On Monday 19 December 2022, the High Court ruled that the UK Government’s Rwanda deportation scheme is lawful, which means that the policy can go ahead.
Under this scheme, asylum seekers arriving in the UK can be forcibly deported to Rwanda, where they must undertake their asylum application and will be expected to live, should their application be approved.
This cruel policy has been condemned by UNHCR and the European Court of Human Rights, who grounded what would have been the first flight deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda, advocating for the rights of the asylum seekers on board.
Going forward with this hostile policy to deport displaced people to Rwanda will tear apart families and prolong persecution for those who came to the UK seeking refuge. It signifies a very dark moment for upholding rights in the UK.
Everyone has the right to seek asylum and offshoring our moral responsibility to Rwanda is not the answer to our broken asylum system.
While the ruling sets a worrying precedent, the High Court did find that the Home Secretary acted unlawfully in her treatment of all eight individuals targeted so far by the Rwanda policy, and stated that their removal must now be reconsidered.
We hope this will mean that going forward, individual circumstances must be taken into account and that it may be harder for the UK Government to deport people under the scheme.
We will keep working together, and supporting amazing partners like Asylum Aid, who were one of the organisations that brought forward the High Court Challenge, in standing up for people’s humanity and dignity, no matter where they come from.
Watch our CEO discussing the policy on Sky News here:
Read more about the ruling here:
U.K. Court Upholds Policy to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda – The New York Times