Peers support crucial amendments to Rwanda Bill

7 March 2024

The House of Lords have this week passed multiple amendments against the doomed Rwanda plan, calling for more accountability and better protections for people seeking asylum.

Multiple amendments passed through the House on the evening of the 4th of March 2024. We, alongside charities across the UK, continue to call for the end to the Illegal Migration Act and the Rwanda plan. In line with the UNHCR, we believe the Rwanda plan is inconsistent with international human rights standards and breaches our commitments.

The House of Lords have passed the following amendments:

  • That Rwanda must be treated as safe only “when, and so long as, the arrangements provided for in the Rwanda treaty have been fully implemented and are being adhered to in practice”;
  • That a system be in place to check that the UK and Rwanda have implemented safeguards set out in the treaty- the vote for this amendment was the biggest defeat in the House of Lords since Sunak became Prime Minister;
  • That there be a legal means to challenge the presumption that Rwanda is safe should “credible evidence” emerge that suggests otherwise;
  • That modern slavery and trafficking victims are not removed to Rwanda under the legislation until a conclusive grounds decision has been made.  

Whilst it is anticipated that the Government will work to overturn these amendments, the resistance this legislation is facing from multiple institutions demonstrates the unworkability of this policy. There may well now be a parliamentary “ping-pong” between the two houses. Meanwhile, charities, grassroots organisations and people seeking asylum will continue to work to mitigate the hostility of government policy.

At Positive Action in Housing, we are hearing from people with deep and severe fear of the Rwanda plan. There is a hopelessness- without anywhere else to go, people have spoken to us of feeling left in limbo without information about their future. The Home Office remains adamant about sending people seeking safety to Rwanda; whilst they waste time and money on this plan, we will continue to provide support to people seeking safety and call for the end to this horrifying Bill at every opportunity.

Join us on March 16th to March on the Home Office with Stand Up To Racism.

Maeve (Advocacy Volunteer) and Iona Taylor (Advocacy and Campaigns Lead)

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