LGBTIQA+ Greens Rwanda Refugee Statement

LGBTIQA+ Greens condemn the Government’s Rwanda refugee strategy.

The UK Government has proposed plans to send refugees to Rwanda to have asylum claims processed. Flying refugees 4500 miles away, when they have already made dangerous journeys fleeing from war and persecution, is inhumane. We do not need a “migration and economic development partnership”: we need compassion. This system, based on the Australian ‘offshoring’ model, will fix nothing but will cause more pain, and cost a lot of money.

For LGBTIQA+ refugees, Rwanda is not a safe place. Last year, Human Rights Watch reported that police or local security officers target LGBTIQA+ individuals, detain them, and in some cases beat them, after reports of homosexual activity or engaging in behaviour that doesn’t fit gender stereotypes. Many remain in the closet, due to fears of discrimination, and, in fact, some LGBTIQA+ Rwandans have applied for asylum in the UK on these grounds. 

Rwanda’s human rights record is poor on other fronts too. Last year, the UK delivered a statement on Rwanda, with recommendations to improve their human rights record. The Rwandan government persecutes those who speak out against it, as freedom of expression is limited. The detention and mistreatment of homeless children and sex workers also occur and there are off-the-record detention centres, where torture occurs. Previously, refugees were shot for protesting against poor conditions in refugee camps.

The continued lack of regard for refugees by Priti Patel, and the use of them as scapegoats is disgusting. The real issue is the lack of safety given to refugees: we need safer routes of passage to the UK. Vulnerable people deserve to be treated with respect.

We urge you to join us in standing in solidarity with people seeking asylum in the UK and in taking action against the Government's inhumane 'Rwanda refugee' strategy.

Write to your MP using Rainbow Migration’s template, and ask that they vote against the Nationality and Borders bill when it returns to Commons next week.

Sign Detention Action’s petition.

Yours in solidarity,