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The Proliferation of Human Misery – RefuNet is against the Rwanda Deal

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

By now you may have already heard about the UK’s plans to offshore refugees and asylum seekers through an outsourcing arrangement that was formalised on the 14th of April 2022 (Fernandez, 2022). RefuNet was deeply disturbed by this development, which has been headed by British Home Secretary, Priti Patel. This arrangement, which has been termed a ‘world-first’ migration and economic development partnership (GOV.co.uk, 2022), will see refugees and asylum seekers shipped off to Rwanda in Africa, which is 4,000 miles away from the UK.


Just a few months after the UK government condemned Rwanda for its human rights abuses (Bulman, 2022), they signed a multi-million-pound arrangement with the nation. The chief executive of the Refugee Council, Enver Soloman, has highlighted how even victims of trafficking and torture will be amongst those removed from the UK (Savage and Townsend, 2022). More to the point, these are human beings who are being shipped off and placed thousands of miles away from the place they wish to claim asylum, which ultimately removes them from the immediate view of the media and is most likely going to be detrimental to many asylum claims.


Many have drawn parallels to the failed Australian policy of offshoring migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to offshore detention centres, which cost the Australian taxpayer AUS$9.5billion, which is over £5.2 billion, that’s £1.6 million per detainee (Breese, 2022). More than just the financial cost, there is the human cost. People, who have been forced to flee from their homes, countries, and families, are now forced to face an even greater trauma by being isolated thousands of miles away from where they have attempted to find sanctuary.


It is also key to highlight how the legality of the process has been criticised, with the UN confirming that it has its legal protection team analysing the deal (Savage & Townsend, 2022).


Moreover, key figures both in and outside of the political arena have raised their concern and condemnation of such a plan. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England, Justin Welby used his Easter Sunday mass to state that this is the ‘opposite of the nature of God’ (Savage & Townsend, 2022).


In one of the holiest weeks of the year for many people around the world, one does not have to be religious to see the immorality and lack of humanity that is encompassed in this plan. RefuNet, therefore, wants to condemn this plan and the consequences that it will entail.


Please see the petition attached below to voice your concern!



References:


Breese, E. (2022). The UK has long wanted an Australian refugee system. Here’s how that failed spectacularly. Available at: https://www.bigissue.com/news/social-justice/the-uk-has-long-wanted-an-australian-refugee-system-heres-how-that-failed-spectacularly/ (Accessed 17 April 2022).


Bulman, M. (2022). UK condemned Rwanda for human rights abuses months before signing deal to send asylum seekers there. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rwanda-asylum-deal-home-office-uk-b2058273.html (Accessed 17 April 2022).


Fernandez, B. (2022). The UK’s quick Rwandan fix for the ‘Migrant Menace’. Available at:


GOV.co.uk (2022). World first partnership to tackle global migration crisis. Available at:


Savage M. & Townsend, M. (2022). Rwanda plan is ‘against the judgement of God’, says archbishop of Canterbury. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/apr/16/rwanda-plan-is-against-the-judgment-of-god-says-archbishop (Accessed 17 April 2022).





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