In the face of a barrage of criticism, the United Kingdom and Rwanda have continued to defend their highly contentious migration agreement. People who sneak into the UK as stowaways on lorries or in small boats will be sent to East Africa to have their asylum claims looked at by the country’s government.
In a joint article for the British newspaper The Times, Priti Patel, the British Home Secretary, and Vincent Biruta, the Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs, argued their case in a joint article. They say this “groundbreaking alliance” will set a new standard for how people around the world can improve their lives, avoid oppression, persecution, or conflict, and take advantage of new opportunities.
In a statement issued from London on Saturday, UNHCR senior legal officer Larry Bottinick said there were “more humane ways” to deal with the issue. He said that while he worked in Israel, he saw a similar method being used that didn’t work out.
“They were sending Eritreans to Rwanda on a voluntary basis, Sudanese to Uganda, and individuals were moving out of Rwanda in less than a week.” As a result, it encourages smuggling rather than deters it. People fled to South Sudan, Sudan to Libya, and those who were lucky enough to survive in Europe. As a result, it was more dangerous and time-consuming for people smugglers than the Channel.
In his Easter Sunday sermon, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby criticized the agreement, saying it raises “severe ethical problems about transferring asylum-seekers away.” Subcontracting our responsibilities to refugees, even to a country that strives to do good, like Rwanda, is unacceptable.