#StopRwanda – Time is running out
Here’s some easy ways you can help today:
Donate to our Legal Access Team
Refugees who are threatened with deportation don’t understand what’s happening to them, and may not speak English. Our Legal Access team helps them find the lawyers they need to access their legal rights. This is vital work, but our team of volunteers is badly stretched. We’re raising funds for a paid caseworker.
We are challenging the Rwanda Policy in court and our campaign against it is backed by the TUC, Care4Calais and Stand up to Racism. Your support has been and continues to be crucial in taking on this cruel policy. Why not try one of the actions below:
- Print off or make a #StopRwanda card and put it somewhere – anywhere – it will be seen:
- In your car window
- On a notice board at work
- On your front door or window
- On your bicycle
- Use the graphics, posters, leaflets and stickers to publicise the campaign at any event. Everything you need can be downloaded here. Take advantage of any events that are happening and go along ready to hand out leaflets, sell tee shirts or even set up a stall. If you need any help or advice email [email protected].
- Buy your t shirt, wear it out and about, talk about it and wear it to the demo!
To your local newspaper
Research has shown that people trust their local papers and this is a more friendly way to reach audiences than the national media. By writing a quick letter to your local paper you can use your voice to raise support for the #StopRwanda campaign and help the refugees who will be terrified and alone the next time the government announces a flight.
Please email [email protected] if you would like any help reaching to your local paper, or just to let us know you have done it – good luck!
To Your MP
You can write to your MP by using our template letter. Simply copy and paste the text that we provide, and then enter your postcode into the box below to contact your local MP.
The government says it wants to stop refugees in Northern France making dangerous journeys across the English Channel to claim asylum in the UK. It says that sending some refugees to Rwanda will deter others from making journey. It will not work, because the refugees crossing the Channel in small boats have already reached a point where they are willing to risking their lives in a flimsy boats – further threats at this point make no sense. 85 per cent of refugees in North France say they will still come, and crossings have increased since the plan was announced.
Refugees who have suffered the horrors of war, torture and persecution will now be faced with the immense trauma of deportation and an unknown future. This will cause immeasurable fear, anguish and distress. The UK’s High Commissioner to Rwanda has warned that refugees sent to Rwanda could be forced to join the country’s army and sent to fight in neighbouring states, and the Foreign Office has repeatedly warned against signing a deal to send refugees to Rwanda because of its poor human rights record.
UNHCR have presented compelling evidence that refugees will not be safe in Rwanda and they will not get fair hearings for their asylum claims. Just four years ago twelve refugees were shot dead in Rwanda for taking part in riots over food shortages.
Sending asylum seekers to Rwanda would breach the UK’s legal obligations under the Refugee Convention. You are not allowed to punish refugees for arriving illegally in a country to claim asylum. Being forced to travel illegally is part of being a refugee. Dictators do not issue visas and passports get lost in wars and conflicts. Criminalising refugees is victim blaming.
Sending refugees to Rwanda also risks breaching their human rights. We will not be able to guarantee that they are safe there, and we do not have sufficient evidence that their asylum claims will be fairly heard
If we gave all refugees visas to cross the Channel, in the same way we do with Ukrainians, no one would need to risk their lives in small boats, and people smugglers would be put out of business overnight.
The Rwanda plan is brutal. Given the more humane, and effective, options available is this really what we as a compassionate country want to do?
The journeys to Calais are incredibly harsh. From Africa they might cross the Sahara which takes many lives, then Libya, which is lawless and no woman could cross without being raped. From the Middle East the journey is across the Balkans where night-time temperatures can be minus 20 and the borders are rife with beatings and human rights abuses. Few women and children would survive theses horrors.
Many families will not risk their daughters safety on a journey to Europe. People trafficking, sexual abuse, exploitation and violence is far more prevalent for a female travelling as a refugee, so the males of the family take on the duty, claiming asylum if they survive to bring their family over safely.
So the young men you see on these boats are doing their best to protect their families. Their mothers, grandmothers, sisters, babies, daughters.
How often does a father say they’d die for their daughter, a husband say they’d die for their wife? Well these guys are putting it into practice. Let’s hope and pray that our sons, husbands, partners, nephews and brothers never have to have their love tested like this.
This is not about Rwanda as a country or the Rwandan people. It is about the current regime that is in power, which has a poor record on human rights.