The government has announced a new £120 million ‘migration partnership’ with Rwanda giving rejected asylum seekers a one way ticket to the East African nation.
Announcing the programme, both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel called Rwanda a “safe” country with “one of the strongest records for refugee resettlement”. Johnson also said that asylum seekers relocated to Rwanda would have the opportunity to “prosper” and “thrive”.
Both seem to be forgetting about Rwanda’s recent human rights violations and treatment of the victims of human trafficking, the very things they are claiming to protect. Here’s what you need to know.
How will the scheme work?
Refugees who arrive in the UK will be subject to a Home Office assessment to determine whether they are what the government calls “economic migrants” or asylum seekers escaping violence and persecution.
This new immigration package would see rejected asylum seekers flown to Rwanda, where the Rwandan government has said migrants will be “entitled to full protection under Rwandan law”. But details are yet to be revealed as to how the asylum process will work for migrants once they arrive in Rwanda.
Marley Morris, associate director for migration, trade and communities at think tank IPPR, called the scheme “unethical, unsustainable, and likely to come at a huge cost to the UK taxpayer.”