Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

UK: Lords should 'stand firm' and oppose shameful Rwanda bill

© Marie-Anne Ventoura/Amnesty International UK

Ahead of a fresh round of voting in the House of Lords today on the Government’s controversial Safety of Rwanda bill, Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, said:

“With the Government pouring millions of pounds of public money down the drain in its pursuit of cruel, unworkable and unlawful asylum policies, the Lords must stand firm in its opposition to this shoddy bill.

“The Rwanda scheme is both a deeply flawed but also immoral way to treat people fleeing conflict and persecution, and it is also doing untold damage to the UK’s standing on the international stage.

“Rather than attempting to palm off the UK’s international obligations onto another country, the UK should be offering proper protection via a properly functioning asylum system to people fleeing conflict and persecution from places like Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Syria and Eritrea.

“As we’ve been saying for years, the UK’s asylum system is deeply dysfunctional. And even worse, it is dysfunctional by design - with ministers simply refusing to process cases, meaning that thousands of people are being left in limbo, sometimes with devastating consequences.

“Instead of finally accepting responsibility to deliver a functioning asylum system, the Bill absurdly tears up the ability of courts to decide on the facts or rule that clear breaches of human rights are unlawful. These are the most basic aspects of rights protection, and this is a deeply alarming development for the UK and the UK’s standing in the world as a place where the law matters.

“Whether or not the Lords hold the line tonight, we’re once again calling for the Government to abandon this terrible bill.”

View latest press releases