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The Home Office have confirmed that the Home Secretary James Cleverly has today signed a new agreement with Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Vincent Birtua. This new UK-Rwanda asylum agreement follows the Supreme Court’s Judgement last month confirming that removals of asylum seekers to Rwanda is unlawful.


The Home Office claim that the agreement signed today addresses the concerns of the Supreme Court along with strengthening Rwanda’s asylum processes. Most importantly it is said that the treaty ensures that asylum seekers that have been removed to Rwanda will not be at risk of refoulement such as being returned to their home country. However, asylum seekers would only be returned to the UK if there were issues such as committing a crime. The Home Office say that this would not breach refoulement.


The treaty also gives more powers to the independent “monitoring committee” which will ensure compliance with the terms of the treaty. The Rwandan asylum system will be strengthened by a new appeals body which will consist of judges from a mixture of nationalities all experienced in asylum and humanitarian claims.


To date, the UK government has paid over £140m to Rwanda. However, not a single person has been removed to the Central African country. As more information is released on the details of the treaty, we will be able to explore whether this time the treaty and the new UK-Rwanda asylum agreement is compatible with international law.


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