Archbishop of Canterbury asks about the government’s asylum policy

The Archbishop of Canterbury received the following written answers on 24th May 2022:

The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury asked Her Majesty’s Government:

  • what criteria they will use to determine whether someone arriving in the UK, outside of the authorised channels, is eligible for being relocated to Rwanda.
  • whether families will be split up through the new Asylum Partnership Arrangement with Rwanda; and if not, what evidence they have that the policy will not lead to increased trafficking of women and children.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): Other than unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, anyone arriving in the UK whose claim is inadmissible and who has undertaken a dangerous journey to the UK on or after 1 January 2022 may be considered for relocation to Rwanda.

Everyone considered for relocation will be screened and have access to legal advice. Decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis and nobody will be removed if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them.

We comply fully with the UK’s legal obligations, including under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. For those with family links in the UK, who want to be considered for entry to the UK, they should seek to do so via legal and safe routes. Nobody should put their lives into the hands of criminal people smuggling gangs by making dangerous and irregular journeys.



The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether (1) women, (2) girls, and (3) LGBT+ people, who are relocated to Rwanda will be afforded the same safety as in the UK.

Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): Rwanda is a safe and secure country with respect for the rule of law. We have carried out a robust report that demonstrates our commitment to fully evaluating whether Rwanda would be suitable for each potentially eligible person to be relocated.

We would only ever work with countries that we know are safe and will treat asylum seekers in accordance with relevant international human rights laws. Furthermore, Rwanda’s constitution includes a broad prohibition on discrimination.


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