Skip to main content

Rwanda deal will do little to deter crossings, Calais survey suggests

THREE out of every four asylum-seekers in Calais said they would still try to cross to Britain despite the threat of being deported to Rwanda, a new survey suggests.

Carried out by refugee rights charity Care4Calais, the poll of 64 asylum-seekers in Calais and Dunkirk indicates that the widely condemned policy will do little to deter people making the perilous journey. 

Of those, 87 per cent had heard of the plan and 75 per cent said it “won’t put them off crossing to the UK,” the charity said.

Those interviewed raised fears about Rwanda’s poor human rights record.

One man interviewed said: “Rwanda has a terrible history of genocide.

“If the UK push people there it will double the population and they won’t be able to control the situation.”

Another said: “Even people in Rwanda are leaving because it’s a bad place to live.” 

Care4Calais said in a post on social media: “Refugees have escaped from the worst horrors in this world. When you’re risking your life, what else do you have to lose? 

“When someone explains ‘even death wouldn’t stop me’ trying to get to the UK, it’s clear that even the threat of Rwanda won’t change anything.”

It comes as Channel boat crossings resumed at the weekend following an 11-day pause due to poor weather.

The government had claimed the brief hiatus was evidence that the Rwanda plan was already having an effect. 

Refugee Council chief executive Enver Solomon said the resumption of the crossings showed that “draconian policies” passed in the Tory’s Nationality and Borders Bill last week, and the Rwanda deal, are “doing little to deter desperate people jumping on boats because they do nothing to address the reasons people come.”

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 16,656
We need:£ 1,344
13 Days remaining
Donate today