In the United Kingdom, a parliamentary report undermines the bill which allows the expulsion of migrants to Rwanda

Considered by the British government as the basis of its migration policy, the bill aimed at deporting migrants who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom to Rwanda was severely criticized by a parliamentary committee on Monday February 12

In the United Kingdom, a parliamentary report undermines the bill which allows the expulsion of migrants to Rwanda

Considered by the British government as the basis of its migration policy, the bill aimed at deporting migrants who arrived illegally in the United Kingdom to Rwanda was severely criticized by a parliamentary committee on Monday February 12.

This, made up of twelve Labor and Conservative members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, judged in a report that this text is “fundamentally incompatible” with the United Kingdom's human rights obligations.

The bill was drafted in response to the UK Supreme Court ruling in November 2023 that it was illegal to send migrants to Rwanda where their asylum claims would be assessed. For senior magistrates, the country could not be considered safe for illegal immigrants. To respond to this legal snub, the British government signed a new treaty with Kigali in December 2023 to guarantee “among other things that Rwanda will not expel to another country people transferred within the framework of the partnership”, then assured the British Home Office. The government had also announced the introduction of “emergency legislation” to designate Rwanda as a safe country.

The text adopted by the House of Commons

It is this bill which was crushed on Monday by the parliamentary committee. In its report, the latter is concerned about “the obligation for the courts to consider Rwanda as a “safe” country and the limitation of access to the courts to appeal decisions”. Furthermore, it is “not clear”, according to her, that migrants deported to Rwanda can have “the guarantee” of not being sent to a country where they could be persecuted.

“Human rights are universal,” underlines the parliamentary committee. But the bill “undermines this essential principle by denying a particular group [deported migrants] the protections guaranteed by human rights law.” With this project, public bodies would be “authorized to act in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights,” warns the commission.

Describing this project as an “urgent national priority”, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, wishes to dissuade migrants from crossing the Channel on makeshift boats – nearly 30,000 people have arrived by this means on British coasts in 2023.

Despite numerous criticisms in the United Kingdom – the project divides even within Mr. Sunak's Conservative party – the government managed to have its text adopted in January by the House of Commons by collecting 320 votes for and 276 against. While it is currently being debated in the House of Lords, Labour, led by Keir Starmer, has already promised to repeal it if it comes to power after the legislative elections, planned as it stands. autumn.