In an preliminary response, UNHCR spelled out that it was not a celebration to negotiations which have taken place between London and Kigali, which it’s understood have been a part of an financial improvement partnership.
In keeping with information stories, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has mentioned the scheme costing round $160 million, would “save numerous lives” from human trafficking, and the usually treacherous water crossing between southern England and the French coast, generally known as the English Channel.
“UNHCR stays firmly against preparations that search to switch refugees and asylum seekers to 3rd international locations within the absence of adequate safeguards and requirements,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs, describing the preparations as shifting asylum tasks and evading worldwide obligations which are “opposite to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention.”
Stand in solidarity
UNHCR urged each international locations to re-think the scheme, warning that as an alternative of deterring refugees from perilous journeys, the externalization preparations would solely enlarge dangers, inflicting refugees to hunt different routes, and exacerbate pressures on frontline States migrants are searching for to move by.
Whereas Rwanda has for many years generously offered a protected haven to refugees fleeing battle and persecution, the bulk reside in camps with restricted entry to financial alternatives.
UNHCR underscored that wealthier nations should present solidarity in supporting Rwanda and the refugees it already hosts, and never the opposite manner round.
“Folks fleeing struggle, battle and persecution deserve compassion and empathy,” underscored Ms. Triggs. “They shouldn’t be traded like commodities and transferred overseas for processing”.
UNHCR mentioned in its assertion that the UK has an obligation to make sure entry for asylum seekers – integrating these deemed to be refugees and safely returning to their nation of origin, individuals with no authorized foundation to remain.
Nevertheless, Britain is as an alternative adopting preparations that abdicate accountability to others, thus threatening the worldwide refugee safety regime that has stood the check of time and saved hundreds of thousands of lives over the a long time.
The UK has usually supported UNHCR, offering vital contributions that assist defend refugees and help international locations in conflicts, together with Ukraine, the company famous.
Nevertheless, monetary help overseas for sure refugee crises can’t change the accountability of States and the duty to obtain asylum seekers and defend refugees on their very own territory – regardless of race, nationality and mode of arrival, the UN company pressured.
Whereas UNHCR acknowledges the challenges posed by pressured displacement, it maintained that developed international locations host solely a fraction of the world’s refugees and have the capability to handle asylum claims in a humane, honest and environment friendly method.
No externalizing asylum
Previously, UNHCR has additionally spoken out towards Australia’s migrant offshore processing coverage, which concerned redirecting individuals on the transfer to Nauru, a Pacific island, 1000’s of kilometres away.
UNHCR has made it clear it doesn’t help the externalization of asylum by international locations, together with measures taken to switch asylum-seekers and refugees to different nations, with inadequate safeguards to guard their rights, or the place this results in the shifting fairly than the sharing of tasks to guard them.