Plight of Rwanda Asylum Seekers Goes Unheard

Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Recently, the British Government announced that the first batch of asylum seekers would be deported to Rwanda within the next two weeks. This news came out when the Government successfully reached an agreement with Rwanda officials.

Since the announcement, Several Non-Governmental organizations have been bashing the UK home office for the deportation plan. They are challenging the UK’s decision, and it is uncertain whether the scheduled flight will take off or not.

However, the Home office stated that they had started sending formal “removal direction letters” to an unspecified number of people, including people who reached British shores through small boats.

Priti Patel, Home Secretary, said, “While we know attempts will be made to frustrate the process and delay removals, I will not be deterred and remain fully committed to delivering the British Public expect.”

UN Officials Response to Plan of Deporting Asylum Seekers

UN officials are not happy with the move made by the UK government against asylum seekers. They say such a move violates the International refugee convention and the human rights groups.

But the UK government is defending its stance by saying that they have pledged 120 million upfront so that the Rwanda government can facilitate the people in the best possible way.

But still, UN officials call this move an unsustainable, Unworkable, inhumane, and a waste of British taxpayers’ money.

If we look at the figures, More than 28,000 migrants entered the UK across the Channel last year, up from 8,500 in 2020. Dozens of people died, including 27 people when a single boat capsized in November.

Asylum Seekers Attempting Suicides 

Asylum seekers attempt suicide as the news broke out of sending them to Rwanda. Charities that support asylum seekers confirm such incidents.

There is a number of Suicide attempt cases that are coming to the surface. One of them is of a female Iranian asylum seeker who attempted suicide and told charity workers that she took this action because she was frightened of being deported to Rwanda. She said that she had already suffered a lot and luckily survived.

A 40- year old Yemeni asylum seeker made a video for Boris Johnson and Priti Patel. He said in the video that after he reached the UK on 13 April and later found out that he would be deported to Rwanda, so  “I had nothing else but to kill myself.”

Even one of the reports came out that one of the Afghan asylum seekers in detention by the UK Government said he attempted suicide to avoid being sent there.

Furthermore, the French authorities are investigating the recent death of a Young Sudanese asylum seeker in Calais. His friend told the charity that he told them that he does not want to live life in Rwanda, and he was upset with the announcement about Rwanda’s offshoring.

Clare Moseley, the chief executive of the Charity Care4Calais, said that the prospect of being sent to Rwanda was the final straw for people who might be traumatized.

Moseley further added, “The Rwanda plan aims to act as a deterrent by being even more terrifying to refugees than the journey they make in flimsy boats across the Channel. Refugees have suffered terrible oppression”.

UK Home Office Statement  in Defence

A Home Office spokesperson said, “We take every step to prevent self-harm or suicide, which is why asylum seekers have access to a health and social care services from the moment they arrive, and we have a dedicated welfare team onsite at each asylum accommodation site responsible for identifying vulnerable asylum seekers and supporting them.”

The spokesperson further added, “Everyone considered for relocation to Rwanda will be screened on a case by case basis, and nobody will be removed if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them.”

Public and Opposition Parties Criticised Home security’s Plan

Opposition parties have shown dissatisfaction and criticized the UK plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Yvette Cooper, Home Secretary of Labor Shadow, said, “The Rwanda scheme is not about deterring the criminal gangs or small boat crossing; it’s about chasing headlines regardless of reality.”

She added, “This is a completely unworkable, extortionately expensive, and deeply un-British policy. There is no proper process for identifying people who have been trafficked or tortured”.

IN APRIL, the UK Government made some amendments to the asylum seeker policy and announced the deportation of people who came to the country without legal authorization. Their decision sparked an instant outrage all over the UK.


The UK Government seems determined to execute its plan to deport the refugees to Rwanda. While the asylum seekers start to react as a number of cases appeared about the attempts of suicide is horrifying.

People are frightened and want to end their lives but are unwilling to fly out to Rwanda. However, the Government has given them the chance to appeal against the decision in a court of law.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.