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Rishi Sunak (Wikimedia/Simon Walker)

Church, refugee and human rights groups have described the passing of the UK Government’s Rwanda Bill, which will see asylum-seekers sent from the UK to Rwanda, as “a dark day” and “cruel”. Source: The Tablet.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees sounded the alarm on the harmful impact it will have on global responsibility sharing, human rights and refugee protection, describing it as a “worrying global precedent.”

Parliament passed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s flagship Rwanda bill after a late-night sitting on Monday and months of “ping pong” between the Houses of Parliament.

Mr Sunak called it a “landmark” law, adding that “nothing will stand in our way” of now getting flights to Rwanda off the ground. He hoped the first flights would take off in July, but the scheme could still be held up by challenges in the courts. Five migrants died in an attempt to cross the English Channel just hours after the bill was passed.

Justice and Peace Scotland said on social media: “A terrible day for the upholding of human rights, the respect of international law, and the progression of British politics. Refugees and all who come to our shores are made in the image and likeness of God and should be treated with dignity, not cruelty and inhumanity.”

Together With Refugees said it was “a dark day, but there is always hope. Today we grieve, but tomorrow, along with the 500-plus orgs of the Together With Refugees coalition, will continue to fight for something better.”

Jesuit Refugee Service UK pledged to keep on campaigning for the UK to uphold its responsibility towards refugees. Director Sarah Teather said, “JRS UK will continue to oppose this and all attempts to outsource asylum. We remain at the side of women, men, and children whose rights are threatened by this cruel plan, and all those arriving in the UK in search of safety.”


Catholic charities condemn ‘terrible day for human rights’ as Rwanda bill passed (By Ellen Teague, The Tablet)