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UK's Rwanda plan undermines principle of international solidarity

Activists demonstrate outside of the Home Office in London   -  
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NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP or licensors

United Kingdom

An expert on migration claims that the British government's plan to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda undermines the core principle of international solidarity.

Professor Nando Sigona of the University of Birmingham accused the British government of trying to escape previous commitments.

"I think it's really undermining a core principle of solidarity and cooperation with the international community, which is the one that was creating an obligation of every country to protect those fleeing persecution, violence. Measures like this one are basically saying we do not want to be part of the mechanism anymore, even, even if the numbers are small. As far as the British government are concerned, they are still keen to reduce it further", claims Nando Sigona, Professor of International Migration and Forced Displacement and Director of the Institute for Research into Super Diversity.

According to the expert, most migrants crossing the Channel are genuine refugees which further complicates the British government's position.

"One of the problems that the British government is facing now is that when they actually have assessed the case of people crossing through by boat, they find out that a large majority, a large majority were actually genuine refugees. And so this is why now they are sort of undermining the whole refugee system, because basically they cannot argue, oh, these are irregular migrants or economic migrants that were using the smuggling route because then they themselves, their own process has actually proved that that was not the case. Most of the people come from war zones, you know, in the country we're seeing now" added the expert. 

Last year, more than 28,000 people - the majority from Iran, Iraq and Eritrea - entered Britain illegally, up dramatically from 8,500 in 2020. Dozens have died crossing the Channel.

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