Louise Ellman – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Louise Ellman on 2015-10-15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the authorities in Iraq on the Yazidi community in that country.

Mr Tobias Ellwood

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers continue to raise the situation of minority communities in Iraq with the Iraqi authorities. The Government condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities committed by ISIL against all communities throughout the areas under its control. We are working closely with the Iraqi Government, the Kurdistan Regional Government and our international coalition partners to assist and protect civilians. The human rights situation in areas under ISIL control is gravely concerning, including for Yezidis, and Yezidi women in particular. We have received reports, including from Amnesty International, of the ordeal faced by these women and others abducted by ISIL, including rape, forced marriage, sexual abuse, forced conversion, and being sold as slaves. Working with the Department for International Development, we are already funding activities to protect vulnerable civilians, such as legal assistance and support groups for women. We are continuing to explore what further support we might be able to provide to vulnerable groups and internally displaced persons. We welcome the commitments that Prime Minister al-Abadi has made to inclusivity, protecting Iraqi citizens, addressing human rights abuses and holding those responsible to account.