The UK government is sending illegal asylum seekers to Rwanda. Critics have accused the government of adopting a cruel policy, ignoring human rights concerns.
Rwanda Plan Is a Waste of Public Money
The UK government has recently announced a deal to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda. UK opposition politicians have condemned the government’s plan to forcefully send asylum seekers to the African country. The refugee groups have dubbed the move as inhumane and a waste of public money. More than 28 thousand asylum seekers have entered the UK in 2021using boats, and dozens have died. Many migrants use northern France to enter the UK, crossing the English Channel. They hide on trucks or ferries or use small boats to enter the south of England. The UK government has announced that anyone entering the UK illegally may be relocated to Rwanda. The UK government has claimed the plan would stop people smugglers from sending asylum seekers on risky journeys. The decision is not based on migrants’ country of origin but on using illegal or dangerous routes to the UK.
Rwanda Has Inadequate Human Rights Records
The agreement between the UK and Rwanda will last for at least five years. The UK government has paid 120 million pounds for settling the migrants. It is going to send illegal migrants who have arrived in the UK since 1 January 2022. Prime Minister Boris Johnson had promised to curb illegal immigration before coming to power. The UK government has claimed asylum seekers are currently costing the UK taxpayers 1.5 billion pounds a year. Rwanda has a sketchy human rights record but Johnson has called it a safe place for the asylum seekers. Rwanda has welcomed this partnership with the UK to host asylum seekers and offered residency to migrants. Some asylum seekers inside the UK are thinking of hiding themselves to avoid the UK government’s plan. People who have used illegal routes to get to the UK fear their future and do not want to go to Rwanda.
UK Needs a Humane Asylum System
The refugee director at Amnesty International UK has called the scheme an ill-conceived idea that will cause more suffering. Steve Valdez-Symonds has dismissed the UK government’s decision to send asylum seekers to a country with a dismal human rights record. He has said that very few asylum seekers arrive in the UK compared to other countries. This scheme will not tackle criminal smugglers and the UK government should create a humane and properly functioning asylum system. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has criticized the plan and mentioned it is the opposite of the nature of God. He has said there were serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers overseas. More than 160 charities and campaign groups have urged the UK ministers to disagree with the cruel policy. Civil services unions have voiced their opposition to the UK government’s plan and said the policy was inhumane.
The Scheme Will not Deter Illegal Immigration
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has raised human rights concerns over the scheme. UNHCR has pointed out Australia had experienced such a policy that had human and financial costs. The group has said the Australian experience has shown this policy could not deter illegal journeys to the country. The plan did not break the business model of smugglers and did not disappoint the asylum seekers. The UK government is going to punish the illegal migrants and will treat them like criminals. The UK government may convict around 20 thousand people for arriving in the country via irregular paths, every year. This is under the nationality and borders bill, which is in its final stages before parliament. The Conservative government has decided without consulting human rights groups. All human rights experts have denounced relocating asylum seekers to a third country by the UK government.
Britain Can Protects Its Borders with Fair Policies
Johnson has claimed the UK is “a beacon of openness and generosity” while announcing his deal with Rwanda. He has said that the Rwanda deal is a controlled immigration policy to manage pressure on the public services. He has referred to unmanageable demands on the NHS and welfare state because of uncontrolled immigration. The UK government’s deal with Rwanda has failed to address the needs and rights of asylum seekers. This hostility to migrants does not respect the basic human rights principles. The UK’s Nationality and Borders Bill has created an asylum model for asylum seekers. That model has undermined established international refugee protection rules and practices. UNHCR believes this Bill will not promote the protection of asylum seekers and will weaken it. UNHCR has said the UK can protect its borders while implementing fair and humane policies.
There Is a Risk of Human Rights Abuse
A tougher asylum policy will not necessarily halt the flow of migrants crossing the English Channel. There is a risk of deportation to Rwanda, however, more migrants have arrived in the UK on Easter. People have made the dangerous voyage and entered the UK on boats via the windy English Channel. The UK has detained more than 6 thousand migrants on small boats, so far this year. Unfortunately, under the new deal, all of them may have to leave the UK and go to Rwanda. A former Rwandan ambassador to the US has warned that this country is more a detention center than a sovereign state. There is a risk of human rights abuse and disrespect, and violence against asylum seekers. As an advocate of democracy, the UK government must review its new immigration plan.
The UK’s Rwanda plan is an attempt to stop people from traveling to the UK illegally. The UK government plans to fly back those asylum seekers who arrive in the UK on trucks or in small boats. This scheme is going to backfire as human rights experts and opposition politicians have censured the plan. Countries such as Australia have experienced the same policy throughout the last decade. The result was dreadful and asylum seekers have suffered appalling abuse, cruelty, and negligence. The UK government has claimed this scheme will overhaul its broken asylum system, but it will result in inhumane experiences. This hostility is an undemocratic decision by the UK’s arbitrary government.