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  • Writer's pictureThe LGBTQ+ Law Clinic

Our Statement on the Rwanda Bill

We at the LGBTQ+ Law Clinic are both disturbed and outraged by the recent passing of the government's inhumane Rwanda Bill, which confirms Rwanda as a safe country to send asylum seekers. This plan ignores entirely the findings of the Supreme Court, the highest legal authority in the UK. The government has now committed to begin flying vulnerable refugees to Rwanda within the next three months.

Put simply, this Bill endangers the lives of all those seeking asylum, especially those who identify as LGBTQ+. With the hostile environment already taking aim at LGBTQ+ people seeking asylum in the UK, the government have now intensified their attacks even further with this insidious scheme. Despite what our government may claim, Rwanda is far from a utopia for LGBTQ+ individuals, and behind the façade of progressive policy, the reality is that LGBTQ+ people in Rwanda continue to face stigma because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

In fact, the Home Office's own travel advice to British nationals, published this year, acknowledges the danger that LGBTQ+ individuals face:

Same-sex sexual activity is not illegal in Rwanda, but is frowned on by locals. LGBT+ travellers can experience discrimination and abuse, including from local authorities. There are no specific anti-discrimination laws that protect LGBT+ individuals in Rwanda.

There has never been a more urgent time to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ refugees. We in the Clinic remain steadfast in our commitment to fighting for the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals, so that they may live freely, without fear of persecution.

Refugees are welcome here.

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