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Law Centre NI reacts to UK Government plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda

14th April, 2022

Speaking after the Government announced plans to send asylum seekers arriving in the UK via the English Channel to Rwanda, Liz Griffith from the Migration Justice Project at Law Centre NI said:

“We are deeply concerned at the latest proposals by the Government.  This flies in the face of the protections enshrined in the Refugee Convention as well as other international human rights standards. Under these proposals, people who are making the dangerous journey across the English Channel in search of safety and sanctuary in the UK will be sent thousands of miles away to Rwanda.

This alarming plan provides a timely reminder of the importance of creating ‘safe and legal routes’ for those seeking refuge in the UK. This week, Law Centre NI has been participating in the Ukrainian Assistance Centres taking place across Northern Ireland. The Ukrainians that we have spoken with have been able to reach safety through legal channels. Many are deeply distressed about their circumstances, but thankfully, none of them were faced with making a dangerous journey across the English Channel on unseaworthy boats and/or subjected to human smugglers.

In 2021, almost three quarters (72%) of applications for asylum resulted in an initial grant of protection. This the highest grant rate in over thirty years and is indicative of the increasing harms caused by war and human rights abuses around the world.”