Bishop of St Albans asks about civil and human rights of Rohingya and Chin people in Myanmar

St Albans 2On 4th November 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from the Government, in reply to two questions about persecuted people in Myanmar:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL530 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the Rohingya people’s civil and human rights are being upheld in Myanmar.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (ii) HL532 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of attacks against Chin people in Myanmar.

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about civil and human rights of Rohingya and Chin people in Myanmar”

Bishop of Durham asks about immunity for illegal migrants who can identify traffickers

Durham040219On 28th October 2019 Lord Bethell repeated a Government Statement about the tragic  deaths of 39 migrants in Essex. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:

Lord Bishop of Durham: While I understand that the Minister does not wish to speculate, it is possible that there are people already in this country who may have been illegally trafficked here and will know the identity of those people when it emerges. In order to fully understand the depths of the depravity that leads to this kind of evil, will consideration be given to offering immunity to those who are here illegally at present who can offer good, solid evidence that will help us to understand and bring people to justice? Will immunity be considered for those who are already here, perhaps illegally?


Lord Bethell (Con): The Secretary of State has spoken in another place of her determination to track down the perpetrators of this crime. When asked a similar question, she communicated her determination to use whatever routes or opportunities she had, including the kind described, in order to achieve that objective.

via Parliament.uk

Bishop of Durham asks about impact on vulnerable of changes to NHS charging rules

On 2nd November 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question about the impact of changes to NHS charging on refused asylum seekers, trafficking victims, the homeless and those with mental health problems: 

The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the impact of changes to NHS charging regulations on refused asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups, including (1) victims of trafficking, (2) homeless people, and (3) those living with mental health conditions. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about impact on vulnerable of changes to NHS charging rules”

Bishop of Derby supports Bill to help victims of modern slavery

On the 8th September 2017 the House of Lords debated the Modern Slavery (Victim Support) Bill [HL], a private member’s bill from Lord McColl. The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke in support of the Bill:

The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord McColl, for his persistence and inspiration in keeping this on the agenda and bringing this Bill before us today.

I declare a number of interests. I was on the Select Committee that helped to craft the legislation, which was a good foundation—but all the evidence shows, and some of us realised this at the time, that it needs to be developed with further investment, as we learned from victims and the adjustments of the police and other statutory authorities. I declare an interest, too, as chairman of the advisory panel of the Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, to whom the noble Lord, Lord McColl, referred and who is doing some amazing work, helping us to see where the foundations can be strengthened and developed. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby supports Bill to help victims of modern slavery”

Bishop of Chelmsford praises Government work on modern slavery; urges partnership with churches

On 11th July 2017 in response to a Government statement on the G20 in Hamburg, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell asked a question about the Government’s approach to human trafficking, highlighting church initiatives.

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Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords I thank the noble Baroness for the Statement and the Government’s continued commitment to tackling modern-day slavery. I am particularly grateful for the commitment to cultivate a radically new global and co-ordinated approach to this problem, which traps 46 million people in conditions that deprive them of their God-given dignity. Can the Minister give an assurance that they will put the victim at the centre of this new global approach and that it will enlist the support and help of the Churches’ global networks, which are already beginning to mobilise through the Santa Martha group and the Clewer initiative to condemn this abomination, which Pope Francis has rightly called a crime against humanity?

Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford praises Government work on modern slavery; urges partnership with churches”

Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft

On 19th January 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons from MPs on Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism and lead theft. The transcript is below:

spelman-190117b Continue reading “Church Commissioner questions: Israel/Palestine, human trafficking, prisons, social media, low carbon economy, tourism, lead theft”

Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill [HL] – speech by Bishop of Derby

On 8th July 2016 the House of Lords considered the Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill [HL],  a Private Members’ Bill from Baroness Young of Hornsey. The Bishop of Derby spoke in the debate:

Derby 191115cThe Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I too thank and congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Young, and support these suggestions. I declare an interest in that I am the chairman of the advisory panel to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and am therefore, among other things, quite heavily involved in some of these issues.

My first point is that the Modern Slavery Act recognised very clearly the importance of information, which gives power. If you hide information, people get the wrong kind of power to behave badly. Besides trying to press companies to behave well and have good practices, we need to remind ourselves that this is not simply to fight on behalf of victims—although that is of course the priority—but to fight against serious organised crime, which in itself is a very successful business model that is expanding all the time, as we speak. It is therefore in the interests of proper companies to help us all to push back against criminal business behaviour, which has these appalling human consequences and is also enormously damaging to the health of our economy and the well-being of business more generally. Continue reading “Modern Slavery (Transparency in Supply Chains) Bill [HL] – speech by Bishop of Derby”