“The UK Government’s proposal to forcibly expel people seeking safety to Rwanda, therefore not allowing them to seek asylum in the UK, is extremely cruel.
“MSF witnessed the life-shattering impact of 'offshore processing' on Nauru island, where Australia enacted a similar policy. Our medical teams provided mental health care to refugees and asylum-seekers of whom 60 percent had suicidal thoughts and 30 percent, including children, attempted to take their own lives.
“Instead of drawing the right lessons from Australia’s disastrous policy, the Government plans to emulate it, and to take it even further, shipping people who have undertaken long and dangerous journeys to another continent to claim asylum there. As a founding signatory to the Refugee Convention, the UK has a moral and legal duty to give a fair hearing to those who reach the UK seeking safety, not outsource to another country in exchange for UK taxpayers’ cash.
“There is clear evidence that such deterrence policies are ineffective, and only result in suffering and death, as we saw only a few days ago in the Channel.
“There is still time for the Prime Minister to see sense and abandon this policy. He should focus instead on the provision of safe and legal routes and invest the large sums of money that would be paid to Rwanda into running a fair and efficient asylum system, instead of putting people seeking safety through further suffering.”