“Chaotic, callous and cruel”

Labour Black Socialists‘ statement on the Government’s proposals to send refugees to Rwanda for processing

Boris Johnson and Priti Patel’s plans to send those seeking refuge to Rwanda for processing is chaotic, callous and cruel.

Offshoring to Rwanda is just an election ploy. It does not solve the issue. For the next twenty odd years, the UK will, like Australia, be debating what to do with these people in the offshore facilities.

The callous hostile migration policy, of which offshoring is just an instance, does not work anywhere in the world. Ask the USA and Australia. Or look at the fate of refugees sent to Rwanda by Israel.

Under the Tories, the UK, a member of the UN Security Council, has just joined the bandwagon to offshore the processing of claims for asylum and refugee status. Don’t be under any illusion, under international law, the people who are offshored remain the legal responsibility of the UK government.

In fact, the UK, as a member of the UN Security Council, has a duty to uphold the system of international protection, law and conventions regarding asylum seekers and refugees. Offshoring its obligations is unbecoming of a country that claims to be a leader of nations

This is not the kind of country we want to be. Refugees and asylum seekers do not need to be kept out of sight and out of mind.

They need protection and support. Often, they come from areas where the UK and its allies interfere in domestic affairs that prevent people from finding political solutions to their problems.

The refugees are here because we are there.

We are one of the countries that pollute the planet with fossil fuels causing climate change leading to crop failures, water shortages internal displacement and then migration of almost 100 million people.

Labour Black Socialists note:

Offshoring does not solve a structural problem. Only dialogue between the haves and the haves not of the world will help us solve some of these problems.

Offshoring is just an exercise of power. In some instances rich countries send their unprocessed rubbish to poor countries. This is offshoring people to countries without the resources and infrastructure to process the needs of even their own nationals.

Rwanda does not have the resources to protect asylum seekers from physical and sexual abuse. Medical and school facilities are in short supply for Rwandans, let alone refugees and asylum seekers. Offshoring usually means indefinite detention and the stress can lead to suicide. Rwanda is not at the cutting edge of preventing suicide of anyone, let alone people in offshore prison camps. This is a version of Nazi concentration camps without railway lines and gas chambers.

Off shoring is financially unviable. It would be a very high financial cost to UK taxpayers during a cost of living crisis and the timing is a blatant attempt by the Prime Minister to distract from Partygate.

Instead of twisting the arms of poorer countries to host offshore asylum and refugee centres, the UK should be investing those same resources within communities in the UK to ensure community involvement in hosting migrants. This is what the government claims to be doing for Ukrainian migrants.

Following the crisis in Ukraine as well as the crisis in Afghanistan, it is so clear that the British public strive to help those in need. We are a generous nation but our Government is not.

The Government’s actions are the opposite to the public’s and it is clear that this is another area that they are out of touch in.

Labour Black Socialists believes that:

Instead of intensifying the hostile environment for migrants, the UK should be fulfilling its obligations under international law and make it easier for people to claim asylum.

Only those who have ever had to seek asylum and refuge know that there is no right way to tick all the boxes before one leaves one’s country. How one left the country should not be a disqualification to the right to seek refuge and asylum.

Labour opposes the Government decision and will do so when Parliament resumes next week.

Labour Black Socialists demand:

All political parties and trade unions to call for an end to this illegal and inhumane policy.

Labour Black Socialists are on Facebook and twitter @labourblacksoc1.

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