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Lords Committee launches inquiry into Rwanda asylum treaty

13 December 2023

The House of Lords International Agreements Committee has today launched an inquiry into the UK-Rwanda Agreement for the Provision of an Asylum Partnership. The inquiry will consider how the Agreement protects persons relocated to Rwanda, and whether it deals with the concerns raised by the Supreme Court.

The inquiry

Following on from the Committee’s 2022 report into the UK-Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding, the inquiry will focus on the details of the new treaty and how effective they might be. The Committee is seeking evidence on questions including:

  • Whether the changes to the asylum partnership made by the Agreement are likely to meet the concerns raised by the Supreme Court.
  • How strong and effective are the protections for persons relocated to Rwanda.
  • Views of the enforcement mechanisms in the Agreement, and on the new asylum appeal body.
  • Precedents for requiring that claims must be for asylum in a third country.

Chair's comments

Lord Goldsmith, Chair of the International Agreements Committee, said:

“With a new Bill now before Parliament setting out that Rwanda is a safe country where illegal migrants can be lawfully relocated, the House of Lords International Agreements Committee believe it is paramount to scrutinise whether the Agreement with Rwanda addresses the concerns raised by the Supreme Court about the Government’s Rwanda policy.
“With the Supreme Court having previously decided that the Home Office’s Rwanda policy was unlawful because, there were substantial grounds for believing that there was a real risk of people being returned to countries where they would be at risk (“refoulement”) due to deficiencies in Rwanda’s asylum system, we, as a committee, will do all we can to present a clear picture to the Government and Parliament on whether the Agreement deals with those concerns.
“We therefore encourage all those who have knowledge and expertise in this area to come forward and submit evidence. These valuable contributions will enable us to effectively scrutinise this Agreement and hold the Government accountable.”

Further information