Responding to the Rwanda Act

April 30, 2024
Pascale Gayford
Posted by
Pascale Gayford

Sharing some links and updates from organisations across the sector.

Dear all, 

We are devastated to hear about the rapid response of the government and the intent to detain people immediately in the light of the Rwanda Act passing. We will be sending out the Insight Hub survey next week and it will include questions on how organisations and communities are affected, and what support you need to cope with this emerging situation. We will also share anything useful through our channels so do share anything that you think would be helpful. We are thinking about messaging to funders in what feels like an emergency time and so we encourage direct responses about immediate needs and developments and capacity issues/ needing to adjust service delivery to respond to developing situations. We imagine that this will have an enormous impact on staff, volunteers, service users and Experts by Experience; collaboration and solidarity are more important than ever. We are already seeing the level of anxiety increase across Refugee Action’s Expert by Experience groups and our campaigns team are preparing an open information session about the Rwanda Act on Thursday 9th May 11-12 for Experts by Experience (link below) - we will seek to share resources with those interested following the session. There is still a great deal of uncertainty around these deportation flights and exactly what will happen over the rest of this year. A better future for people seeking safety feels further away than ever at this moment, but we must pick ourselves up and fight back. We need a transformed asylum system that respects people’s human rights, processes their claims quickly, and supports them to rebuild their lives here.

Rwanda Act Information Session for Experts by Experience - Refugee Action (Jonathan Kazembe and Soushian Samadi) Thursday 9th May, 11-12 - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84977575558?pwd=VHJBS1hHb3JrT0RlUlhMeS9EQkRRdz09

Right to Remain have posted two blogs if you haven’t already seen them - https://righttoremain.org.uk/what-we-know-about-the-rwanda-act-and-treaty-so-far/ and Immigration raids: your rights, and what to do – Right to Remain 

Migrants Organise have shared this: Wilsons are accepting referrals for those who have been given notice to Rwanda: https://www.wilsonllp.co.uk/news/representation-for-rwanda-removal-cases It needs to be emailed to: rwandareferrals@wilsonllp.co.uk 

There’s the JCWI helpline (https://jcwi.org.uk/how-can-we-help/) and the Rights of Women helpline too (https://www.rightsofwomen.org.uk/)

AVID has some helpful advice: https://aviddetention.org.uk/news-events/news/statement-rwanda-safety-bill 

Anti-raids network information is here https://antiraids.net/about/

Asylos are also looking as to how Country of Origin Information (COI) can continue to support any particular case - please refer to their website if you want to make a direct referral - and more generally by continuing to review the COI evidence and policy.

Care4Calais has produced a flyer and information sheet giving people at risk of removal to Rwanda information on the Rwanda bill and Notice of Intent letters (NOI). The leaflet and info sheet (translated into key languages) contains information and a number for people with NOIs to contact caseworkers in our Legal Access team to get legal support. Importantly, there is also a helpline that individuals can contact should they at any stage face detention for the purposes of removal to Rwanda.

NACCOM has produced a webpage of resources on the Rwanda Act: https://naccom.org.uk/news-and-resources-frontline-response-to-rwanda-detention-operation/

Sign up to join the Insight Hub mailing list if you’d like to take part in our survey which will be sent out next week, and join our Hub call taking place in June.

Best wishes,

The Experts by Experience and Partnerships Team

Thanks to Rainbow Migration, Right to Remain, Asylos and Care4Calais, and ASAN for the links/ information above. 

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