United Kingdom

Controversial UK law sending asylum seekers to Rwanda passes after months of debate

The United Kingdom’s controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has finally received approval from the upper house of parliament after months of debate and numerous demanded amendments, Al Jazeera reported today.

According to the source, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to initiate the first flights to Kigali within weeks, aiming to bolster the Conservative Party’s standing ahead of an anticipated upcoming election.

The House of Lords, initially resistant to the divisive plan, relented after Sunak threatened to extend parliamentary sessions until the bill was passed.

Despite criticism from UN human rights experts and asylum seeker support groups, the plan has faced legal challenges since its proposal as a means to reduce the influx of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel in small boats.

The bill, which has been criticized for its inadequacy, was passed without formal changes, and is expected to receive Royal Assent from King Charles, becoming law.

The plan has faced opposition due to concerns about Rwanda’s human rights record and the potential risk of asylum seekers being returned to dangerous countries.

The “Safety of Rwanda” bill limits individuals’ appeal options and states that certain UK human rights statutes will not apply to the scheme, despite the Supreme Court ruling it unlawful.

Additionally, other European countries, such as Austria and Germany, are considering similar agreements to process asylum seekers in third countries.

Sunak’s plans could still be hindered by legal challenges, and UN rights experts have suggested that airlines and aviation regulators could fall foul of internationally protected human rights laws if they participate in the deportations.

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