British Parliament approves deportation bill to Rwanda: UN human rights activists warn of consequences

Британский парламент одобрил закон о высылке в Руанду: правозащитники ООН предупреждают о последствиях

London, Great Britain. British Parliament approves deportation bill to Rwanda: UN human rights activists warn of consequences Refugees and migrants

In connection with the adoption by the British Parliament of the Rwanda Security Bill, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk expressed alarm that the law could negatively affect the situation with human rights and the protection of refugees.

They called on the British government to reconsider its plan to expel asylum seekers to Rwanda and instead take action to address illegal migration through international cooperation and respect for human rights.

The UK Supreme Court ruled last year that the proposed transfer of asylum seekers to Rwanda would breach international and UK law. The Rwanda Security (Asylum and Immigration) Bill and the UK-Rwanda Partnership Agreement do not address the gaps in the protection of migrants’ rights identified by the Supreme Court, human rights activists have noted.

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“To protect refugees, not only countries neighboring the crisis region must fulfill their obligations, but all countries,” he stressed Grundy.

The UK’s efforts to shift responsibility for refugee protection to third countries, he said, set a dangerous global precedent.

“The UK can be proud of its history of effective and independent judicial review. It can still take the right steps and take action to help address the root causes that force people to flee their homes and take on some of the responsibility for those in need of protection, together with European and other international partners.” – added the High Commissioner for Refugees.

This requires a fair and well-functioning system that ensures access to protection for those who need it and the possibility of returning home for those those who do not have legal grounds for staying in the destination country.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by the irregular movement of refugees and migrants, UN human rights advocates have expressed grave concern that the legislation will facilitate the expulsion of refugees with limited consideration of their individual circumstances and risks. They called on the UK to continue to work with countries along refugee and migrant routes to strengthen their protection and expand alternatives.

“Shifting responsibility to refugees, preventing courts from scrutinizing removal decisions, limiting access to remedies in the UK and reducing the scope of domestic and international human rights guarantees for a certain group people, the new legislation seriously impedes the rule of law in the UK and sets a dangerous precedent throughout the world,” said Volker Türk.

The implementation of the bill will result in asylum seekers including families with children, will be simplified to Rwanda to make their asylum claims in that country – with no prospect of returning to the UK. The ability to challenge deportation decisions will also be limited. In doing so, decision-makers and judges will be required to view Rwanda as a “safe” country for the protection of asylum seekers – regardless of any evidence to the contrary, now or in the future.

Human rights activists also note that an additional cause for concern is that the legislation allows the government to ignore remedies provided by the European Court of Human Rights.


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