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UN rights chief expresses worries about the immigration bill to Britain

UN rights chief expresses worries about the immigration bill to Britain

The UN human rights head said on Tuesday that he had officially expressed his worries to the British government over a new immigration law, saying he was concerned that it might prevent people from applying for asylum.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made it a priority to stop small boat landings from France across the English Channel, and the lower house of parliament enacted the Illegal Migration Bill in April.

If approved by the House of Lords, it would enable the quick arrest and deportation of people coming on boats either back home or to so-called safe third countries like Rwanda.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk stated in a Geneva interview that he had “formally raised” this issue with London last month. “We have very serious concerns from an international refugee law and from an international human rights law perspective, because it (the bill) would essentially bar people from seeking asylum in the UK if they come through a certain way,” Turk added.

Although it is the responsibility of the UN rights director to inform countries of any perceived shortcomings, some rights experts told Reuters that formal reprimands for Western democracies are less often.

The British embassy in Geneva released the following statement: “We continue to engage with the High Commissioner on the Illegal Migration Bill,” adding that the embassy was convinced that its policies, including the intention to send migrants to Rwanda, were legal and in accordance with a U.N. treaty on refugees.

Turk, a seasoned U.N. diplomat who spent many years advancing refugee safeguards, claimed that wealthy nations were perpetuating anti-migrant policies and narratives despite the fact that they took in significantly fewer migrants and refugees than many poorer ones. He gave the instances of Bangladesh and Uganda.

Source: theprint

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