According to a critical report from Parliament, the UK’s contentious legislation regarding Rwanda, which designates the African nation as a suitable destination for deportation, goes against the country’s human rights responsibilities and violates international law.
Members of Parliament and members of the House of Lords from the bipartisan joint committee on human rights have presented a thorough evaluation of the proposed Rwanda bill’s safety. The bill is currently moving quickly through parliament.
The purpose of the legislation is to oppose the decision made by the supreme court in November, which determined that Rwanda was not a secure country to which UK asylum seekers could be forcibly deported.
According to the bill, Rwanda is confirmed to be a secure nation and individuals sent there by the UK government will not be involuntarily sent to an insecure country. However, the report indicates that it is uncertain if this can actually be ensured in reality.
The report is the latest of many from legal and human rights experts condemning the UK government’s Rwanda plan and raising questions about whether the policy is safe, viable and compliant with national and international law.
After carefully examining the bill, which will enter its committee stage in the House of Lords on Monday, the report concludes that it is fundamentally inconsistent with the UK’s obligations to uphold human rights. The bill weakens the protections outlined in the Human Rights Act, violates certain aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights, and fails to uphold the UK’s promise to adhere to international treaties.
The text expresses worry about the Rwanda policy and cautions that the government’s actions to exempt certain laws may jeopardize the UK’s hard-earned reputation for upholding the rule of law and human rights.
The statement declares that the bill’s significant lack of judicial review aims to weaken the constitutional responsibility of domestic courts in overseeing the actions of the executive branch.
Liberty, a human rights organization, presented evidence stating that a court would have to ignore the fact that Rwanda is unsafe, pretending not to hear it.
The committee heard testimonies from legal professionals, scholars, and non-governmental organizations. The vast majority concurred that the proposed legislation was not in line with human rights legislation.
The committee inquired if Rwanda is currently considered a safe destination for asylum seekers based solely on the language of the bill. After hearing from the majority of its witnesses, it was determined that the answer is negative.
The committee noted that ministers were unable to guarantee the compliance of a bill with the UK’s international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights for the second time in a year when introducing it.
The chair of the committee, MP Joanna Cherry, stated that this legislation aims to eliminate crucial protections against mistreatment and violations of human rights, such as the basic right to seek legal recourse. The bill is fundamentally against human rights and cannot be improved through amendments.
This is not only about the morality and ethics of the Rwanda policy itself. By adopting this strategy, the legislation puts the UK’s reputation as a defender of human rights on the global stage at risk.
The spokesperson for the Home Office stated that they are dedicated to addressing this significant worldwide issue through creative and ambitious approaches, and the Rwanda program is a prime example of this. The proposed legislation and accompanying agreement are the most effective means of facilitating flights to Rwanda in a timely manner.
Rwanda is a secure nation that is dedicated to aiding refugees. It currently accommodates over 135,000 individuals seeking asylum and is prepared to assist in relocating them and aiding in their resettlement.