Lord Hylton – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for International Development

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Hylton on 2016-09-13.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the four points for urgent action in the International Rescue Committee situational brief of 5 September.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

The IRC report outlines four areas for action. The Government response to each is as follows.

On point one in the report, the Government has been clear that the UK will not be part of the European Union relocation scheme. We remain of the view that relocation schemes within Europe risk creating perverse incentives for people to put their lives into the hands of traffickers. The Government is supporting efforts at hotspots through the deployment of resources to Italy and Greece through the European Asylum Support Office. We are fully committed to the efficient and timely operation of the Dublin Regulation and we are working closely with the Greek authorities, to identify, assess and transfer those with family connections to the UK under the Dublin family reunion process.

On point two, through our £70 million contribution to the Mediterranean Migration Crisis response, we are funding the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organisation for Migration, and other agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations, and have strongly encouraged them to ensure close coordination with the authorities, to together achieve improved accommodation for refugees and migrants. Our funds are also helping to provide alternative shelter options for vulnerable migrants.

On point three, DFID is delivering a £10 million Refugee Children’s Fund for Europe which prioritises unaccompanied and separated children. The fund provides safe places for at risk children, data management to trace children to their families, and services such as counselling and legal advice. A new Women and Girls’ Fund for Europe will provide specialised protection services, responding to the risk of exploitation, violence and trafficking, including for children.

On point four, the Government believes that resettlement programmes are best operated at the national level. Under the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme, we have committed to resettle 20,000 Syrians by the end of this Parliament. In addition to this through the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement scheme we will resettle 3,000 individuals from the Middle East and North Africa region over the same period, focusing on children at risk.