Under the innovative Partnership for Migration and Economic Development, people making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys to the UK, such as small boats, will be relocated to Rwanda, where they will be supported to rebuild their lives.
Suella Braverman traveled to Kigali this weekend (March 18 and 19) for official engagements with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Rwanda, Dr. Vincent Birut.
Today, the Minister of Interior and Dr. Biruta reiterated their desire to forge a partnership, amid a global migrant crisis in which 100 million people have been displaced and people smugglers are cashing in on human misery.
They highlighted the commitment of global leaders to work on bold and innovative migration policies to redress the balance between legal and uncontrolled migration. The Government of Rwanda has reiterated the country’s readiness to receive thousands of individuals, process their claims and house them before they are moved to long-term accommodation, with the necessary support services, including health and education provisions.
In addition, the Home Secretary and Dr Biruta signed an update to the Memorandum of Understanding, which further extends the partnership to all categories of people transiting through safe countries and traveling illegally to the UK.
This will have the added benefit of preparing the UK to meet the measures proposed in the Illegal Migration Bill, as it will mean that anyone who comes to the UK illegally – and cannot be returned to their home country – will be able to be resettled in Rwanda.
The new law, introduced to parliament last week, will see people who come to the UK illegally face detention and be sent back to their home country or a safe third country such as Rwanda.
The scheme is open-ended and the Rwandan government has confirmed that it is able to accommodate thousands of eligible people for resettlement.
In December, the UK government secured an important High Court victory over the legality of the partnership and will continue to defend the policy against ongoing legal challenges, while working with Rwanda to ensure flights can operate as soon as legal barriers are removed.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman said:
We cannot continue to watch people risk their lives crossing the English Channel, which is why I am pleased to further strengthen our agreement with the Government of Rwanda so that we can tackle the global migrant crisis head-on.
The Partnership for Migration and Economic Development is key to breaking the business model of people smugglers, while ensuring that those in genuine need of protection can be helped to rebuild their lives.
Rwanda is a progressive, fast-growing economy at the forefront of innovation – I thoroughly enjoyed seeing first-hand the rich opportunities this country can provide for resettled people through our partnership.
Foreign Minister Vincent Biruta said:
If we are to successfully tackle the global migrant crisis, we need innovative, urgent action. This partnership addresses the lack of opportunity at the heart of the migration crisis by investing in Rwanda’s ability to continue to offer migrants the opportunity to build new lives in a safe and secure place, through accommodation, education and vocational training.
For these reasons, we are pleased to once again renew our commitment to our ground-breaking partnership with the United Kingdom, which shares our determination to resolve this crisis.
During the visit, the Minister of Interior will spend time meeting with refugees, who have been supported by the Government of Rwanda to rebuild their lives. She will also see new residential buildings, which will be used to relocate people.
She also visited the new modern, long-term accommodation that will support those moving to settle in Rwanda.
The Minister of Interior also met with investment start-ups and entrepreneurs to discuss the range of business and employment opportunities available to the people of Rwanda.
The partnership with Rwanda is only one part of the work the government is doing in the fight against illegal migration. Last week the prime minister agreed a package with France that will see a new detention center set up in France, as well as the deployment of more French personnel and improved beach patrol technology.