Rwanda’s reaction to UK court ruling on deportation of asylum seekers

On 29 June 2023 at 12:24

The Government of Rwanda has issued a response to the ruling by the United Kingdom (UK) Court of Appeal, which deemed the deportation of migrants and asylum seekers to Rwanda as unlawful.

In a statement released by the spokesperson, Yolande Makolo, the government expressed its concerns over the characterization of Rwanda as an unsafe country for asylum seekers.

The statement emphasized that Rwanda is one of the safest nations globally and has been recognized by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and other international institutions for its exemplary treatment of refugees.

The ruling by the Court of Appeal comes after a previous High Court decision in December 2022, which deemed the UK’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda as lawful and in line with the refugee convention.

The plan, known as the "Migration and Economic Development Partnership," was established in April 2022 to facilitate the transfer of migrants and asylum seekers who are illegally present in the UK to Rwanda.

The initial timeline for the first migrants to arrive in Rwanda was set for July 2022, but this was delayed due to a complaint filed by organizations advocating for migrants’ rights. The Court of Appeal reviewed the case and made the recent ruling.

The court’s decision contradicts the position of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who have consistently defended the deportation plan, highlighting Rwanda’s successful management of refugee and migrant crises. Rwanda’s government has reiterated its commitment to finding a solution to the global migration crisis, emphasizing its contribution in dealing with its impacts.

The statement from Rwanda emphasized that the country has created a safe, secure, and dignified environment where migrants and refugees have equal rights and opportunities. The government pledged to welcome and support migrants relocated to Rwanda under the partnership, stating that they will be provided with the necessary assistance to build new lives in the country.

Rwanda has expressed its commitment to making the partnership work despite the ruling, highlighting the failures of the global migration system and the detrimental impact it has on vulnerable individuals, while also empowering criminal smuggling gangs.

The government remains dedicated to protecting and supporting those in need, ensuring their rights and welfare are respected.

Makolo has expressed concerns over the characterization of Rwanda as an unsafe country for asylum seekers.