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UK’s rights commission says migration bill risks breaching international laws

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHCR), an executive non-departmental public body in the UK, continues to voice its opposition to the Illegal Migration Bill.

The human rights watchdog has issued a list of concerns, claiming that the bill risks breaching the UN Refugee Convention by restricting the right to asylum and penalizing refugees.

The EHCR went on to say that the bill also goes against the European Convention on Human Rights, which the UK is a part of since 1950. It said the bill “risks breaching human rights protections under the ECHR and the principle of non-refoulment,” which says refugees should not be sent back to a country where they are at risk of persecution.

The parliamentarians will consider the remaining stages of the bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday. The chamber will discuss and vote on proposed amendments to the bill before it is sent to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

The EHCR argued that the bill removes protections for victims of trafficking and modern slavery, risks breaching the refugee convention by restricting the right to asylum and penalizing refugees, and includes broad provisions for the detention of children and pregnant women.

The UK’s Court of Appeal has started a four-day hearing which looks into the migration deal signed by the UK and Rwanda, which allows illegal arrivals into Britain to be deported to the East African country.

The High Court in London ruled in December that plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda while their status is decided are lawful in broad principle.

The Asylum Aid charity will argue that selected people are not being given sufficient opportunity to challenge the decision, or the proper time, information and access to legal advice.

The latest stage of the Rwanda legal challenge coincides with the return of the controversial Illegal Migration Bill to the parliament.

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