We are pleased to see international human rights laws have been defended in the House of Lords.

Peers have demanded 11 key changes to the Illegal Migration Bill, or, as we call it, the Refugee Ban Bill.

The legislation would effectively abolish the right to claim asylum and would close the door to safety that is so desperately needed by people seeking asylum, irrespective of where they fled, be that Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan and other wars, oppressive regimes and human rights abuses.

The news comes as the Court of Appeal ruled plans to send people seeking asylum to Rwanda to be unlawful. This would mean that there are no agreements in place with other countries to remove people seeking asylum.

The ruling also means that the risk of being removed to Rwanda this year has now greatly decreased.

The government has stated its plans to seek permission to appeal the decision at supreme court.

Lord Carlile, a former senior barrister, said the government’s appeal to the Supreme Court would not be heard until October at the earliest – after the Refugee Ban Bill is due to have passed through parliament.

“We are not in a realistic situation,” he added, calling for the government to withdraw the bill and “start again” if it eventually wins the legal battle.

Our CEO Sabir Zazai said: “In Scotland we have an ethical duty to challenge and mitigate the Illegal Migration Bill.

“Expert opinion makes it clear that we have a legal obligation under European human rights law to maintain trafficking survivor protection that the Bill otherwise strips away. We must also protect unaccompanied children.

“We call on Scottish ministers to lead by taking practical and swift action against this unworkable legislation. We must protect not penalise those who have come here seeking sanctuary or who are trapped in exploitation, and uphold our legal and moral obligations.”

Read more about our joint statement opposing the Refugee Ban Bill.

Read more important information on changes to asylum rules.

Gilly Furmage
Author: Gilly Furmage