Rwanda removal

The world's most sophisticated mis-leading plan

There is nothing ‘World-leading’ or ‘Innovative’ about hand-washing our responsibilities to people seeking sanctuary instead of protecting them. But this is what the Home office is promising to deliver. Their reasoning? They need to break the business model of people smugglers. They are right, there is no excuse for making a business out of people seeking sanctuary. So how can you justify replacing one business model with another? Home Office's model looks more like a form of human trafficking! 

We have heard from our visitor groups that the Home Office are distributing leaflets inside detention centres promising a lush land of opportunity within Rwanda. The Home Office’s propaganda machines have repeatedly been producing videos of integration within Rwandan society on Twitter. One might scratch their head and ask a simple question - why can Britain not offer a place for people who are seeking sanctuary where they can be welcomed and integrated?

Rwanda is geographically a small country with 26,338 km2 which means it can literally fit on top of the areas of Wales (See Figures A & B). However, in comparison to the United Kingdom, Rwanda has a 60% higher poverty headcount ratio for the percentage of the population than the UK (Source: World Bank Data).

And yet they are already hosting more Refugees than the UK (Refugee population by country of asylum in 2020; Rwanda= 139,501 and UK = 132,349 ).


Rwanda’s asylum system is severely under-resourced, and anyone sent to Rwanda could be left in limbo for years. It can only be described as cruel to trade people seeking sanctuary like a human cargo between two countries. 

As of a few weeks ago, people held in detention centres have started receiving ‘intent of removal’ notices. The 14th June has been set as the date for the first removals. For many, this is a date set for an uncertain future. And it is a notice that makes people feel lesser than a human being.

AVID and our members are extremely worried about the current situation unfolding in detention centres. There are several reports of self-harm and as a last resort, many who received the ‘intent of removal’ notice are on hunger strike.

Our Policy and Communication Manager, Gee Manoharan, expresses -

‘This is truly a moment for change, a change in hearts and minds. This government still has time to stop these life-endangering violations. This will surely end up in a catastrophic result. This government have no mandate to present itself as a world leader in human rights while turning a blind eye to people seeking sanctuary within our own borders. It is time to say what this truly means, a racist policy picked straight out of colonial-era tricks books, a disintegration of liberty, intolerance, division, and fear. We must all fight to stop this!’

There are several other ways to fight this. If someone received the intent notice, here is a detailed blog about how to respond to this

If you are new to this issue or aren’t sure where to get started in helping to change things for the better, we’ve included some actions you can take below.


What can I do?

1. Join the protest or demo: 

  • SOAS Detainee Support(SDS) has arranged a solidarity protest this weekend: STOP THE RWANDA FLIGHT!
    • Brook House IRC, Sunday 12th June, 3 pm
    • Demo outside the Home Office, Monday 13th June, 5.30 pm
  • Care4Calais and Stand up to racism: day of action on 13th June outside Downing street – more details here.

2. Connect to groups and organisations already campaigning and lobbying on this issue and our members are actively looking to recruit visitors 


3. Write to your MP. Or you can use the Bail for Immigration Detainees tool to do that here

4. You can also tell the airlines to stop being the 'Corporate partners of doom' and ask them to show some humanity - flood their mails from here. Corporate Watch is also currently investigating the possible charter airlines to Rwanda - follow them for more information

5. Donate to an organisation that is taking the Home Office to court on this plan

6. Support AVID - we are raising much-needed funds to continue our work building communities of solidarity with people in detention across the UK.