Britain signs new treaty with Rwanda
2023-12-28 16:53:00  
The United Kingdom has signed a new treaty with Rwanda aimed at reviving the government's immigration policy by addressing a court decision that had previously halted the deportation of asylum-seekers to the East African nation.

The UK's Home Secretary James Cleverly signed the new legally binding agreement with Rwanda's Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta on Tuesday in the Rwandan capital Kigali.

The Rwanda deal, which is key in the British government's efforts to curb illegal migration, is being closely monitored by other nations contemplating similar strategies, Reuters reported.

Last month, the UK's Supreme Court ruled that the plan would infringe upon international human rights laws. No one has yet been sent from the UK to Rwanda amid the legal challenges.

The Supreme Court found the previous plan unlawful because of lack of safety guarantees for refugees, saying there was a genuine risk of mistreatment and the possibility of being sent back to the countries from which they had escaped.

Replacing a nonbinding memorandum of understanding, the newly formed treaty ensures Rwanda will not deport asylum-seekers to a country where their safety or liberty would be jeopardized, The Associated Press reported.

Additionally, a monitoring committee will be established to allow individuals to submit confidential complaints directly to them, along with the implementation of a new appeal body comprising judges from various parts of the world.

Cleverly said the deal will effectively tackle all the concerns raised by the Supreme Court, and that Rwanda had made "a clear and unambiguous commitment to the safety of people who come here".

"We feel very strongly that this treaty addresses all of the issues raised by their lordships in the Supreme Court and we have worked very closely with our Rwandan partners to ensure that it does so," Cleverly said. "I really hope that we can now move quickly."

As part of the agreement, Rwanda has previously received a payment of $180 million from the UK, with further funding promised to support the provision of accommodation and care for deported individuals, AP reported.

The Conservative government's objective of halting the arrival of unauthorized asylum-seekers via small boats across the English Channel seaway is heavily reliant on the implementation of the Rwanda plan.

The UK government contends that the Rwanda deportations will deter others from undertaking the perilous sea journey and disrupt the operations of human smuggling networks.