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Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of child victims of the Darfur conflict being passed in to slavery with the complicity of the Sudanese Army; and if he will make a statement. (250380)

[holding answer 22 January 2009]: We are aware that, in a report published in December 2008, the Darfur Consortium group of non-government organisations (NGOs) described the abduction of women and children in Darfur. While we do not have independent verification of these allegations, we are deeply concerned and join the report’s authors in condemning all instances of abduction, people trafficking and other forms of slavery.

We agree with many of the report’s recommendations, including the need for full deployment of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), a comprehensive ceasefire and inclusive peace process for a sustainable resolution of the conflict in Darfur. We are working closely with UN, African Union and international partners to achieve these objectives, especially UNAMID’s efforts to improve security for internally displaced persons and to ensure humanitarian agencies and NGOs can operate effectively in the region.