Reacting to Monday’s high court ruling on the plan to send people seeking asylum to Rwanda, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:
“We are very disappointed in the outcome of this case. If the Government moves ahead with these harmful plans, it would damage the UK’s reputation as a country that values human rights, and undermine our commitment to provide safety to those fleeing conflict and oppression, as enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention.
“Treating people who are in search of safety like human cargo and shipping them off to another country is a cruel policy that will cause great human suffering. The scheme is wrong in principle and unworkable in practice. The possibility of being sent off to Rwanda is causing huge distress to those we work with, including young people who are becoming extremely anxious and in some cases self-harming.
“It is a hugely expensive policy that is unlikely to reach the scale claimed by the Government. The Home Office’s own evidence shows that deterrence measures such as this simply don’t work – they just force people to take ever more dangerous journeys. It also poses serious safeguarding risks, particularly for children and vulnerable individuals.
“Instead of outsourcing our international commitment to provide safe haven to those fleeing for their lives – including people from Ukraine and Afghanistan – we should be focusing on operating an orderly, humane and fair asylum system, and developing safe routes such as humanitarian visas.”