We, African Rainbow Family, as a Charity that supports LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum in the UK, are delighted to bear witness today, to the Supreme Court’s ruling against the cruel and dehumanising Rwanda deportation policy set forth by now ex-Home Secretary, Suella Braverman.
This ruling does not only represent the upholding of justice for people seeking asylum in the UK, but an affirmation that the British government will continue to align with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Act and the 1951 Refugee Convention – which were under threat within the Rwanda policy. This ruling also validates the values that we, at African Rainbow Family, campaign for in relation to the human rights of people seeking asylum; particularly those who are LGBTIQ+ that we support.
Aderonke Apata, Founder and CEO of African Rainbow Family says:
“This ruling reiterates the importance of the rule of law and separation of power in a democracy and further alludes to the voice of reasoning in relation to the importance of safeguarding and upholding the human rights of LGBTIQ+ people all over the world.”
Although we are pleased with this result, the impact of such policies being considered at all is deeply concerning and dehumanising. Such policies disregard the trauma that individuals have endured, reducing their experiences to mere bureaucratic decisions and administrative convenience. It is crucial for us to recognise the profound consequences of these policies on the lives of those affected. The threat of deportation not only threatens the lives and mental health of LGBTIQ+ people seeking asylum but also perpetuates persecution and discrimination on a societal level, as it sends a message that LGBTIQ+ people’s claims of persecution are not valid or that they are undeserving of human rights.
That this discussion over a third-country deportation scheme was able to reach a level of near-legitimacy is frightening, and further measures need to be set in place urgently to ensure that the mental health and wellbeing of people seeking asylum is protected.
We recommend the following measures to be taken by the Home Office:
· Make safe and legal passage available to people seeking asylum, particularly those with claims that are based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression (SOGIE).
· Retract the ex-Home Secretary, Suella Braverman’s assertion that being a member of a Particular Social Group, here, an LGBTIQ+ person and/or a woman is not enough a persecutory ground for asylum and subsequently, protection.
· Rescind any suggestion to ‘rewrite’ the Refugee Convention to exclude the membership of a Particular Social Group as a valid ground for international protection.
· Assure us that the Home Office and other agencies of government would not adopt the ex-Home Secretary’s assertion as an unwritten policy to deny SOGIE based asylum claims.
· Show compassion, solidarity, humanity and support for LGBTIQ+ people and/or women seeking asylum who reach the shores of the UK and grant them the protection that they desperately need.
· Provide basic decent accommodation for people seeking asylum and abandon their policy of the use of hotels, unsafe barges and disused barracks to accommodate people seeking asylum.
· Abandon the policy of room sharing between people that are not related and/or are not friends. Most especially LGBTIQ+ people must not share rooms with non-LGBTIQ+ people.
We strongly urge the new Home Secretary, James Cleverly, to consider these points as an urgent matter and to enact positive changes. We would be happy to work with the new Home Secretary to make a success of the asylum system as it particularly concerns LGBTIQ+ people.
For Media Request: Rohan Williams | Tel: 07711 285 567 | Email: email@example.com