Much criticized since it was announced a year and a half ago, the plan was put on hold after the first flight was canceled in mid-2022 following a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
In the first instance, the regional court gave the plan a ‘green light’, but at the end of June, the London Court of Appeal ruled that the plan was “unlawful” because it considered that Rwanda “cannot be considered a safe country”. Third country”.
According to this court, “People sent to Rwanda are subject to return to their country of origin where there is a real risk that they will be subjected to persecution and other inhuman treatment”.
The government then appealed to the Supreme Court [equivalente ao Tribunal Constitucional em Portugal]Home Office lawyer James Eady said in October that it was “urgent to take preventive measures” to stop those taking these “dangerous shortcuts”.
The consequences of traversing one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes are tragic. In August, six migrants died and around 50 were rescued after their boat capsized after leaving the northern coast of France.
In November 2021, 27 people died when the boat sank.
The plan, first announced by former Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2022, was criticized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, one of the participants in the process, as he understood that Rwanda “does not have the elements of an accessible asylum system, fair and effective”.
Raza Hussain, the lawyer for the five migrant representatives, stressed that “there are serious flaws in the Rwandan asylum system” that is “marked with gross injustice and arbitrariness.”
Rwanda “arrests, tortures and kills what it considers its opponents,” Hussain said.
The plan to deport illegal immigrants is one of the pillars of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s migration policy, who has chosen “stopping the boats” as one of his priorities.
Although more than 26,000 illegal immigrants have arrived on British soil in small boats across the English Channel since January, Sunak said the flow has slowed this year.
As of 2018, more than 110 thousand have been registered, including more than 45 thousand in 2022.
The government has also tightened immigration law, which now prevents migrants who come to the UK illegally from claiming asylum, regardless of the reasons that led them to leave their country.
The UN condemned the law as contrary to international law and expressed concern that “other countries, including Europe” could be prompted to follow suit.
Meanwhile, former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman attacked the Geneva Convention, which has defined refugee status since 1951, saying it was “not fit for modern times”.
Braverman is part of a group of Conservative Party delegates prepared to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, a hypothesis that would force the move to take effect.
Favorite to win next year’s elections, Labor leader Keir Starmer, currently in opposition, has vowed to reverse the scheme if he becomes prime minister, saying it is flawed and costly.
London paid the African country 120 million pounds in advance (about 138 million euros at the current exchange rate) and processing and integration is estimated to cost 169 thousand pounds (194 thousand euros) per person.
Reform of the asylum system would not only “create a fairer and more robust immigration system”, but also reduce annual costs estimated at 1.5 billion pounds (1.7 billion euros), the governing body says.
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