UN says UK’s Rwanda deportation law exposes migrants to risks

“This new legislation seriously hinders the rule of law in the UK and sets a perilous precedent globally,’’ said Türk.

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UN says UK’s Rwanda deportation law exposes migrants to risksHeads of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday called on Britain to reconsider its new law facilitating the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda.

The bill passed on Monday significantly restricted the possibility of resisting deportation even if migrants were exposed to risks in the process.

UNHCR head Filippo Grandi and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said in Geneva.

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Moreover, people’s specific individual circumstances may not be adequately examined before deportation contrary to international humanitarian law, they noted.

“By shifting responsibility for refugees, reducing the UK’s courts’ ability to scrutinise removal decisions, restricting access to legal remedies in the UK.

“And also limiting the scope of domestic and international human rights protections for a specific group of people.

“This new legislation seriously hinders the rule of law in the UK and sets a perilous precedent globally,’’ said Türk.

It is particularly worrying that the law allows the government to ignore decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, according to their statement.

The British House of Lords, as the second chamber of Parliament, approved the bill on Tuesday night after prolonged opposition.

In doing so, the UK declared the East African country a safe third country, which enables the deportation there of asylum seekers.

The law is intended to deter people from making the dangerous journey to Britain across the English Channel in small dinghies and also destroy the business model of people smugglers.

 

Earlier in the day, Sunak held a rare morning press conference to demand that the Lords stop blocking his key proposal for ending the tide of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, promising that both houses of Parliament would remain in session until it was approved.

The legislative stalemate was just the latest hurdle to delay implementation of a plan that has been repeatedly blocked by a series of court rulings and opposition from human rights activists who say it is illegal and inhumane. Migrant advocates have vowed to continue the fight against it.

“For almost two years, our opponents have used every trick in the book to block fights and keep the boats coming,” Sunak told reporters Monday morning in London. “But enough is enough. No more prevarication, no more delay.”