Human Rights Consortium says government should abandon cruel Rwanda policy

April 23, 2024

The Human Rights Consortium has expressed profound concern as the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act passed its final stages in Parliament. This Act breaches the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement through attacks on the European Convention on Human Rights and disregard shown to the rights protections afforded by the Windsor Framework, contradicting the UK’s established commitments to human rights protections in Northern Ireland.

 “This Act is an attack on our fundamental human rights” stated Kevin Hanratty, Director at the Human Rights Consortium. “It violates domestic and international law and undermines the basic human rights guarantees central to the peace process in Northern Ireland.”

The Consortium has been active locally and nationally in scrutinising this legislation, calling for the government to abandon it and instead deliver a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland to embed and expand human rights protections.

“This act, like the Illegal Migration and Nationality and Borders Acts, imposes a cruel and unjust regime on refugees and asylum seekers which we must continue to resist. It is not too late for the government to abandon the destructive approach it has adopted and instead work to raise human rights to the highest possible standard in line with its international obligations and basic human dignity.”


For media requests, please contact:

The Human Rights Consortium

Kevin Hanratty, Director, Human Rights Consortium at +44 7919353409 or

Notes for the editor:

  1. The Human Rights Consortium is a coalition of over 160 civil society organisations from across Northern Ireland who work together for the advancement and protection of human rights standards including the delivery on the Belfast/Good Friday commitment to a Bill of Rights. More information is available on our website at:
  2. The High Court’s decision regarding the Legacy Act in the Dillon case illustrates the protective scope the Windsor Framework can offer against human rights infringements. It is likely that this legal precedent will come into play in any challenge to the Rwanda Bill under the Windsor Framework. Our statement on the Dillon case is here.
  3. As well civil society organisations, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Equality Commission Northern Ireland (the statutory human rights and equality organisations in Northern Ireland), have advised that this Bill is incompatible with the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the Windsor Framework, available here and here.
  4. For more information, please see the briefing from the Human Rights Consortium on the Rwanda Bill here.

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