The UK government’s deportation plan to send asylum seekers back to Rwanda has ignited a firestorm of protests and sparked a fierce legal battle. The controversial move, aimed at reducing the burden on the country’s immigration system, has drawn widespread criticism from human rights organizations and activists. Many argue that sending individuals, who have sought refuge in the UK due to persecution and conflict in their home countries, back to Rwanda is not only morally wrong but also potentially dangerous.
Protesters have taken to the streets across major cities in the UK, demanding an immediate halt to the deportation plans. They argue that Rwanda is not a safe place for these vulnerable individuals, citing ongoing political instability and reports of human rights abuses. Humanitarian organizations have raised concerns about potential violations of international law by forcibly returning asylum seekers to a country where their lives may be at risk.
The possibility of the UK’s withdrawal from the ECHR
Sources close to Rishi Sunak’s government suggest that the recent decision by the English Court of Appeal has heightened the pressure for the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This development has disrupted the Conservative Party’s plan to hold a referendum on the matter, previously promised in the upcoming elections. In an interview with the I newspaper, a former advisor to the UK government referred to this plan as “Brexit part 2″ and revealed that the Conservative Party intends to launch an extensive advertising campaign focused on addressing the issue of small immigration boats.
Holding a referendum on UK’s withdrawal from the ECHR
One of the former ministers of the UK government also called the promise of a referendum on the UK’s exit from the ECHR the best option. Jonathan Gullis stated that the British Prime Minister should commit to UK’s withdrawal from the ECHR in next year’s election manifesto. He should also try to revive the Brexit referendum spirit in the people.
Boris Johnson’s note on deporting asylum seekers
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has recently taken on a position on the editorial board of the Daily Mail, shared his perspective on the Rwanda issue in a published statement. Johnson suggested that a minor legal adjustment could potentially resolve this matter. The Rwanda incident is closely connected to the British Conservative government’s anti-immigration strategy, which involves sending asylum seekers to Rwanda for deportation. This contentious policy has generated substantial backlash both domestically and globally.
Reviewing the plan to deport refugees to Rwanda
This idea was first proposed by the former Prime Minister of this country, Boris Johnson. Still, its implementation was hindered due to the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights. Rishi Sunak’s government revised the bill and presented it to parliament for approval while imposing stricter immigration measures. Under the new plan, those who enter the UK illegally will be deported within 28 days. They have no right to protest and will be banned from returning to this country.
Sending illegal immigrants to safe third countries
The UK government wants to make it illegal to claim asylum from all irregular arrivals and transfer them to “safe” third countries like Rwanda to stop migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats. The British Home Secretary travelled to Rwanda earlier this year to discuss the transfer of so-called illegal immigrants to the African country. In this connection, he signed an agreement worth 120 million pounds with the government of Rwanda; But until now, due to obstacles and legal challenges, this plan has yet to be implemented.
English court’s initial approval of Rishi Sunak’s immigration plan
Estimates show that deporting refugees to Rwanda will cost £169,000 ($215,035) per person. Sunak’s government insists that the cost of housing asylum seekers in the UK is more expensive, and this situation is not sustainable due to the country’s economic and financial problems. The British court declared the plan legal in December last year, but a month later, it agreed to the appeal of human rights groups.
The English Court of Appeal ruled that Rishi Sunak’s immigration plan was illegal.
Last April, court hearings were held for four days, and finally, according to a verdict issued a few days ago, the UK government’s transfer of asylum seekers to Rwanda to process their immigration requests was declared illegal. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and human rights charities have welcomed the British court’s ruling. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that the UK government cannot guarantee the safety of the refugees it deports to Rwanda.
The UK government’s attempt to outsource the responsibility of immigrants
Gillian Triggs, advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, says that the government’s attempt to outsource the responsibility of migrants to another country is unacceptable, and the United Nations Refugee Agency strongly condemns such action. She stated that experience has shown that refugees have left the sending countries after some time and started migrating again. She clarified that this is not a deterrent or effective way to control refugees.
British charities warn against Rishi Sunak government’s immigration decision.
Within the UK, charities have warned that the government’s cruel and despicable decision to move asylum seekers thousands of kilometres away will not only fail to address the migration crisis but will lead to further humanitarian chaos and about 1 It will cost 4 billion pounds. More than 160 charities and human rights activists, in a letter to the British Prime Minister, condemned the government’s plan in this regard and called it cruel and shameful. “This is a shamefully cruel way to treat people who have come to the UK to seek protection, fleeing persecution or conflict,” the letter said.
The objection of the Archbishop of the UK to Rishi Sunak’s immigration plan
Also, in a rare statement, the Archbishop of the UK expressed his objection to this illegal plan and considered the government’s decision to be against religious standards. Justin Welby said last month that outsourcing the responsibility of asylum seekers is not a good idea. He said that examining the plan’s details is the work of politicians but pointed out that God’s satisfaction should be considered. This Christian cleric stated that the government’s plan should not violate the national values formed based on the beliefs of the Christian religion. Accordingly, he pointed out that sending refugees to Rwanda is against religious teachings and divine nature.
The possibility of a strike by British Home Office employees
Meanwhile, the British Home Office employees have also refused to implement such a plan and threatened to hold a strike. Paul O’Connor, head of the British Public Service Union, said in early June that if the petition to stop the implementation of the Rwanda plan does not succeed, the union members will try to stop the performance of the scenario through a strike.
Referendum to Implement Rishi Sunak’s immigration plan
Rishi Sunak’s government plans to Of course, British news sources say that the government has no plans to withdraw the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights. British Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly said earlier that starting from this convention is not necessarily beneficial for implementing the government’s plan. From his point of view, by withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, the UK will join the ranks of countries such as Russia and Belarus, which are not members of this convention.
UK is trying to amend the provisions of the ECHR.
“European countries not part of the ECHR is a small club. I am not convinced it is a club we want to be part of,” Cleverly told The Guardian. Cleverly added that his opposition to withdrawing from the human rights convention does not mean accepting the interpretation of European judges on the human rights category, but my duty as foreign secretary is to correct the issues. He claimed that the UK is an influential actor in the international arena that can use its influence to amend the European Convention on Human Rights provisions.
Sunak’s objection to the decision of the Court of Appeal on asylum seekers
Boris Johnson, the mastermind of this plan, wrote in the Daily Mail that withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights is a matter of time, and the government should ask the parliament to recognize Rwanda as a safe country according to the immigration law approved in 2004. Rishi Sunak’s government plans to appeal the English Court of Appeal decision and refer the case to the Supreme Court. British news sources say that the Rwandan government is also ready to provide assurances to the court about the security of refugees.