Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-6 out of 6
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 March 2015
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jordan
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has received from non-governmental organisations on the issuing of work visas to Syrian refugees in Jordan; and if he will raise this issue with the Jordanian government.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 26 March 2015

We regularly discuss the situation for Syrian refugees in Jordan, including access to work, with non-governmental organisations and civil society representatives. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields (Justine Greening) raised our concerns about the need for refugees to have access to livelihood opportunities with Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour when she visited Jordan in February.

The UK is committed to supporting Jordan as it hosts over 620,000 refugees from the Syria crisis, placing an enormous burden on local services and communities. We have provided £220 million to ensure Syrian refugees and host communities can continue to receive food, water and shelter while shoring up stretched public services.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 March 2015
Department for International Development
Syria
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what reports she has received on an increase of arranged child marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan; and what steps the Government is taking to protect children from such marriages.
A
Answered by: Justine Greening
Answered on: 26 March 2015

The Government is extremely concerned about reports of an increase in arranged child marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan. A UNICEF report in January 2014 indicated a rise in the proportion of Syrian refugee girls who had married early (defined as before the age of 18) in Jordan, from 12% in 2011 to 32% in the first quarter of 2014.

Child protection is a central part of DFID’s humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis and we provide multi-year funding to UNICEF to support their work in this area. In addition we also support organisations such as CARE, International Rescue Committee (IRC) and UNHCR. These interventions all have a child protection component. UNHCR and UNFPA co-chair the ‘forced and early marriage’ taskforce, which has developed a joint action plan to reduce the risk and mitigate the consequence of child marriage and forced marriage in Jordan, and to build the capacity of local organisations to tackle this issue. The UK also successfully lobbied the Government of Jordan to sign up to the Girl Summit 2014 Charter which is a global movement to end Female Genital Mutilation and Child, Early and Forced Marriage for all girls everywhere within a generation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 March 2015
Home Office
Asylum: Syria
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have (a) applied and (b) successfully resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (i) in total and (ii) in each month since September 2014.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 24 March 2015

As at 31 December 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had referred 260 people for consideration under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons
Relocation (VPR) scheme. This data is based on management information only, and has not therefore been subject to the detailed checks that apply to National
Statistics publications. 143 people were relocated to the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme between the first group of arrivals on 25 March 2014 and the end of December 2014. This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the Home Office official statistics each quarter.

The table below states the numbers resettled at the end of each quarter.

2014 Q1 – 13
2014 Q2 – 37
2014 Q3 – 40
2014 Q4 – 53

Total – 143

The number of arrivals under the scheme up to March 2015 will be published on 21 May.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 March 2015
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have (a) applied and (b) successfully resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (i) in total and (ii) in each month since September 2014.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 16 March 2015
Holding answer received on 12 March 2015

The Government is deeply concerned about the crisis in Syria, the suffering and hardship it is causing for millions of displaced Syrians in the region, and the strain it is placing on their host countries. That is why we launched the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme, offering protection in the UK to some of the most vulnerable refugees, who cannot be supported effectively in the region. The scheme is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota, but we have said that we expect it to help several hundred people over three years, and we remain on track to deliver that commitment. We therefore have no current plans to change the way the scheme operates. However, we continue to monitor the situation in Syria and the surrounding region and work closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify the most vulnerable people displaced by the conflict to ensure that the scheme remains responsive to need.

However given the scale of the crisis, we believe the most effective way to ensure the UK’s help has the greatest impact for displaced people and their host countries is through substantial humanitarian aid and actively seeking an end to the conflict so that refugees can return to their homes and livelihoods safely. We have committed £800 million in response to the crisis, making us the second largest bilateral donor in the world, and UK funding is helping to support hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the region, providing food, healthcare and essential supplies. Compared with aid, resettlement can only ever help a minority of those in need.

