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UK, Rwanda asylum plan against international law – UN refugee agency

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By Judith Gicobi

The UN’s refugee agency has declared that proposals to deport certain refugees from the UK to Rwanda violate international law.

Trying to “shift responsibility” for assertions of refugee status, according to the UNHCR, is “unacceptable.”

Boris Johnson has stated that the plan is legal under international law.

Similarly, despite objections from Home Office civil staff, Priti Patel granted a “ministerial direction” to implement the policy.

Because civil staff were unable to accurately estimate the policy’s advantages and the costs were unknown, the home secretary was forced to take individual accountability for it by making the directive.

According to a source close to Ms Patel, ”deterring illegal entry would create significant savings” and that the reality that the savings could not be assessed exactly must not impede activity.

According to the Institute for Government, ministerial instructions have been used 46 times since the 2010 election, with two at the Home Office since 1990.

The official directive was only used once before by the Home Office, in 2019 by previous home secretary Sajid Javid to implement the Windrush Compensation Scheme before legislation was in effect.

People found to have infiltrated the UK illegally since January 1 could be transferred to Rwanda, where they can seek for the right to stay in the east African country, under the £120 million pilot project.

The government claimed the first planes may take off in a matter of weeks, targeting on single males who crossed the Channel in tiny vessels or trucks at the time.

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Since 2001, Australia has deployed offshore detention facilities, transferring thousands of asylum seekers out of the country.

It has been chastised by the UN and human rights organizations for the poor circumstances at its facilities, and its own predictions indicate it will spend $811.8 million (£460 million) on offshore processing in 2021-22.

Israel sought to send Eritrean and Sudanese refugees to Rwanda, but they simply left the country and started the process all over again,” according to Ms Triggs.

“In other words, it is not actually a long-term deterrent,” she said.

Ellie Reeves, Labour’s shadow justice minister, termed the strategy “unworkable,” saying that if Labour was in control, it would make it a crime to promote people smuggling on social networking sites and collaborate more directly with France and other countries to combat trafficking gangs.

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