the new British law is contrary to international law, according to the UN

Migrants on a British Border Police boat, in Dover, in the south-east of the United Kingdom, on June 16, 2022.

The new British immigration law, which plans to prevent migrants who have arrived illegally from seeking asylum in the country, is contrary to international law, denounced the UN on Tuesday (July 18th). The law, passed by the British Parliament overnight from Monday to Tuesday, “is in contradiction” with the UK’s obligations under international human rights and refugee law, the heads of the UN agencies responsible for these matters, Volker Türk and Filippo Grandi, said in a statement.

This text, which is crucial for the conservative Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who has made it a priority to fight against illegal immigration, must still be validated by King Charles III. According to Messrs. Türk and Grandi, the law will have “profound consequences for people in need of international protection”they note in particular that the law “creates very broad new powers of detention, with limited judicial review”.

The UN fears that thousands of people could remain in the UK indefinitely in precarious legal situations. “For decades, the UK has provided refuge to those in need, in line with its international obligations”but the new legislation “significantly erodes the legal framework that has protected so many people, putting refugees at grave risk in violation of international law”underlines Mr. Grandi.

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“worrisome precedent”

“In addition to raising very serious legal concerns from an international perspective, this bill sets a disturbing precedent”criticizes, for his part, Mr. Türk, who fears that “other countries, including Europe” tempted to follow this model. He calls on the British government “to renew its commitment to human rights by repealing this law and ensuring that the rights of all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are respected, protected and fulfilled, without discrimination”.

This law, which has drawn widespread criticism in the United Kingdom and from international organizations, prevents migrants who have arrived illegally on British territory from seeking asylum in the country. The government also wants migrants, after being detained, to be quickly deported, either to their country of origin or to a third country, such as Rwanda, wherever they come from.

London made a deal last year with Rwanda to send illegal migrants there, but no deportations have yet taken place. A first flight scheduled for June 2022 had been canceled after a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

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The World with AFP


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