Asylum Aid’s statement on the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill

This Bill is an affront to the rule of law, basic standards of fairness and the protection of individual rights, which are the cornerstones of our democracy. It will violate our international law obligations – which even Rwanda sees as a step too far - and damage our reputation on the international stage.

It shows a complete lack of respect for the constitutional role of the Courts in ensuring that the Government is not above the law and in upholding the will of Parliament.

The Supreme Court examined thousands of pages of evidence and heard three days of argument from the Home Secretary, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and people facing removal to Rwanda. It decided that Rwanda could not ensure the safety of people sent there by the UK. It is shocking that just three weeks later the Government is asking Parliament to reach a different judgment and simply conclude that Rwanda is safe. The new Treaty between the UK and Rwanda changes very little in reality, as even the Rwandan Government admits. Despite Rwanda being a signatory to numerous Treaties such as the Refugee Convention, the Convention Against Torture – which prohibit sending people back to countries where they might be persecuted – the Supreme Court saw evidence that it had done this in the past, and found that it would do in the future. The Bill is a fantasy for the government to distract us from the real challenges in the asylum system.

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Note to editors:

Asylum Aid is a leading provider of high-quality legal representation to people with complex cases who are seeking asylum in the UK. For over 30 years, Asylum Aid has worked with survivors of trafficking and torture, stateless people, unaccompanied children, and other vulnerable people seeking asylum to help them gain legal protection in the UK. Since 2020, Asylum Aid is part of the Helen Bamber Foundation Group.