rainbow flag and trees in the background

Despite sector wide calls for the new Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, to distance herself from Priti Patel’s cruel legacy, today she has announced an even more inhuman plan.

In her speech at the Conservative Party conference, Suella Braverman has set out proposals to ban people crossing the Channel from claiming asylum here.

A little less than a year ago, the UK proudly announced the arrival of the first group of LGBTQI+ Afghans, 29 people, who were helped by the government to come here, so that they could live safely and with dignity. Since then, we at Rainbow Migration regularly receive messages from desperate LGBTQI+ people in the region, begging us to help them. There is very little that we can do as there are simply no official accessible routes for them to come here and claim asylum. Due to the lack of other options, the number of people from Afghanistan who arrive in the UK via the Channel has increased significantly.

People should not be punished because of this government’s failure to offer them a safe alternative, and we are filled with horror at the remarks made by the Home Secretary today that she intends to deny asylum, and therefore safety, to people fleeing the Taliban.

At Rainbow Migration we have assisted several people from Iran and Iraq who have arrived in the UK via the Channel this year. Again, there is no resettlement option on offer from the UK for LGBTQI+ people from either of these countries. People have the right to decide in which country they seek safety, a position that is supported by the UNHCR (see paragraph 3).

If there are no formal routes open and accessible to those who need them, then people will be forced to travel however they can in order to get here. A person is no less a refugee because they were unable to access a safe route to come here, and it is morally despicable to suggest otherwise.

Similarly, the attacks on the European Court of Human Rights  are misguided. Most of the decisions to take people off the flight to Rwanda were made by the Home Office (see here: Q272), an acknowledgement by them that the individuals were never suitable to be sent to Rwanda in the first place, even under their own guidance.

It is disappointing to see the Home Secretary squander the opportunity to break with the dangerous, cruel and ineffective policies of her predecessor, and we urge her to reconsider and reverse her approach.