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Current treatment of refugees evokes UK's colonial past

As a consequence of conflict in countries such as #Syria, #Afghanistan, and more recently #Ukraine, scores of people have been traversing difficult terrains, by land and water to reach safety. Many ended up in #Europe - more specifically the #UK.⁣

In recent months, the treatment of #refugees and #asylumseekers in the UK has rightfully been under the scanner.⁣

A report by the #KentRefugeeAction, an organisation supporting young asylum seekers arriving on the south coast, termed the treatment of refugees by the UK – such as forcing them to endure squalid living conditions – as ‘performative cruelty’.⁣

Adding to the woes of the asylum seekers in the UK, had been the new #Rwanda Scheme announced in April 2022 which proposed relocating asylum seekers to detention centers in Rwanda where they’d wait for their asylum claim to be processed. Furthermore, the scheme is stated to be applied mostly to undocumented single men.⁣

Such plan to deter new arrivals received heavy criticism from religious, international and human rights organisations, who questioned the legality of the process, as relocating asylum seekers in this manner is against the International Refugee Convention.⁣

Worryingly, the UK has announced the Rwanda scheme to be proto-type, suggesting that it can be replicated elsewhere. Earlier, #Australia already made similar arrangements with #Nauru and #PapuaNewGuinea to house asylum seekers on #Manus Island.⁣

Also, this is simply a way for the UK to offload non-European and non-white immigrants to poorer countries, as its rules do not apply to Ukrainians. By now, it has been established that the European countries have shown deep racism, particularly in the ways in which they managed the inflow of #Afghan refugees since last year, compared to those arriving from #Ukraine.⁣

The Rwanda Scheme also reeks of Britain’s history as a country which built the world’s largest imperial empire. Based on blatant racism, and offloading unwanted immigrants to less developed African countries, while strengthening its own footprints in the African nations, the scheme banks on the same modus operandi of the colonial past.

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