London. Britain is pushing for a refugee deal with Rwanda. Similar plans are being discussed in Germany. But the concerns are big.
Been there for a long time… United Kingdom Asylum seekers are planned to be deported to Rwanda. Now the country has taken a big step towards implementing this plan: the House of Commons, one of the two houses of the British Parliament, approved the draft law presented by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The head of government then called on the upper house to approve it and spoke of the “urgent national priority”.
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Asylum deal with Rwanda: Already a failure for Sunak
According to the government in London, refugees who entered the UK irregularly without having their asylum application examined could in future be allowed in. Rwanda should be deported. There they should be given the opportunity to make such an application – but only to an African country. Return to Great Britain is not possible even if the asylum decision is favourable.
For Sunak, the migration debate threatened to turn into a fiasco at times: his country had already concluded an agreement with the government in Kigali in 2022. But the Supreme Court declared these schemes illegal. With the new initiative they want British Government The legal situation may now change to the extent that Rwanda can implement the plans – without losing again in court.
The London court made it clear that each individual case must be heard. Basically everyone is coming Asylum seekers Bringing them to Africa seems impossible under current laws. It also warned that rejected refugees or criminal asylum seekers from Rwanda could be deported to countries where they would face persecution. According to media reports, in such cases, the UK is now planning to let Rwandan and British judges decide together whether the person in question stays in Rwanda or is brought to the UK.
Another criticism of the judges' original agreement was that authorities in Rwanda were not credible enough to carry out mass deportations. Human rights violations can be excluded. In return, the British government has now received assurances from the government in Kigali that minimum standards will be observed when dealing with refugees. In return, the country received an initial payment of 163 million euros. Additional money will go towards housing and maintenance of deportees.
Great Britain plans new asylum rules: Rwanda to become a safe country of origin
In its new thrust, Sunak's government also wants to unite Rwanda A safe country Explain. However, whether the country can actually be considered “safe” is controversial. Human rights, particularly freedom of expression, freedom of the media and freedom of association, are severely restricted there, the Foreign Office writes. In addition, according to the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the president's political opponents are repeatedly illegally kidnapped or imprisoned.
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The Rwanda project The British government sometimes continues to violate human rights. But it is possible in England. The reason lies in a peculiarity: the country does not have a written constitution. Human rights apply in the country only on the basis of the Human Rights Act of 1998 and therefore on the basis of an ordinary law which can be amended later.
Asylum procedures in third countries optional for Germany?
And inside Germany Politicians are debating a model where asylum seekers are deported to third countries – so authorities there process asylum applications first. The central government is studying whether this route is legally and practically possible. The Greens and SPD have so far been cautious. The FDP is still open.
The union Sees third countries as a central element in migration policy. The CDU's policy plan states: “Everyone who applies for asylum in Europe must be transferred to a safe third country and undergo a procedure there.” Also: “In case of a positive outcome, the safe third country will provide protection to the applicant. On site. For this purpose, a detailed contractual agreement will be made with the safe third country.
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Such plans for “third country solutions” are not new; The plans were already discussed in the EU Commission in 2018. There are always ideas for outsourcing asylum procedures. There is always criticism. Above all, there is the danger of transgression Geneva Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights, because asylum seekers cannot be deported to a country without examination once they have applied for asylum in an EU country.
Human rights: Asylum procedures are generally possible in third countries
In principle, once the asylum application has been considered, the procedures can be outsourced to someone A third country Possible. Also: The right to asylum does not determine in which country one is granted this right. Since 2016, Greece has primarily deported Syrian refugees who land on Greek shores to Turkey. The process will run there. In return, the EU accepts people seeking protection from Turkey, at least in theory. Canada is a model, among others: the country accepts large groups – but only asylum seekers whose application has already been considered in a third country.
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Migration researcher Gerald Knauss is a proponent of this model. He points to the number of Refugees, who came to Greece in boats across the Mediterranean, fell hard after the Treaty of Turkey. Because this is one of Europe's biggest concerns: thousands of people drown and die in the Mediterranean every year.
However, the Rwandan model goes further than the EU-Turkey agreement: now there is no direct contact with the third country, such as a land border. EU, or Great Britain. But it is precisely this connection between asylum seekers and the third country that the planned EU asylum reform provides. Also: People must remain in the country after receiving a positive asylum decision. This is a one-way ticket from Great Britain to an African country.
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Can the Rwanda model work in the EU?
The Migration Analyst Ruud Koopmans insists that the EU relies on countries in the Mediterranean for the Rwanda model, especially Italy, Greece, Spain and Cyprus. Because these are the first countries where people come to the EU. These states must extradite them to third countries.
Refugee helpers from Asylum bias Harsh criticism of possible Rwanda plans: “Now the plans coming from the CDU in Germany are nothing more than neo-colonial politics. True to the motto: We outsource all responsibility for asylum seekers,” managing director Karl Kopp tells our editorial board. Outsourcing asylum procedures to third countries German and undermining European asylum law. In the past, higher courts in Germany have rejected deportations to Greece, for example, because, in the court's view, standards of human dignity were not met there. “Now we're talking about deportation to Rwanda — it's an exit from refugee protection,” Kopp says.
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