On 20th March 2018 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the changing situation in Syria.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, will the Minister give an assurance that in the provision of humanitarian aid to those displaced in this conflict the Department for International Development’s understanding of vulnerability includes religious persecution? Will he also give an assurance that the Government will continue to ensure that the UNHCR’s procedures and criteria for determining refugee status recognise religious persecution as a distinct category?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The Government are very cognisant of religious persecution in Syria and Iraq. Indeed, I returned from Iraq only a couple of weeks ago. I visited Mosul and met directly with Christian representatives as well as those of the Yazidi community and heard first hand about the heinous crimes that have been committed against young women and children. I assure the right reverend Prelate that all forms of persecution against all people throughout Syria and Iraq are taken into account, and those issues are fully considered by all agencies, including the UNHCR.