Suella Braverman’s safety claims savaged as dozens of Rwandans are granted asylum in the UK

24 August 2023

Suella Braverman’s claim that Rwanda is a safe place to send asylum seekers has been criticised as data reveals that dozens of Rwandans have been granted asylum in the UK.

Since 2020, over 40 Rwandans have applied for asylum in the UK, and between 2011 and 2021, 37 people were granted asylum after officials determined that it was unsafe for them in their home country. Immigration expert Prof Thom Brooks questioned how Rwanda could be considered safe for all if it is not safe for every Rwandan.

The UK government had hoped to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda in an attempt to address a significant backlog, but the Court of Appeal ruled the scheme illegal in June, stating that Rwanda is not a safe third country. Steve Smith, CEO of refugee charity Care4Calais, criticized the government's claim that Rwanda is a safe country, calling it a "cash for humans" deal and an "expensive and ill-thought-out publicity stunt."

Home Office figures show that since the beginning of 2020, there have been 29 decisions made on Rwandan claimants, with 14 people granted protection, 10 refused, and five applications withdrawn. The Supreme Court is currently considering the legality of the deportation scheme and whether Rwanda is safe. Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael questioned how the Home Secretary could claim Rwanda is safe when the UK is granting asylum to people from the same country.

A Home Office spokesperson defended the government's position, stating that Rwanda has been globally recognized for its record in welcoming and integrating migrants and asylum seekers. They emphasized the need to deter illegal and dangerous journeys, which is why new legislation has been passed to detain and promptly remove those arriving in the UK illegally to their country of origin or a safe third country.

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