International affairs

Mike Wood: Despite their Government’s attempts to conceal the facts, the Burmese military’s actions in Rakhine look a lot like ethnic cleansing. Is it not time that the international community started treating it as ethnic cleansing?


Mark Field Minister of State

Mike Wood: The overwhelming majority of abuses in Syria have been committed by the Assad regime and his backers. Will the Foreign Secretary assure us that everything will be done to ensure that those who flout international law and human rights laws will be held properly to account?


Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We will certainly do everything we can both to gather the evidence that is necessary and to hold the perpetrators to account.

Mike Wood: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving way and for treating us to the shorter version of his speech. Does he welcome the communiqué signed by the Government and the territories, which said that the UK acknowledged

“the importance of EU funding for sustainable economic development in some Overseas Territories and committed to ensuring that these interests were fully reflected in the UK’s negotiating position”?

Mike Wood: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s assurances of opposition to this terrible death penalty. What assessment have the Government made of the effects of the death of Ali Abdullah Saleh on the horrific crisis in Yemen and on the chances of a positive resolution?


Alan Duncan Minister of State

Mike Wood: Since May, at least 21 Christians have been given long prison sentences in Iran for practising their faith. Did the Foreign Secretary raise the issue of human rights with his Iranian counterpart, particularly that of freedom of religion?


Mike Wood: The UN has made it clear that Muslims in Rakhine state should receive a legal status that allows them to lead a normal life and, in time, be granted full nationality, with freedom of movement and access to labour markets, education and health services. Will my right hon. Friend continue to press those demands through the United Nations and directly with the Burmese authorities?


Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Mike Wood: May I congratulate the Foreign Secretary on the fact that 46 countries co-sponsored his UN resolution on bringing Daesh to justice, which was then unanimously supported in the Security Council? Does not this show that Britain is both leading diplomatic efforts against Daesh and rallying the international community around this important cause?


Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the UN appeal for Yemen raised only just over half its target? Does he agree it is now time for other countries to follow the UK’s lead by making pledges or by honouring the pledges already made?

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent progress the Government has made in accepting into the UK from other EU countries unaccompanied children claiming asylum from Syria.


Robert Goodwill (The Minister for Immigration): In 2016, we transferred over 900 unaccompanied children to the UK from Europe, including more than 750 from France. Approximately 200 of these children met the criteria for section 67 of the Immigration Act.

Mike Wood: To ask the Attorney General, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of prosecutions for modern slavery.


Robert Buckland (The Solicitor-General)

We have the strongest legal framework in place including the Modern Slavery Act, which came into force in July 2015. The Law Officers are supporting the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Modern Slavery, and the CPS continues to see a year on year increase in the numbers of prosecutions.