Written answers

Thursday, 24 March 2022

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

International Protection

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)
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101. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if Ireland will support and advocate for an EU programme to grant refugee status to Tibetan people currently displaced from their homeland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15105/22]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The promotion and protection of human rights is a core pillar of Irish foreign policy, and Ireland is active bilaterally and in multilateral fora on human rights issues, including in relation to displaced persons. I am aware of the significant numbers of Tibetans living outside Tibet, in India and elsewhere.

My Department liaises closely with the Department of Justice and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in relation to global refugee issues. In line with our commitment to support the most vulnerable, the Government also provides funding to the United Nations, bilaterally and through the European Union, in support of its work with refugees, particularly via UNHCR. The Department of Justice has primary responsibility for international protection policy and related EU policy development.

My Department closely follows the situation in Tibet. At the 48th UN Human Rights Council in September in 2021, Ireland joined an EU Group Statement of 26 Member States, which called on China to abide by its obligations under national and international law to respect, protect and fulfil human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including in Tibet. The EU reiterated these concerns in a statement at the UN General Assembly last October.

I have set out my Department's position as regards the situation in Tibet in my reply to Question 14672/22.


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