Middle East: Yazidis

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the Government provides to survivors of sexual violence among the Yazidi people in Iraq and Syria.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

The UK has provided significant support to survivors of sexual violence, including Yazidis, in both Iraq and Syria.

Besides humanitarian assistance, UK support to survivors of sexual violence in Iraq has been primarily through the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Daesh (UNITAD), to which the UK has contributed £2 million. UNITAD has a stand-alone Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Children's Unit, created to address the unique gender aspects of Daesh crimes; a Victim and Witness Support Unit, which has developed a strategy to incorporate safeguards and protections for vulnerable groups; and psychologists to provide support to victims and witnesses.

In Syria we have supported many efforts to assist survivors of sexual violence. These include projects to map and vet support services for survivors of sexual violence; train doctors to provide forensic medical reports; produce in depth case files on the Daesh slave trade; and train first responders for child and adult survivors. We have also allocated nearly £30 million to the UN Population Fund to help reduce and mitigate gender-based violence and provide life-saving sexual and reproductive health services.

As part of the UK's continued global leadership on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UK will host an International Conference in November entitled "Time for Justice: Putting Survivors First" to galvanise the world into further action.

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