Thank you to those who contacted me about processing asylum claims in Rwanda.
The UK has a proud record of providing support to those in need of protection; our resettlement programmes have provided safe and legal routes to better futures for hundreds of thousands of people from across the globe. Since 2015, over 185,000 adults and children seeking refuge have been offered a place in this country, more than any other similar resettlement scheme in Europe. This includes almost 100,000 British Nationals Overseas in Hong Kong; 20,000 Syrians; 13,000 from Afghanistan; and 50,000 Ukrainians. However, it is clear that the global asylum system is broken . Some 80 million people are on the move around the world, uprooted by conflict and instability. Many more are on the move to seek better prospects, driven by a desire for a better life. The result is increased illegal migration flows, including into Europe and onto the UK, with the asylum systems collapsing under the strain of real humanitarian crises and the work of people smuggling gangs.
As a result of the UK's Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda, people who enter the UK illegally may have their asylum claim considered in Rwanda (not in the UK), with a view to receiving the protection they need there if their claim is successful.
The UK is investing £120 million into Rwandan economic development and growth, with funding also provided to help deliver asylum operations, similar to the costs incurred in the UK. Furthermore, Rwanda has one of the fast-growing economies and enterprise cultures, with growing trade links with the UK, which this scheme will complement as part of our Global Britain agenda.
Rwanda is a fundamentally safe and secure country with respect for the rule of law. Under this agreement, Rwanda will process claims in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention, national and international human rights laws, and will ensure their protection from inhuman and degrading treatment or being returned to the place they originally fled.
Rwanda has a credible track record of hosting refugees and working constructively with the UN Refugee Agency to provide food, healthcare and jobs with over 130,000 refugees recently resettled in the country.
Combined with asylum reforms and legal changes through the Nationality and Borders Act, these new measures will deter illegal entry into the UK. In doing so it will help break up criminal smuggling gangs, protect the lives of those they endanger, ensure continued support for the truly vulnerable, and enhance our ability to remove those with no right to be in the UK.