In April 2022, Rwanda and the United Kingdom (UK) signed Migration and Economic Development partnership. The deal paves the way for deportation to Rwanda of migrants and asylum seekers staying in the UK illegally.
Under this program, migrants are set to benefit from secondary qualifications, vocational and skills training, language lessons and higher education.
After signing the agreement, it was reported that those willing to return to their mother lands will be helped to do so.
The UK made the decision to discourage people crossing to the country illegally and reduce the budget spent on them every year.
The deal was criticized by various organizations overseeing migrants’ interests and some British politicians.
Their first flight to Rwanda was expected on 14th June 2022 but was cancelled at last minute after an intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
In Monday’s ruling, The New York Times has reported, the court decided that the idea of having asylum claims processed in Rwanda does not break the law.
The policy, the court said, was consistent with the government’s legal obligations, including those imposed by Parliament with the Human Rights Act 1998.
The court, however, also ruled that the cases of eight people who were initially scheduled for deportation to Rwanda had not been properly considered, and it ordered a new review of them by the home secretary.
Although that was a victory in principle for government, the ruling from the court also suggested that there were limits on the way the policy could be deployed.
Though not the top judicial authority in the country, the court deals with the most important noncriminal cases.
“The home secretary must decide if there is anything about each person’s particular circumstances which means that his asylum claim should be determined in the United Kingdom or whether there are other reasons why he should not be relocated to Rwanda,” read an official summary of the ruling.
Architects of the policy described the ruling as an important moment, and the government said that it welcomed the judgment and was committed to defending the policy against any future legal challenges.
“We have always maintained that this policy is lawful and today the court has upheld this,” Suella Braverman, the home secretary, said in a statement. “I am committed to making this partnership work — my focus remains on moving ahead with the policy as soon as possible.”
The UK is one of the European countries that have for long struggled with an increase in illegal migrants, mainly through the English Channel.
The BBC recently reported that at least 40,000 people crossed the English Channel in 2022, a higher number compared to 28,526 registered last year.
These illegal migrants come from various countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The UK spends at least 5.5 million pounds a year on migrants where they stay in hotels while their claims are being processed.