As the House of Lords began debating the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, over 260 civil society organisations and charities – including PLP – urged peers to reject the dangerous Bill.  

Read coverage of the statement in The Independent 

Read the whole joint statement 

Lords received the statement before the Second Reading of the Bill from organisations including PLP, Liberty, Together with Migrant Children, Bail for Immigration Detainees, Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture, Law Centres Network, Medical Justice, Migrants’ Rights Network, and Rainbow Migration. 

The statement said:  

“The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill is a constitutionally extraordinary and deeply harmful piece of legislation. It threatens the universality of human rights and is likely in breach of international law, striking a serious blow to the UK’s commitment to the rule of law. It was not a Government manifesto commitment – on the contrary, it will hinder the UK’s ability to “continue to grant asylum and support to refugees fleeing persecution”. As a coalition of more than 260 organisations working in and across the UK, we call on Peers to reject the Bill at Second Reading.”

Although the Lords had already voted not to ratify the new Rwanda treaty, on the basis that it did not actually guarantee safety for anyone removed to Rwanda, the statement pointed out some of the other flaws in the Government’s Rwanda plan, including:

  • The Bill would create a “two-tiered system” of human rights where some people had access to the UK courts and others didn’t
  • The Bill would put the UK on a direct collision course with the European Court of Human Rights
  • It would breach the Good Friday agreement, which commits the UK government to ‘complete incorporation’ of international human rights agreements into Northern Ireland law

Read about the joint letter in The Independent and explore our statement here.