“We know that transitioning to adulthood is challenging and demanding for all young people today, but how much more so for care leavers” – Bishop of Leicester, 12/3/15.
On 12th March 2015 the Bishop of Leicester, Rt Rev Tim Stevens, spoke in a debate tabled by Baroness Eaton, “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to help young care leavers not able to “stay put” in foster care to make a successful transition to independence.”
On 10th March 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, received a written answer to the following question of Government:
Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to review their resettlement policy for Syrian refugees in the light of the number who are continuing to seek refuge.
Lord Bates: The Government is deeply concerned about the crisis in Syria, the suffering and hardship it is causing for millions of displaced Syrians in the region, and the strain it is placing on their host countries. Given the scale of the crisis, we believe the most effective way to ensure the UK’s help has the greatest impact for displaced people and their host countries is through substantial humanitarian aid and actively seeking an end to the conflict so that refugees can return to their homes and livelihoods safely. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about resettlement of Syrian refugees”
On 10th March 2015 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Rev Alan Smith, asked a question in the House of Lords on humanitarian assistance for the people of Tikrit, Iraq. He followed it with a supplementary question to the Minister. Those exchanges, along with a transcript of all subsequent questions on the same by Peers, are below.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the statement by the United Nations that 28,000 civilians have been displaced from the city of Tikrit by the actions of Islamic State, what plans they have to increase the provision of humanitarian aid to the conflict area. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government to step up humanitarian aid in Tikrit”
On 26th February 2015, Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty’s Government what measures they and the host states are planning to prevent Syrian refugees becoming permanent residents in those states. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, asked a supplementary question:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, given that, as the Minister will be aware, peace agreements in this area have been done to the people, from Sykes-Picot nearly 100 years ago onwards, what contacts are the Government making with those who are in the camps and need to have a voice in the peace settlement, and in particular with women’s groups?
Baroness Northover: The most reverend Primate is right to highlight this. There is constant contact with those in the camps, to try to engage them in moving things forward. With regard to support for women and girls, we are acutely aware of how vulnerable they are, and we have a number of programmes to help support them. As he will probably know, we are very concerned about early marriage and so on, and those who are particularly vulnerable to that. We are trying to ensure that we link up to support those girls so that that does not happen, and seeking out leaders to help protect girls and women more widely.
On 30th October 2014, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office, Lord Bates, repeated a Government statement concerning search and rescue for migrants and refugees. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is clear that we are all deeply worried about this terrible situation. Just last weekend, a family drowned off our own coasts and the horror was felt right across our country. There were serious discussions about whether we needed more people on duty to look after them. There is a deep sense of worry where people put themselves in such danger. I do not think that any of us believe that people are putting their families at risk—sometimes, they are huge, extended families; one was reported earlier this week on television—thinking, “Oh, well, it does not matter if we are likely to drown because we might be saved”. That would seem to me incredible. Surely we need a much more coherent, pan-European strategy underlying the whole question of immigrants and asylum seekers, and we should try to get some agreement on how we can address it. However, I would lament us withdrawing from anything that would help people in such dire circumstances.
Lord Bates: I understand the right reverend Prelate’s point. I should make the point again for the benefit of the House that we are not withdrawing from anything; this was something for which the Italian Government had responsibility, and they have decided to phase it out. The right reverend Prelate is absolutely right that more needs to be done to establish a co-ordinated approach, which was indeed the purpose of the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on this specific issue held on 9 and 10 October. One of the outcomes of that meeting was Operation Triton, which we have pledged resources to, in addition to all the other things that we are trying to do to help in the countries from which these people are fleeing for their lives.
On 13th October 2014 the Bishop of Coventry, Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth received answers to written questions on Iraq and Syria. The Bishop asked Government about the UK’s involvement in offering humanitarian aid, peacebuilding and support for displaced persons.