassies of the Schengen Member States. At these meetings, and also in separate informal discussions, Home Office officials have given extensive assurances about matters relating to the CID, including particularly the re-admissibility to the UK of people who use the document to travel abroad.
Efforts to solve the problem and persuade objecting countries to recognise the CID are continuing.