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Middle East: Internally Displaced People

Question for Department for International Development

UIN HL1053, tabled on 19 July 2017

Her Majesty's Government whether they have received evidence that those working for (1) the UNHCR, and (2) other UN agencies, are failing to protect internally displaced (a) Christians, (b) Syriacs, and (c) Chaldeans, in Northern Iraq and Syria; and if so, what was their response.

Answered on

27 July 2017

The UK Government recognises the specific risks faced by religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, including those who have suffered so horrifically at the hands of Daesh. We have not received evidence indicating that staff of UN agencies are failing to discharge their protection mandates with regard to these minorities in Northern Iraq and Syria. DFID considers reports from a wide range of sources, including field visits by UK officials where these are possible, to assess the effectiveness of UN agencies, including in discharging their protection mandates. DFID takes any allegations that they are not being applied effectively very seriously, and stands ready to follow up specific allegations with the partners concerned.

Lord Bates and Minister Burt have arranged a joint meeting with Lord Alton and interested parties to discuss this important issue.