'Agenda to transform the already brutal asylum system'

File photo dated 20/11/21 of a group of people thought to be migrants being brought in to Dungeness,

A group of people, thought to be migrants, are rescued off the coast of Kent - Credit: PA

The latest horror in the attempt by the government to intensify their “hostile environment” was unveiling plans for sending people offshore to Rwanda.

This heinous plan comes as the Nationality and Borders Act (NABA) has finally been passed, despite significant opposition. It is part of the government’s agenda to transform the already brutal asylum system in Britain and drag it further rightwards while stoking racism towards refugees and migrants.

This is both an extremely concrete attack on human rights and highly ideological.

The deal with the Rwandan government is a shocking development. It won’t be a case of sending people to be processed there until they can get confirmed asylum status in Britain. If this were the aim it would be completely illogical.

The British government is choosing to send people to a viciously repressive regime where they will never be allowed into Britain.

Vivek Lehal, Haringey Stand-Up to Racism (HSTUR)

Vivek Lehal is calling for the expansion of safe and legal routes for refugees to enter Britain - Credit: Archant

Human Rights Watch says: “Rwanda has a known track record of extrajudicial killings, suspicious deaths in custody, unlawful or arbitrary detention, torture and abusive prosecutions, particularly targeting critics and dissidents.

"In fact, the UK directly raised concerns about respect for human rights with Rwanda and grants asylum to Rwandans who have fled the country, including four just last year.”

Most Read

The NABA represents a significant attack on human rights in removing the ability to claim asylum for all but those arriving via official “legal” routes. The refugee charity Care4Calais says less than 1% of the world’s refugees are able to follow “legal” migration routes such as resettlement schemes.

Refugee organisations have repeatedly pointed out that the vast majority of asylum claims come from countries listed by the Global Peace Index as the most dangerous in the world and that is because there is no safe and legal route to enter Britain for most refugees, the majority have no choice but to seek unofficial – and unsafe – routes. The repeated tragedies in the Channel are a direct result of this.

Stand Up To Racism calls for the scrapping of the NABA and the rapid expansion of safe and legal routes for refugees to enter Britain and claim asylum. We must say loud and clear that refugees and migrants are not to blame – and that all refugees are welcome here.

Vivek Lehal is secretary of Haringey Stand up to Racism.