The VPR scheme does not form part of the UN quota but runs in parallel with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees' (UNHCR) own Syria Humanitarian Admission Programme. The Government has been clear that this is a crisis of international proportions and needs a fitting response from the international community.

EU member states have responded to the Syrian crisis in different ways and it is for each state to decide how they help those displaced by the crisis. The UNHCR is best placed to comment on the policies of other countries regarding Syrian refugees.

Grouped Questions: 226793
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 March 2015
Home Office
Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the relative effectiveness of (a) the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme and (b) comparable schemes being implemented by other EU member states.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 16 March 2015
Holding answer received on 12 March 2015

The Government is deeply concerned about the crisis in Syria, the suffering and hardship it is causing for millions of displaced Syrians in the region, and the strain it is placing on their host countries. That is why we launched the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme, offering protection in the UK to some of the most vulnerable refugees, who cannot be supported effectively in the region. The scheme is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota, but we have said that we expect it to help several hundred people over three years, and we remain on track to deliver that commitment. We therefore have no current plans to change the way the scheme operates. However, we continue to monitor the situation in Syria and the surrounding region and work closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify the most vulnerable people displaced by the conflict to ensure that the scheme remains responsive to need.

However given the scale of the crisis, we believe the most effective way to ensure the UK’s help has the greatest impact for displaced people and their host countries is through substantial humanitarian aid and actively seeking an end to the conflict so that refugees can return to their homes and livelihoods safely. We have committed £800 million in response to the crisis, making us the second largest bilateral donor in the world, and UK funding is helping to support hundreds of thousands of displaced people in the region, providing food, healthcare and essential supplies. Compared with aid, resettlement can only ever help a minority of those in need.

The VPR scheme does not form part of the UN quota but runs in parallel with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees' (UNHCR) own Syria Humanitarian Admission Programme. The Government has been clear that this is a crisis of international proportions and needs a fitting response from the international community.

EU member states have responded to the Syrian crisis in different ways and it is for each state to decide how they help those displaced by the crisis. The UNHCR is best placed to comment on the policies of other countries regarding Syrian refugees.

Grouped Questions: 226794
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 20 January 2015
Home Office
Asylum: Syria
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have (a) applied and (b) successfully resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme to date; what the origin was of each applicant; which local authorities are participating in the scheme; and what the cost of the scheme has been to date.
A
Answered by: James Brokenshire
Answered on: 27 January 2015
Holding answer received on 23 January 2015

We launched the Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme to help particularly vulnerable displaced Syrians, for whom relocation to the UK is the only option. In particular, the programme prioritises survivors of torture and
violence, women and children at risk and those in need of medical care. We are working closely with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to identify potential cases for relocation to the UK and it is not therefore
open to individuals to apply for places on the scheme.

Ninety people were relocated to the UK under the VPR scheme between the first group of arrivals on 25 March and the end of September. This is the latest publicly available figure, as numbers are released as part of the Home Office
official statistics each quarter. The number of arrivals under the scheme up to December 2014 will be published on 26 February. Those we have relocated so far have come from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Our main focus remains the vulnerability of individuals rather than where they came from.

There are a number of local authorities already supporting the scheme and more who have expressed an interest, with whom we are in discussion. We therefore remain confident that we can continue to meet the needs of arrivals in the UK
under the scheme as planned but we welcome further offers of support from other local authorities as the scheme progresses. However, as the scheme is based on vulnerability it would not be appropriate for us to release specific details of
where individuals are being placed, as this risks undermining their privacy and recovery.

The cost of the VPR scheme will depend on the particular vulnerabilities of those brought to the UK, and we are keeping costs under close review. Central government is responsible for the overall funding of the scheme, but we will
recover costs wherever possible, including from international aid funding schemes and potential EU funding schemes. We have put forward proposals to obtain funding from the new EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and are
hopeful of a positive outcome. The UK’s National Programme is yet to be agreed and until this is signed off by the EU Commission, costs to the Home Office specifically will not be finalised.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-6 out of 6
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100