Refugees and Human Rights

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:24 pm on 24th January 2018.

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Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact 3:24 pm, 24th January 2018

I will not due to the time, and I know that the hon. Gentleman’s private Member’s Bill is coming up on 16 March.

I do not have enough time to talk fully about the Rohingya. If we use too blunt an instrument in our diplomacy, we risk the country closing off. Ethnic conflict is already intensifying in northern Shan state and Kachin state, where the situation is actually backed by the popular support of the Burmese people, who already do not believe what the western media is telling them about the ongoing atrocities.

I cannot do justice to the speech of my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Middle East, who responded to the recent debate on the petition on the slave trade in Libya. He is making proactive moves to consider the petitioners’ demands and to speak to as many people as possible to address the causes, which include the migrant path from sub-Saharan Africa.

The conflict, security and stability fund, which has been allocated more than £1 billion for this year, aims to stabilise areas, but only by sorting out conflict, such as ending the war in Syria and appealing to the Burmese Government to ensure that the commander-in-chief ends the situation for the Rohingya, can we start to tackle some of the ongoing situations in Nigeria and other countries and prevent people from feeling the need to leave. It is through soft power, trade where appropriate, quiet and calm diplomacy in the UN and the Council of Europe, where the UK delegation is working this week, and all manner of other ways of mobilising the international community that we will start to succeed.