To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the threat posed to minority religious groups with refugee camps Syria within refugee camps; and what steps the Government has taken to protect such groups from persecution.
15 March 2016
Assad’s actions have fuelled sectarian violence and his regime is ultimately responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians. The UK, as part of the International Syria Support Group, has agreed that protecting the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, is fundamental. This means that Syrian minorities will be included and safeguarded as the political process progresses.
We are supporting non-governmental efforts to promote dialogue between different ethnic and sectarian groups in Syria, as we seek further progress on a political settlement. The UK is working with the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) to intensify their outreach and identification activities in the region; and to encourage and invite all unregistered populations to avail themselves of UNHCR’s assistance and protection services. This includes resettlement where eligible, either by directly approaching UNHCR to register with them or by referral via a third organisation.
Through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme, the UK is helping some of the most vulnerable refugees based on need. The scheme is open to all eligible persons regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, and prioritises the most vulnerable.