Plans to transfer refugees to Rwanda would reduce access to family reunion in the UK

April 19, 2022

The Families Together Coalition firmly opposes the government’s plan to transfer people seeking asylum who arrive irregularly in the UK to Rwanda where their asylum claim will be heard under the Rwandan asylum system rather than the UK system. The policy is wrong in principle and unworkable in practice.

We are concerned that this policy will effectively close the door to many vulnerable women and children who would have been eligible to travel safely to the UK through family reunion. 

70% of people who arrive in the UK irregularly to claim asylum are granted refugee status or another form of humanitarian protection, giving them refugee family reunion rights. Family reunion is the most accessed route to safety in the UK with 29,000 people arriving between 2015 and 2019, 90% of whom were women and children.

If people are transferred out of the UK before having their asylum case heard in the UK, their family members will be denied safe passage under the family reunion rules, leaving them at risk of prolonged separation or continued insecurity and danger.

Once again, this government is closing safe routes rather than creating safe routes, putting more and more innocent lives in danger.