The government of Rwanda said Wednesday it took issue with the UK Supreme Court striking down London’s plan to send migrants to the East African country on the basis that it was not a safe destination for asylum seekers.
A five-judge panel rejected the controversial policy, upholding a lower court judgment that sending undocumented migrants to Rwanda was unlawful and put the rights of asylum seekers afforded by international law at “real risk”.
“This is ultimately a decision for the UK’s judicial system,” Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said in a statement to AFP.
“However, we do take issue with the ruling that Rwanda is not a safe third country for asylum seekers and refugees, in terms of refoulement.”
She said Rwanda was “committed to its international obligations” and its “exemplary treatment of refugees” had been recognized by the UN refugee agency and other bodies.
“We take our humanitarian responsibilities seriously, and will continue to live up to them,” she added.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government had argued the scheme was crucial to reducing “illegal” migration across the Channel and had appealed the lower court decision.