Westminster human rights committee to visit Rwanda

Westminster human rights committee to visit Rwanda

Westminster’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has announced that it will visit Rwanda to inform its work into the human rights implications of the UK’s asylum strategy.

In 2022 the UK government announced a deal with Rwanda whereby some people coming to the UK to claim asylum would be permanently removed to Rwanda.

In December last year, the Supreme Court ruled that Rwanda was not a safe destination for asylum seekers, rendering the Rwanda scheme unlawful.

The government has since brought forward new legislation and negotiated a treaty with Rwanda with the goal of overcoming these human rights concerns and enabling deportation flights to take place.

Since the announcement of the Rwanda deal, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has carried out detailed scrutiny of the policy and underlying legislation to assess its compatibility with the UK’s human rights commitments.

It recently published a report following legislative scrutiny of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, which highlighted the continued risk of human rights breaches. It continues to take evidence as part of its inquiry into the human rights of asylum seekers in the UK.

The visit to Rwanda will inform the committee’s ongoing work in this area.

Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Joanna Cherry KC MP, said: “Given the important position Rwanda now plays in the UK’s asylum and immigration strategy, we thought it was important to get first-hand experience of the situation in the country itself.

“We want to make sure we get as full an understanding of the practical reality of the Rwanda deal as we can in inform our ongoing work on this crucial issue.”

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