The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Check out our latest issue

UK Illegal Migration Bill breaches human rights

Photo used with permission from Fotomovimiento/ Creative Commons
The U.K’s new immigration bill that was passed May 7 breaches human rights. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak introduced this new law to stop small boats from crossing the English Channel to halt human trafficking.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Illegal Migration Bill was passed by the House of Lords, aiming to tackle the issue of illegal migration in the UK March 10. However, this bill undermines the right of humans to safety as it is simply a short-term solution that disregards the greater issues of illegal migration and silences human trafficking victims.

Adam Wagner, a leading human rights barrister, strongly disagrees with the recent U.K. Immigration Bill according to CNN. He argued that it violates human rights and disagrees with the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty designed to protect people’s human rights and basic freedoms.

Primarily, the Illegal Immigration Bill undermines the fundamental human right of safety. The bill prohibits anyone arriving to the U.K. illegally to claim asylum, and instead detains asylum seekers or relocates them to Rwanda or another “safe country,” according to The Guardian.  

The Equality and Human Rights Commission shares the same concerns as they worry that the legislation violates the U.K.’s international legal obligations to defend human rights, stating that the bill “undermines the core principle of the universality of human rights.” By stripping away asylum rights, regardless of whether they migrated illegally, this bill denies refugees the right to seek protection from persecution, utterly disregarding their genuine need for safety.



Additionally, the bill overlooks refugees’ perilous journeys. According to the UN Refugee Agency, most refugees seeking asylum in the U.K. are fleeing persecution, conflict and poverty as 89.3 million people were displaced globally in the last year due to political or military unrest in their countries. 

According to the U.K. Parliament, 24% of refugees that successfully cross borders are sent back to their country of origin. When refugees risk their lives to travel on an inflatable boat and are deported straight away, the government disregards their dangerous journey. Asylum seekers arriving illegally, without proper documents or visas, are often seeking immediate protection, jobs, education or trying to reunite with their families. The U.K. is treating illegal immigration as a criminal offense, when in most cases, it is the last resort. The U.K. government is neglecting the underlying causes of immigration and penalizing refugees for seeking asylum. 

The U.K. is treating illegal immigration as a criminal offense, when in most cases, it is the last resort.

Imagine fleeing your home because your country is too dangerous to live. Imagine bringing only what you can carry, leaving all your home and belongings behind. The journey you will embark on is life-threatening, with limited chances of survival. Now imagine being part of the 24% that makes it across safely, only to be denied and deported. The current statistics on denied asylum seekers will lower because of this bill, and seeking safety in the U.K. will no longer be a feasible option. 

The bill was seemingly passed to discourage people from undertaking dangerous trips, consequently undermining the business of human trafficking. However, the Labour Party has previously labeled the bill a “traffickers’ charter,” saying it will make victims of human trafficking less likely to come forward, as they risk being deported from the country. This means that it will not actually diminish the threat of human trafficking, but rather,  silence the victims in fear of being removed from the country as a result of coming forward. 

Ultimately, the bill is morally wrong and will not achieve its intended goals of putting illegal migration to an end while diminishing human trafficking. It must be reconsidered and altered to address the complex issues surrounding illegal migration and protect the rights and safety of those seeking asylum.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Standard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *