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Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda

Migration and Economic Development Partnership

On 14 April 2022, the UK government announced a new agreement with the Government of Rwanda, called the new Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

Under this arrangement, asylum-seekers in the UK may be transferred to Rwanda before their claims for asylum are heard. It would then be the responsibility of the national Rwandan asylum system to establish their need for international protection and therefore grant or deny refugee status.

Individuals transferred to Rwanda would not be relocated back to the UK after their claims have been decided upon.

UNHCR believes the UK’s announced Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda (MEDP) will externalize the UK’s fundamental obligations to people seeking asylum in the country. The partnership proposes an asylum model that undermines the established international refugee protection system. It risks the arbitrary denial of access to asylum and lacks realistic durable solutions for the refugees affected.

UNHCR does not consider the MEDP to comply with the United Kingdom’s obligations under international law and finds the arrangement to be inconsistent with global solidarity and responsibility-sharing.

Below we have listed the legal observations and public statements UNHCR has released regarding the passage of the Nationality and Borders Act during its course through Parliament, and since the announcement of the MEDP on 14 April 2022.