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UK Parliament passed a contentious bill to send Refugees to Rwanda

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 24-04-2024
UK Parliament passed a contentious bill to send Refugees to Rwanda law and act 4 min read

The United Kingdom has approved new legislation called the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, which will allow the government to send some asylum-seekers to Rwanda. 

This is intended to discourage migrants from trying to enter the UK illegally via small boats and claiming asylum once they reach the shore. 

After almost eight hours of debate, the law has passed through the UK Parliament and is expected to soon receive royal assent.

Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill

  • The first flights deporting illegal migrants to Rwanda, where their asylum claims will be processed, are expected to take off in 10 to 12 weeks. Rwanda has expressed its pleasure at welcoming those relocated to Kigali.
  • The idea was first proposed by former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2022, who signed a multimillion-dollar partnership with the Rwandan government to have illegal migrants with asylum applications "deemed inadmissible by the UK" flown to Rwanda instead. 
  • The UK Supreme Court blocked deportation flights to Rwanda in November as the government couldn't assure the safety of those being transferred.
  • In response, the UK signed a new treaty with Rwanda that increased protections for migrants. Last December, the UK proposed the current legislation, which declares the East African nation to be "safe" for asylum-seekers.

Implication of Bill

  • However, top officials from the United Nations have released a joint statement calling on the UK to reconsider its plan, which they warned will have a "harmful impact" on human rights and refugee protection. 
  • The recently passed Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill has marked a significant departure from the UK's long-standing history of providing refuge to those in need, in clear violation of the Refugee Convention. 
  • The bill's approval came just hours before French authorities reported the tragic deaths of five individuals, including a child, who perished while attempting to cross the English Channel from France to the UK. 
  • The UK government is anticipating a slew of legal challenges to the new policy that may arise, as stated by Michael Tomlinson, the British Minister of State for Countering Illegal Migration.

About Rwanda

  • Rwanda is a country located in East Africa where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo border it. 
  • Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. The country is landlocked and lies a few degrees south of the Equator.


Answer: UK

answer: Kigali
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