Tue, 12 Dec 2023

UK to continue pursuing Rwanda migrant scheme

Robert Besser
18 Aug 2022, 20:34 GMT+10

LONDON, England: Despite a legal challenge in London's High Court in early September, the UK government is continuing to pursue its policy of sending illegally arriving migrants to Rwanda.

The policy is intended to deter people from making hazardous journeys to the UK and end the business of smuggling migrants.

The Rwanda policy has made the UK the latest country to outsource the settlement of asylum seekers, which was pioneered by Australia.

Denmark also signed a similar agreement with Rwanda, but has yet to send migrants to the African country.

While the UK claims the policy is humane and will smash the business model of smugglers, it has attracted widespread criticism from lawmakers, the United Nations and even Prince Charles.

Hours before the first migrants were to be deported from the UK in June, the European Court of
Human Rights also issued injunctions to force the cancellation of the first deportation flight.

Only one hostel in Rwanda has been established to accept asylum seekers from the UK. It has a capacity to house some 100 people.

A British official said the government aims to sign contracts with another three or four hostels in Kigali.

During a visit to Rwanda for a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in June, outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "I am not going to pretend that the Rwanda policy is the single magic bullet, but I think it can make a big difference."

Both candidates to replace Johnson, foreign minister Liz Truss and former finance minister Rishi Sunak, have also pledged to pursue the Rwanda policy.

A UK government spokesperson insisted the strategy was needed to stop people "making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys," arguing that 90 percent of asylum seekers who make the journey are men, many of them economic migrants rather than genuine refugees.

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