Amnesty Scotland Briefing - Refugee Ban Bill
This afternoon (Tuesday 25th April) the Scottish Parliament will debate the UK Government's Illegal Migration Bill, dubbed the 'Refugee Ban Bill'. The Scottish Government has lodged the following motion to be debated by MSPs:
That the Parliament deems the UK Government’s proposed Illegal Migration Bill to be dehumanising and immoral; notes that the bill proposes that anyone who enters the UK by irregular routes would not be able to remain in the UK, and would be subject to detention and then returned to their home country or what the UK Government deems to be a safe third country such as Rwanda; agrees that the proposals in this bill will remove access to support for some of the most vulnerable people in the world, including children, potentially forcing them into further exploitation and destitution; acknowledges that the Home Secretary has no confidence that the bill is compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights; notes the strict limitations on any formal routes for people seeking asylum; agrees that the UK has moral and international legal obligations to uphold the 1951 Refugee Convention and offer a place of safety to people, including children, fleeing conflict and persecution, and affirms that sanctuary should be available under these obligations to those fleeing war and persecution, and that Scotland remains welcoming to such vulnerable people in their time of need.
Scottish Labour has also lodged an amendment:
As an amendment to motion S6M-08680 in the name of Shirley-Anne Somerville (Illegal Migration Bill), insert at end “, and agrees with the assessment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the bill risks undermining the universality of human rights and protections for victims of trafficking and modern slavery, as well as breaching the UK’s obligations under both the 1951 Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Amnesty welcomes this debate and the focus on how the Bill will breach the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as abandon the UK's obligations under international law.
Read the briefing issued to MSPs ahead of this afternoon's debate by Amnesty below in which we also highlight how the Bill will specifically impact on devolved areas of power in Scotland, and may push the Scottish Government and public bodies into breaching their duties under the Human Rights Act and European Convention on Human Rights.
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