Skip to main content

Rwanda Bill: We Are No Longer A Safe Haven, Here’s What Everyone Needs To Know

By April 23, 2024April 25th, 2024News story

On the night of the 22nd April 2023, as we lost hope of parliament preventing the ‘Safety of Rwanda’ Bill becoming law, five ordinary people, loved by their friends and family, lost their lives crossing the Channel to ask for our help. One of them was a child. A tragedy in parliament, a tragedy in the Channel.

The government’s cruel cash for humans scheme is yet another piece of racist legislation which puts majority Black and Brown people at risk of human rights violations, police violence, and potential forced return to the countries they escaped by the Rwandan government.

The Bill shirks our duty to share global responsibility for refugees, many of whom come from countries where Britain has a long history of colonisation and resource extraction.

The government now claims it has removed the final hurdle to forcibly deporting refugees to Rwanda, people want to know what they can do in the face of this awful situation.

Most people haven’t looked into the Rwanda Bill in detail, but you can help them see the abuse it entails. One of the most important things you can do is help people understand what the Rwanda plan means in reality.

Here’s what everyone needs to know:

It's a one way ticket to an unsafe place.

People sent to Rwanda have their asylum claims ignored. Refugees will never get a chance to explain why they’re asking for the UK’s help.

What we need is safe routes.

There is no evidence that this plan will deter people from seeking safety in the UK. We should be getting them here safely instead.

There is now no right to claim asylum in the UK.

By removing official routes and threatening anyone who comes by irregular ones with deportation to Rwanda, there is no way to claim asylum in the UK. We are no longer a safe haven.

This is an attack on everyone’s human rights.

We should all share the right to seek safety. Removing universal rights from one group puts them at risk for everyone.

Tens of thousands of people will be trapped in the UK but outside the asylum system.

Far more people will be eligible to be sent to Rwanda than the scheme has capacity for. Hundreds will be forced onto planes, but many thousands more will live indefinitely in uncertainty and fear of removal.

Forced deportations to Rwanda will not stop the boats crossing the Channel. But this has never been about stopping the boats, it’s about stopping the people.

A better future for people seeking safety feels further away than ever in this moment, but refugees have hope and resilience most of us can never imagine. We will take a lead from their strength, pick ourselves up and fight back.

Share this page so people know what Rwanda really means for refugees. 

You can also use our friends Freedom From Torture’s digital tool to contact the airline AirTanker, which is being lined up for these deportation flights, demanding they withdraw from the scheme. Follow this link to take action.