During a visit to Rwanda on Saturday, when she toured the facilities where the asylum seekers will be housed, Suella Braverman the interior minister of the UK government defended the contentious decision to send newly arrived asylum seekers there.
The deportation strategy was dubbed “humanitarian and caring” by the UK interior minister. The pact, according to Rwanda’s foreign minister, will destroy smuggling networks and “save lives.” On Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated in London against the idea.
What does Rwanda’s asylum policy entail?
Since the UK left the European Union, the Conservative government has made stopping illegal immigration a top goal. This, according to the government, will dissuade thousands of migrants from entering the UK via “illegal, risky, or unnecessary methods,” like tiny boats that span the English Channel.
It is attempting to restrict the filing of asylum claims by those who arrive illegally and transfer them to “safe” third nations, such as Rwanda. They will be sent to there on one-way tickets during the five-year experiment in order to apply for refuge there. Some asylum seekers might be given permission to remain there as refugees. Else, they can apply to live there on other grounds or ask for asylum in a “safe third nation”.
The agreement reached by the London and Kigali “will pave the way for the discovery of a solution which is both humanitarian and compassionate, as well as fair and balanced,” Suella Braverman said.
On actual grounds
Yet, since the policy was introduced on April 14, 2022, the numbers have not decreased. A dangerous route that has seen a surge in traffic every year since 2018 brought more than 45,000 migrants to the shores of south-east England in small boats in 2022.
But, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which is independent of the EU, halted that proposal at the last minute after it was revealed by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson last year. When he announced that London had signed a migration and economic development partnership with Kigali.
Safe Travels, not to Rwanda
Human rights organisations charge Rwanda, which has been ruled by President Paul Kagame with an iron fist since the end of the 1994 genocide that claimed around 800,000 lives, with repressing free expression and opposition.
On Saturday, hundreds of people protested the idea in cities throughout the UK, including London, Glasgow, and Cardiff. No human being is an illegal immigrant, and “Safe passage, not Rwanda” were among the slogans carried by protesters in the UK’s capital.
Is the Rwanda plan legitimate?
The asylum policy has been very controversial. International and national concerns have been in rise if the scheme contravenes international law and human rights. The plan, according to critics, violates rules pertaining to human rights and that Rwanda is not a safe place for asylum seekers. The High Court decided that the scheme is valid in December. It claimed that the UN Refugee Convention is not violated by the Rwanda plan.
While on the other side decided by the High Court that some of the parties had the right to challenge certain portions of its ruling, those who lost the case. Therefore, no flights will be permitted to depart for Rwanda while the matter is pending in the Court. There is no specific time yet.