UK Home Secretary, calls for change to UN Refugee Conventions as government’s ‘Stop the Boats’ programme flounders
Suella Braverman will be delivering a controversial speech to the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most influential neoconservative think tanks in the US, on Tuesday 26th September, in which she will urge support for her campaign to force the United Nations to shred its long held conventions on Immigration. She will argue that the conventions are out of date and no longer fit for purpose.
UK Home Secretary wants to tear up the 'not fit for purpose' conventions
The UK Home Secretary will state that the entire Western world is facing a refugee crisis, which needs fresh thinking and a new blueprint in order to deal with it effectively. Braverman, will also meet with the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas and the US Attorney General, Merrick Garland to galvanise support for her proposals.
In her sights, is the landmark 1951 UN Conventions on Refugees, which has been signed by 146 countries and which for over 70 years has provided a multilateral treaty that defines who a refugee is and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.
Braverman will controversially argue for a recalibration of acceptable levels of persecution. She will say:
‘Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary. But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if in effect, simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin, is sufficient to qualify for protection’
Refugee and Human Rights Groups urge the government to stop grandstanding and focus on the real issues
According to the Refugee Council, the conventions are as important today as ever they were. Enver Soloman, CEO of the Refugee Council was unequivocal in his response to Braverman’s demands. He said:
‘Abandoning them is not an option: We must stand firm in our commitment to all people fleeing persecution and the international frameworks that were created to protect them’
He further challenged the direction being taken by the UK government on this issue, saying that instead of tearing up internationally accepted agreements, the UK should be:
‘Addressing the real issues in the asylum system, such as the record backlog, and providing safe routes for those in need of protection’
Government's 'Stop the Boats' programme beset with problems
The Home Secretary’s whirlwind US tour, comes as the central plank of the government’s 5 pledges, to ‘Stop the Boats’, shows every sign of floundering. The government has been beset with problems preventing the deportation of illegal migrants to Rwanda, as well as a series of legal actions in the High Courts against the use of disused army barracks and accommodation barges - such as the Bibby Stockholm, to house migrants in what many pundits have described as inhuman conditions.
Braverman says the conventions are mo longer fit for purpose in 'an age of jet travel and smartphones'
According to a spokesperson at the Home Office, Suella Braverman, will be making the keynote speech and will present her template for how countries can combat the migration crisis, arguing that Britain has led the way in bringing forward "innovative approaches" to tackling the issue. She will say:
‘Illegal migration and the unprecedented mass movement of people across the globe is placing unsustainable pressures on America, the UK and Europe… We must come together and ask whether the international conventions and legal frameworks designed 50-plus years ago are fit for purpose in an age of jet travel and smartphones… I'm going to Washington to discuss this (illegal migration) crisis with our American counterparts. If we fail to meet these challenges, then our political institutions risk losing their democratic legitimacy’
Migrant arrivals in the UK reach record highs
Despite the rhetoric and attempts by the government to introduce a hostile environment to deter migrants from coming to the Uk, the numbers of migrants arriving in the last few weeks has hit new record levels.
The CEO of Freedom from Torture, Sonya Sceats, added her comments to a range of condemning comments from human rights and immigration specialist groups. She said:
‘Having already trampled over international law with the Illegal Migration Act, it is shocking to see the home secretary imploring the US and other democracies to tear up treaties designed to protect human rights’
Leader of the opposition seizes an opportunity to propose a change of direction on migration control
Recognising the growing unease within the Conservative electoral base, the Labour party leader, Kier Starmer, last week launched his own illegal immigration crackdown plan to win over disillusioned Tory voters.
Speaking during a special trip to Europol in the Hague, he pledged to ‘smash’ criminal gangs and to ‘bring order to the border’, by a combination of providing safe routes for legitimate claimants and effective processing of claims of those already on UK shores. He said that he would be abandoning all plans to remove asylum seekers to Rwanda and added:
'It ought to be the UK government who decides who comes to the UK, but at the moment, because the government has lost control, it is those that are running the gangs that are putting people in boats to cross the channel. That's why I'm here at Europol saying how can we have a better agreement to share intelligence have joint operations to take these gangs down’
Sir Kier Starmer promised to recruit an additional 1,000 Home Office caseworkers to clear the backlog of asylum cases and to establish new asylum courts to speed up the process of legal challenges. He also promised to create a new returns unit to create a more effective program of removals for those whose claims have failed.
The Labour leader caused some controversy when he declared his intention to discuss deals, which would see the UK joining a EU mandated quota system for migrants.