UK Enacts Law Permitting Deportation of Refugees to Rwanda

The British Parliament has approved legislation permitting the deportation of refugees to Rwanda. Deliberations on the law within Parliament were prolonged, primarily due to resistance from certain members regarding deportation. Under the law, Rwanda is designated as a safe third country. Following a two-month delay between the two parliamentary chambers, the law was ultimately ratified, with Parliament dismissing amendments proposed by the House of Lords. Its enactment awaits the signature of King Charles III.

According to British Prime Minister Sunak, the initial deportation operations to Rwanda will commence within twelve weeks. The law will apply to refugees who arrive in Britain illegally, regardless of their personal circumstances. Refugees will be required to apply for asylum in Rwanda, but there are no plans for their return to Britain. According to “The Times” newspaper, the current British government aims to sign similar agreements with Armenia, Ivory Coast, and Botswana.

The newly enacted law is embroiled in substantial legal disputes, with the European Court issuing a temporary injunction to suspend the deportation initiative. Furthermore, the UK Supreme Court has deemed the draft legislation illegal on the grounds that Rwanda is not deemed a safe destination. According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, there is no assurance that refugees will receive fair asylum procedures in Rwanda. The court based its decision on reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which cited allegations against Rwanda, including extrajudicial executions, deaths due to torture, and the rejection of asylum applications from conflict zones.

Despite negative international assessments of Rwanda, the British government has signed an agreement with the Rwandan government, committing Rwanda to providing adequate protection for migrants. The government presented the law to Parliament after signing the agreement with Rwanda to circumvent objections.

On the other hand, Rwanda is actively pursuing advantages stemming from the agreement with Britain and is endeavoring to establish similar agreements with other European nations, including Germany, to enhance its reputation and position itself as a dependable Western partner. Rwanda stands to gain substantially from this agreement, receiving hundreds of millions in return, including half a billion pounds sterling from Britain, along with additional funds for each asylum application processed.

In Germany, the British law will have an impact on those who advocate for the deportation of refugees, as there are calls from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to finalize agreements with other safe countries, including Rwanda, for the deportation of undocumented refugees to such destinations. Chancellor Schultz, in agreement with the heads of state governments last November, has agreed to explore the feasibility of asylum procedures outside Europe. The federal government is anticipated to unveil the findings of this study next June.














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