Ukraine: Refugees

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Tuesday 8th March 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to allow a greater number of Ukrainians who do not have family in the United Kingdom to come to this country; and what assessment they have made of the number of UK citizens willing to offer rent-free accommodation to refugees from Ukraine.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) (Con)
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My Lords, the Government have announced that the UK will establish a humanitarian sponsorship pathway, which will open up a route to the UK for Ukrainians who may not have family ties with the UK but who are able to match with individuals, charities, businesses and community groups. There will be no numerical limit on this scheme; we will welcome as many Ukrainians as wish to come and have matched sponsors.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB)
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I thank the Minister for her Answer, which is very welcome indeed. Rabbi Jonathan Romain in Maidenhead advertised locally for people willing to offer rooms to Ukrainian refugees and, within days, he had 240 offers. I believe that that could be replicated all over the country, so I am very glad that the Government have given that Answer. Will people with a named host and named accommodation who wish to come here be able to undertake the process in this country rather than having to go through a long and very unsatisfactory visa process via Paris or Brussels? Poland and Germany have shown very open hearts; I believe that the British people will do the same.

Migrants

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Thursday 25th November 2021

(2 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, I apologise to the noble Lord, Lord Paddick, for not answering that point. I was trying to get through everything. As I understand it, we are developing technology to ensure that we identify not only people coming in but those leaving. We also have exit checks. I will end there, and I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB)
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Perhaps I might be allowed to ask just one question concerning people claiming the need to come to this country who have money. Does the Minister agree that it is possible to understand how a person might have money to pay for the journey but have a genuinely well-founded fear of persecution? Iran is the obvious example, where there is a thriving middle class. One can earn a good living there if one keeps one’s head down. However, if one is the wrong sexuality, religion or outspoken, one of course wants to leave and would have to money to do so.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I take the noble and right reverend Lord’s point but the point that my noble friend was making is that, in the main, you can afford to get here only if you can afford to pay the people smugglers. That was not any slight on those who can pay but the fact is that you can get here only if you can afford to pay. There is a secondary point to that. If you cannot afford to pay, the people smuggler might say, “Don’t worry, you can work for me when you get to the UK.” You could then find yourself being enslaved.

Policing and Prevention of Violence against Women

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Tuesday 16th March 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]
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Surely what is needed, as the Minister suggested, is a fundamental rethinking by men of their attitude to women. I feel every sympathy with those women who justifiably feel vulnerable and angry at the moment. What practical steps are the Government taking to ensure that more is done about this in schools? The law has only a limited effect; there must be a fundamental change of attitudes, and that begins right in the earliest days at school. Is it worth looking, for instance, at what is being taught under the heading of moral and social education? Is some kind of review of that needed?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con) [V]
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The answer to the noble and right reverend Lord is that we have now made relationship and sex education obligatory in secondary schools, and relationship education is now in primary schools, which is absolutely right. There is more that we could do. This is not just about schools, but perhaps some of the ways that children behave at school reflect what their home lives teach them that relationships and behaviour look like. The education environment is incredibly important for children, but so too is the home environment.

Domestic Abuse and Hidden Harms during Lockdown

Debate between Lord Harries of Pentregarth and Baroness Williams of Trafford
Tuesday 19th January 2021

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I agree with the noble Baroness. I would like not to just promote it to all pharmacies but—as in the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Kennedy—to see how it could be rolled out more widely to more premises. She says that fewer than a quarter of pharmacies are registered. I do not know whether that is the case at all, but it has just been launched and I assume that the take-up will improve as time goes on. We will certainly promote it to more than just pharmacies as time goes on.

Lord Harries of Pentregarth Portrait Lord Harries of Pentregarth (CB) [V]
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I congratulate the Government on the initiatives that they have taken on this issue; they are very much to be welcomed. My question concerns the strategies outlined at the end of the Statement. There is one to tackle violence against women and girls, another to tackle domestic abuse and one to tackle child sexual abuse. There is clearly overlap here as, after all, most domestic violence is directed against women and girls. Can the Minister clarity how potential confusion and muddle will be avoided in relation to these different strategies?

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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I understand the noble Lord’s feeling that there might be some confusion but, looking at the various strategies he has outlined, I do not think we can lump them all into one, because we would then start to fail to support the people who very much need our help. I am content with how it is outlined although, as he said, there is the possibility of some overlap.