Skip to main content

Sri Lanka: Internally Displaced Persons

Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received of sexual and gender-based violence against Tamil women in the camps of northern Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. (301087)

It is very difficult to verify reports or allegations of sexual and gender-based violence in the camps in Sri Lanka. This is because access for humanitarian agencies, particularly those who work on protection activities, has been extremely restricted. We continue to press the Government of Sri Lanka to allow humanitarian agencies access to the camps to assess allegations of abuses such as sexual and gender-based violence.

The UK Government have consistently advocated for the treatment of all internally displaced persons (IDPs) held in camps in Sri Lanka to be in accordance with international standards.

The most effective way to ensure the safety of women displaced by the conflict is to restore freedom of movement to the IDP population so vulnerable people can be reunited with their families and communities.