The UK signed a new agreement with Rwanda on Tuesday in the hope of sending asylum seekers to the African country. This is what was reported by Reuters news agency. Last month, the British High Court ruled that plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda were unlawful, because it could not be guaranteed that it was a safe country for asylum seekers.
This is a requirement under the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the judges, the asylum seekers would risk being returned by Rwanda to the country from which they fled. Persecution may await there.
The British government is now trying to get out of power with the new treaty. According to James Cleverly, the British Home Secretary who traveled to Rwanda on Tuesday, the judges’ objections to the new plans have been removed.
The agreement includes a promise from the Rwandan government not to return asylum seekers, even if their asylum applications are rejected. In addition, the British Parliament would have to pass a law declaring Rwanda a safe country. The question remains whether the Supreme Court will approve the new plans.
With the new treaty, Minister Cleverly sees “no reason why migrants should not be able to fly to Rwanda in the coming months,” he said Tuesday afternoon. Lawyers and human rights organizations believe this is unlikely.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hopes the plans will reduce the flow of migrants into the country. In April last year, the two countries signed the first agreement, under which the UK would send migrants to Rwanda to apply for asylum. The aim is for the treaty to prevent migrants crossing the Channel into the UK.
In exchange for the deal, Rwanda has already received at least 160 million euros, but no migrants have been sent to the African country yet.
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