St Vincent de Paul Society statement on the Rwanda Bill

Image of refugees

The St Vincent De Paul Society (England and Wales) is disappointed to see that the Safety of Rwanda Bill has passed and is now law. We believe that this Bill, alongside other recent legislation - the Illegal Migration Act (2023) and the Nationality and Borders Act (2022) - will not lead to a fair asylum system. 

We have consistently called for an asylum system based on principles of fairness and compassion. One where people who enter it are treated with dignity and respect, and have their claims heard in line with our international obligations. The removal of people to Rwanda fails in this regard. 

Our members and centres across England and Wales model this kind of compassion. They support people who are in the asylum system, both practically, through providing food, clothes and English classes, and emotionally, through providing friendship and communities that they can be a part of. Their work helps people integrate and be better equipped for life in the UK, when many of them go on to have their claims approved.  

Today we are saddened by the passing of this bill, and we continue to call for a change in the approach and attitude towards people seeking sanctuary. We urge Government to create an asylum system which protects the right to seek asylum and creates safe route for people to seek sanctuary. The Safety of Rwanda Act is a barrier to this and would need to be repealed for this to be possible.