Government’s Rwanda Bill Would Breach UK’s International Law Obligations


REDRESS has today released a Briefing outlining its key concerns regarding the UK Government’s Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.  

REDRESS urges the Government to adhere to its international legal obligations including the absolute prohibition on torture. REDRESS is gravely concerned that the Bill (if enacted) will cause these obligations to be breached.  

REDRESS’s briefing summarises the evidence of recent torture and ill-treatment in Rwanda, and the lack of safeguards and structures against torture. The Bill seeks to assert that Rwanda is free of torture and ill-treatment when the evidence does not support this. Such an assertion is not true just because the Government says it is.  

The Bill sends out a dangerous signal that the UK is willing to circumvent the rule of law, and so undermines the international rules-based order. The UK has historically led the way in establishing the rule of law and should not now contribute to the threats it faces internationally. 

The deficiencies in the present Rwandan asylum system – which risk people being sent on to a third country where he or she is at risk of torture (refoulement) – cannot immediately be overcome by the bi-lateral Treaty between the UK and Rwanda, which effectively admits that the present system is inadequate. 


Photo: alisdare1: CC BY-SA 2.0.