MSF statement ahead of Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill Commons debate.

MSF statement ahead of Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill Commons debate.

This draft legislation is just yet another attempt by the government to push through its abhorrent, expensive and unworkable Rwanda policy which contravenes the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention and other international obligations, as well as UK domestic law.

Forcibly expelling people seeking safety, most of whom have already endured unimaginable horrors in their home country and on their migration journey, to Rwanda – or to anywhere – is cruel, harmful, and apparently designed to torment those who most need protection and compassion.  

We saw the devastating medical and humanitarian consequences of a similar ‘offshoring’ approach by Australia, where almost two thirds of our patients forcibly expelled to Nauru suffered from suicidal ideation and self-harm. There, our medical teams witnessed some of the worst mental health suffering in our organisation’s history.

The UK government must immediately abandon this inhumane approach. Instead, it should focus on establishing safe routes to the UK and focus on creating a functioning, fair and efficient asylum system.  

  • Dr Natalie Roberts - Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders UK
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