Supreme Court Rules Rwanda Plan Unlawful - response from Jesuit Refugee Service UK

November 15, 2023

The Jesuit Refugee Service UK (JRS UK) has welcomed today’s Supreme Court decision against government plans to transfer people seeking asylum to Rwanda and called for the proposal to be permanently scrapped.  

Sarah Teather, Director of JRS UK, responded to the judgement:

“JRS UK has consistently opposed this cruel and unworkable policy. We now call for the government to abandon it. Forcibly removing people to Rwanda would achieve nothing except to violate their basic rights, trash the UK’s reputation on the international stage, and exacerbate fear and uncertainty among those seeking sanctuary here."

JRS UK has directly supported more than twenty people, including survivors of torture, facing removal to Rwanda. The threat of removal is felt far more widely. Through our accompaniment of refugees, we understand the human impact of this policy and the profound dangers it presents to people in search of safety.  

Emphasising the continued challenges facing refugees in the UK Sarah Teather added:

“While this policy has been ruled unlawful, the profound trauma it caused remains, alongside a raft of other hostile policies devastating the lives of refugee friends we accompany. We will continue to advocate for a fairer asylum system that recognises our responsibility to offer sanctuary and builds upon the welcome extended by so many people and communities throughout the UK. We urge people to get involved and help us to advocate for a more compassionate system.”

As a concrete way forward and reflecting the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales’s principles set out in Love the Stranger; JRS is working to: “encourage the extension of safe routes such as resettlement programmes, visa schemes and humanitarian corridors, so that people can exercise their right to migrate in a dignified and humane manner” as well as urging the government to "fulfil its obligations under international frameworks protecting migrants and refugees, such as the Refugee Convention."

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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