Statement following the announcement of the Illegal Migration Bill

Published: 07 Mar 2023

It is vital that the government takes action to ensure that more lives are not lost on dangerous Channel crossings. We welcome and support the government’s pledge to establish regular, safe and legal routes for those in need of protection.  

However, by limiting the ability of specific groups to make human rights claims under the Human Rights Act, the proposed Illegal Migration Bill risks undermining the core principle of the universality of human rights, and reducing protections.

We welcome the government’s intention to remain within the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). We are nonetheless concerned that the legislation risks breaching the UK’s legal obligations under the Refugee Convention and ECHR.

We urge the government to ensure that procedures and practices related to its memorandum of understanding with Rwanda are compliant with international human rights law, particularly to safeguard the rights of victims of trafficking, children and LGBT people.

We will analyse the legislation and advise the UK government and Parliament on its equality and human rights implications in due course. 

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