On the 19 July 2017 the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler held a short debate on the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, Refugees Welcome? The Experience of New Refugees in the UK. The Bishop asked the Government to appoint a Minister for Refugees and to implement the report’s call for a national refugee integration strategy. Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State at the Home Office responded to the debate for the Government. Her speech and that of the Bishop, are reproduced in full below. All speeches in the debate can be read in full: here
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, Refugees Welcome? The Experience of New Refugees in the UK, published on 25 April.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I am pleased to be able to introduce this short debate on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Refugees’ report, Refugees Welcome?. It was a privilege to serve on this group. It was also often disturbing to hear the stories of those who, having experienced years of difficulty as asylum seekers, found the joy of being finally given refugee status taken away by the poor ways in which they were then treated. As a nation, we had agreed that they deserved to be fully welcomed—but our systems often left them bereft and destitute. As the report makes clear, we have work to do as a nation to ensure that those who we have agreed are refugees and whom we believe have much to offer our land are made truly welcome.
In the House of Lords on 19th July 2017 Peers responded to a statement by the Immigration Minister about support for child refugees. The Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, more than 25,000 unaccompanied children arrived in Italy last year. The cut-off date for Section 67 was 20 March 2016, which means that none of the children who arrived in Italy after that date could be helped. Given that no children have yet been transferred from Greece and Italy under the scheme, will the Government consider resetting the cut-off date? Continue reading
On the 18th July 2017, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer to a question about the UNHCR’s assessment of refugees.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, whether they have made any representations to the UNHCR concerning that agency’s understanding of vulnerability, with a view to redefining that definition to include religion as one of the criteria used to identify those refugees most in need of assistance. [HL705]
On the 17th and 18th July 2017, the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received written answers to questions about Iraqi refugees fleeing Daesh and who are eligible for ressetlement under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what estimate they have made of the number of Iraqis that have fled Daesh in Iraq who are now refugees in countries bordering Syria. [HL704]
On 14th July 2017 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer from Government about refugee resettlement numbers:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark to ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Iraqi refugees they have resettled since 2014 under (1) the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS), and (2) other global resettlement schemes such as Gateway and Mandate. Continue reading
On 27th June 2017, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received a written answer to a question on the UK Syrian Vulnerable Persons Scheme.
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, what steps they are taking to expand the UK Syrian Vulnerable Persons scheme to include Iraqi refugees in Jordan. [HL154] Continue reading
On 14th March 2017 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question to Government about Home Office officials in France, Greece and Italy.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what Home Office officials are based in (1) France, (2) Greece, and (3) Italy; and what is the operational role of each official. Continue reading