The British government has faced strong backlash from opposition parties and human rights groups, after announcing plans earlier this month to send refugees to Rwanda for processing to prevent migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats. Is.
The British government says deportation to Rwanda will likely deter migrants from embarking on the treacherous journey.
More than 4,500 migrants have crossed the English Channel from France to Britain in small boats this year, more than four times the total number last year. Dozens of people, including 27 migrants, drowned when a boat capsized off the northern French coast in November.
There is widespread political consensus that the dangerous trek must be stopped, as well as bitter debate about how it can be accomplished.
More than 6,000 kilometers to the latest plan migrants in Britain carrying Rwanda, where their asylum will put them in holding centers during the process claims. Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the policy with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta during a visit to Kigali earlier this month.
Patel told reporters, “Our continued neglect of laws and immigration rules and the reality of a system that is open to securing and criminal exploitation has undermined the UK’s asylum system and public support for those who have lost their lives,” Patel told reporters. who really need access to it.” “It is a moral imperative to put the bad guys, the smugglers, out of business. This requires us to use every tool at our disposal and find new solutions. ,
“Working together, the United Kingdom and Rwanda will help to make the immigration system fairer, ensure that people are safe and enjoy new opportunities to thrive. We have agreed that those who enter the UK illegally seek their asylum has decided claims to be considered for relocation to Rwanda and those who are resettled will be supported with the help of integration, housing, including up to five years of training, [and] health care so that they can resettle and thrive,” the British Home Secretary said on 14 April.
The UK has paid an initial $156 million to Rwanda for a five-year testing plan. The UK will also pay Rwanda for every migrant accepted by the African nation.
“it [plan] Not only will it help them, but it will benefit Rwanda and the people of Rwanda and help further our own development,” Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta told reporters.
The policy has prompted a furious reaction in the UK and elsewhere. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby – the most senior cleric in the Anglican Church – criticized the policy in his Easter sermon. “It is against God’s nature to subcontract our responsibilities to a country that does as well as Rwanda,” Welby said.
Migrant aid groups say Britain should not outsource refugee processing to Rwanda, a country where London itself has flagged human rights concerns.
“We think it’s going to be inhumane, it’s going to be very expensive, and it won’t be effective,” James Wilson, deputy director of Group Detention Action, told VOA. “The UK is a signatory to the Refugee Convention. We have a legal and moral obligation to assess any asylum claim for the UK in the UK”
Wilson said the government should provide safe passage for refugees to reach Britain. “A humanitarian visa system, so that those who have arrived in France and wish to claim asylum in the UK and have some grounds for doing so, will be able to apply for a visa to come to the UK so that their asylum claim If we implement that kind of plan, which we think is completely practical, it will eliminate the need for channel crossings,” he told VOA.
Patel says that a range of a safe and secure country with respect to rule Rwanda “law and clearly evolved over time and develop institutions.” It also said that Rwanda has already resettled around 130,000 refugees from several countries.
Britain says asylum seekers must first apply for refugee status in a safe country, which includes France. The United Nations does not agree with this. “There is nothing in international law that says you have to ask in the country first,” said Larry Bottic, a senior legal official at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“UNHCR understands the UK government’s frustration on that and is certainly not in favor of channel crossings. We think there are more effective ways and more humane ways to address this,” Botnik told the Associated Press.
As of 2014, Australia sent thousands of migrants to offshore processing centers in the Pacific Islands of Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Many asylum seekers are still being held in these facilities. The policy has failed to deter migrants, says analyst Madeline Gleeson, a senior research fellow at the Kaldor Center for International Refugee Law at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
“In the first year of offshore processing, asylum history coming from that kind of seekers and more people aboard than any other time arrived in Australia,” he said.
Gleeson says Britain has indicated that only some migrants will be deported to Rwanda, and they are likely to be unmarried.
“If that is the case, what you might find is that the next boats that came across the channel were from groups that are not going to Rwanda – so you can see an increase in the number of women and children on that boat ,” he said. “And the worry is, if those boats sink or if they get into trouble, you are likely to have a much higher human toll if there are more women and children on the boat.
“There will be a limit on how many people can go into Rwanda. And of course, the UK problem we found here in Australia, which is very early – within 12 weeks of starting this policy – risks running into we already offshore The potential was maxed out,” Gleeson told VOA.
There are further concerns that migrant buses deported to Rwanda will try to reach the UK again, fueling human trafficking gangs that operate from Africa to Europe and the English Channel.