Rushanara Ali MP calls on the Prime Minister to keep up search for three young women smuggled into Syria and to launch inquiry

In light of the reports that the three young women who left their homes in Bethnal Green have now been smuggled across the Syrian border, Rushanara Ali MP called upon the Prime Minister to ensure the Government continues to make every effort to find the three young women and encourage their return.

Rushanara pressed the Prime Minister to launch an “urgent inquiry” into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the young women. She also highlighted the need for clearer guidance for all relevant agencies to safeguard young people at risk.

Rushanara said:

“Last week, three young women from my constituency left their homes and travelled to Turkey and are now thought to have been smuggled into Syria. Their families are devastated. I know the Prime Minister is making every effort to find them and encourage their return, will he set up an urgent inquiry into these events to ensure families, schools,  mosques, youth clubs, internet companies and all agencies are guided on how they can protect other young people?”

The Prime Minister replied:

“The hon. Lady is absolutely right to raise this heart-breaking case, which we also discussed in the House on Monday. Clearly, anyone who saw the parents on the television talking about their children could not help but be moved by their plight."

"What I have done is asked the Home Secretary to look urgently, with the Transport Secretary, at all the protocols we have in place about young people and travelling, and at what airlines do and what we can do. My understanding is that the police did respond relatively quickly in informing the Turkish authorities, and that what the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister has said about a three-day delay is not accurate, but there are always lessons to learn. On this occasion, I suspect the lessons will be not just that we can tighten arrangements on aeroplanes and at our borders, but that we all have a responsibility—schools, parents, families, communities, universities, colleges—to fight this poisonous radicalisation of young people’s minds.”