Bishop of Durham asks about government response to relations between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 24th January 2023:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government, following the President of the Republic of Rwanda’s annual end-of-year address, broadcast on 31 December 2022, what assessment they have made of (1) relations between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and (2) the ongoing conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo; and what steps they intend to take in response to that speech.

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Archbishop of York asks about government’s policy regarding refugees

The Lord Archbishop of York asked a question during a debate on the government’s Rwanda Asylum Partnership on 19th October 2022:

The Lord Archbishop of York: My Lords, the UK’s population, about 67 million, is five times that of Rwanda at about 13 million. Yet Rwanda, which is a country far poorer than us, as has already been pointed out, hosts one refugee for every 90 people whereas the figure here is one refugee for every 500 people. I do not think I can put my hand on my heart and say that the UK is doing its bit in a global crisis. I wonder whether the Minister would like to say what we are going to do to play our part in taking refugees here.

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Bishop of Durham asks about government’s asylum policy

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answers on 10th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked His Majesty’s Government how many asylum applicants have been detained this year as a result of arriving in the UK via a third country.

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‘I joined 25 Bishops in condemning plans to send refugees to Rwanda – here’s why’ – Bishop of Durham


The following article by the Bishop of Durham appeared in the Independent on 15th June 2022

The Bishop of Durham,
Rt Revd Paul Butler

It is a deeply regrettable moment for us as a nation that the government is pursuing a policy that intends to transport asylum seekers to another country thousands of miles away, before and without considering their claim to asylum in the UK.

We have a rich history of providing sanctuary to those around the world fleeing war and persecution, and it is intolerable to see us abdicate both our moral responsibility and commitment to international law. This week, all of the 26 bishops of the Church of England who serve in the House of Lords signed a letter voicing our alarm over the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

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Bishops’ letter to The Times on the Rwanda asylum removals policy


14/06/2022

All of the Lords Spiritual signed a letter to The Times voicing alarm about the Government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. They wrote:

Whether or not the first deportation flight leaves Britain today for Rwanda, this policy should shame us as a nation. Rwanda is a brave country recovering from catastrophic genocide. The shame is our own, because our Christian heritage should inspire us to treat asylum seekers with compassion, fairness and justice, as we have for centuries. Those to be deported to Rwanda have had no chance to appeal, or reunite with family in Britain. They have had no consideration of their asylum claim, recognition of their medical or other needs, or any attempt to understand their predicament.

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Bishop of Durham asks about asylum seekers and Rwanda

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 9th June 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked Her Majesty’s Government:

  • when they will publish the terms of reference for the Monitoring Committee, which was referred to in the Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement; and when the Monitoring Committee will be operational.
  •  whether individuals have been appointed to the Monitoring Committee that was set out in the Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Republic of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement.
  • whether co-chairs have been appointed to the Joint Committee that was to be established “without delay” after the asylum partnership arrangement with the government of the Republic of Rwanda came into effect.
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Bishop of Southwark asks about the government’s asylum agreement with Rwanda

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answers on 26th May 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government:

  • in respect of paragraph 9.1.2 of the Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Rwanda for an asylum partnership arrangement signed in Kigali on 13 April, what equivalent standard applies in Rwanda for the Home Office requirement that interpreters are members of the Institute of Translating and Interpreting, The Chartered Institute of Linguists, or if with a company, then the latter is a member of the Association of Translation Companies.
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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.
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Bishop of Southwark asks about government’s asylum policy

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answers on 24th May 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government when they expect the removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda will begin under the Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda.

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Bishop of Durham asks about government’s immigration policy

The Bishop of Durham received the following written answer on 28th April 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Durham asked Her Majesty’s Government who will be on the Independent Monitoring Board referred to in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Government and the government of Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership arrangement; and when will the Board be fully operational.

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