Hope for Justice has written a policy briefing for MPs ahead of the vote today (12th December 2023) on the status of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, known as the Rwanda Bill. Today’s second reading in the House of Commons will be the first chance for MPs to vote on its main principles. We urge MPs to oppose the bill for the following reasons.
Recommendation: Oppose the Safety of Rwanda Bill and the UK-Rwanda Treaty on the basis that this policy:
- violates international law
- undermines efforts to tackle modern slavery
- infringes fundamental human rights
The ‘Rwanda Plan’ is a core part of the UK Government’s immigration strategy alongside the Illegal Migration Act, which as discussed in this article, makes it easier for traffickers to operate with impunity and makes the most vulnerable individuals, who have been trafficked and are victims and survivors of modern slavery, even more vulnerable.
The new policy would forcibly remove vulnerable migrants, including victims and survivors of modern slavery, from the UK to Rwanda despite a high risk of refoulement (being forcibly returned to other countries where they might face torture and persecution). This would breach the UK’s international and domestic obligations, specifically the Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Action against Trafficking (ECAT), and the European Convention on Human Rights.
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