The UK will send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. There they receive reception and enter the process of applying for asylum in the East African country. An agreement on this was signed on Thursday in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.
The scheme will initially be tested on unaccompanied men who entered the UK after 1 January this year in boats or hidden in trucks. It will cost about 120 million pounds (144 million euros). Exact details will be announced later.
The British want to curb illegal immigration with this. This approach is part of broader measures to combat migration across the Channel. For example, the Navy will patrol the canal to stop refugee boats.
These measures are intended in part to deter people from making a dangerous journey. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the prospect of sending them to Rwanda would deter a lot of people. According to the head of government, it is also a blow to people smugglers who make a lot of money by illegally transporting people from France to England. “It is better for people to apply for asylum in a legal way.”
Johnson believes there are still lawsuits over the agreement with Rwanda. “But we don’t think we’re violating any international treaties with this.”
The UN agency does not support the plan
UNHCR is concerned that one country wants to send asylum seekers to another country. “UNHCR does not support the outsourcing of asylum obligations. This also includes sending asylum seekers and refugees to other countries, especially if their rights are not sufficiently secured,” the organization said. Watchman†
British Home Secretary Priti Patel has traveled to Rwanda where she will give more details about the plan, including where people should stay. Rwandan Minister Vincent Perrota said the agreements were made to ensure “people are protected, respected and supported in achieving their ambitions”. They will have the opportunity to settle permanently in Rwanda, if they wish.
The opposition Labor Party describes it as an “impractical and immoral” approach to the refugee problem. It remains to be seen to what extent the British monitor living conditions in Rwanda.
There is a lot of criticism of the plan, mainly because Rwanda does not take human rights closely. Not only did the United Nations express its concerns, but the British government itself said last year that it remained deeply concerned about “restrictions on civil and political rights and freedom of the press in Rwanda”.
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