News Comment: UNHCR notes UK High Court judgement on transfer of asylum-seekers from the UK to Rwanda

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, takes note of the judgement of the UK High Court issued today with regard to the transfer of asylum-seekers from the UK to Rwanda.

We are not a claimant in the proceedings but advised the court on matters of international refugee law and remain ready to provide any further advice as needed. UNHCR’s role in the litigation has, throughout the case, been in our capacity as the UN Refugee Agency with a mandate to supervise the application of the 1951 Refugee Convention worldwide.

Our longstanding and well-known concerns about the “externalization” of asylum obligations remain. UNHCR considers that the UK-Rwanda arrangement contravenes the UK’s international obligations and fails to meet the required standards relating to the legality and appropriateness of transfers of asylum-seekers. We continue to urge the Government of the United Kingdom to instead pursue other measures, including cooperation with the UK’s European neighbours and fair and fast asylum procedures, that would be more humane, efficient, and cost-effective.

For more information on this topic, please contact: