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What is a safe country? 11:30 - Feb 2 with 592 viewsAnotherJohn

Three stories in the news make this an interesting question. The Home office has just added Turkey to the list of unsafe countries, thus torpedoing the UK Govt’s hope of doing an Albania-style deal there. Just today it emerged that the sex offender and Clapham attacker, Abdul Ezedi, could not be deported even after two asylum claims were rejected because Afghanistan is unsafe due to Taliban rule. Then there is Rwanda, which many are saying must be unsafe because the UK has granted asylum to a dozen or so applicants in recent years. Liberal opinion will say that all these countries are unsafe, but the question then arises of just how many countries there are that are not unsafe for some.

In fact, the refugee charities themselves have resisted the idea that there are any completely safe countries from which asylum claims cannot be made. In 2010 Donna Covey, the chief executive of the UK Refugee Council, said: "No country is safe for every person all of the time. Those with a genuine need for protection, whatever country they are from, should have the right to claim asylum in a place of safety." Applicants from almost all African and Asian countries have at one time or another been granted asylum in the UK, even though that does not mean they are all regarded as unsafe in the general sense. There are even rare examples where US citizens have been granted asylum in the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Canada, while many have applied unsuccessfully in the UK. The UNHCR opposed the 2022 UK “inadmissibility” rules that imposed a ban on asylum seekers from listed safe countries, except in “exceptional circumstances”. UNHCR accepts that this is not illegal but sees it only as a way of prioritising the strength of claims. A recent UNHCR document (Recommendations, 2023: p42) stated that: “the designation of a country as a safe country of origin does not establish, and may not under international law be deemed to establish, an absolute guarantee of safety for nationals of that country, and it may be that despite general conditions of safety, for some individuals, members of particular groups or relating to some forms of persecution, the country remains unsafe.”

So if this principle is accepted, it effectively means that anybody who presents themselves in the UK from any country in the world has a right to make an asylum claim, that if their country is designated as unsafe they will stay even if asylum is not immediately granted, and that even if the country is regarded as “generally safe” they can claim that their individual circumstances mean they should stay. Grounds can include sexual orientation, political views, religion, exposure to gang violence, and in some recent cases where return was ruled out, the non-availability of necessary healthcare in the receiving country.

I just wonder how sustainable all this is and how it fits with the intention of the original international conventions that give legal support to the current situation. I would never enter a legal agreement where in the event that other parties exercised the rights granted this required me to do things that I did not have the resources to do. But it seems that the UK and indeed many Western countries have done just that. Will there be some general move to change the rules of the game? I think there are some turbulent years ahead.
[Post edited 2 Feb 11:36]
What is a safe country? on 12:34 - Feb 2 with 534 viewsonehunglow

Hell of a post Sir.
Sone read that

Poll: Christmas. Enjoyable or not

What is a safe country? on 12:49 - Feb 2 with 528 viewscontroversial_jack

Just because our govt designates it so, doesn't mean it is
What is a safe country? on 13:51 - Feb 2 with 501 viewsKilkennyjack

What is a safe country? on 12:49 - Feb 2 by controversial_jack

Just because our govt designates it so, doesn't mean it is

Correct if the UK govt said the sky was green …. Then it would still be …. Blue.

Facts are facts.

Beware of the Risen People

What is a safe country? on 14:35 - Feb 2 with 493 viewsAnotherJohn

What is a safe country? on 13:51 - Feb 2 by Kilkennyjack

Correct if the UK govt said the sky was green …. Then it would still be …. Blue.

Facts are facts.

My post wasn't just or even mainly about Rwanda. However, if we focus in on that angle, one important point is that certain bodies - even UNHCR - seem to reach different conclusions at different times.

Compare UNHCR's evidence to the Supreme Court (which you can read online) to its 2024 Rwanda Strategy document.

Situation analysis

"As of end of September 2023, Rwanda hosted 135,733 refugees, asylum seekers, and other displaced populations. The majority, 84,867 (62.5%) come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 50,146 (36.9%) from Burundi, 587 (0.4%) are hosted at the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) and 133 (0.1%) refugees and asylum seekers from other nationalities. Approximately, 94% of these individuals reside in camps, with the remaining 6% living in urban areas.

Rwanda has also experienced an influx of new asylum seekers due to increased instability in the Eastern DRC since November 2022, with approximately 12,684 recorded as of the end of September 2023 with numbers anticipated to grow in the next year.

Rwanda’ s policies provide for refugee inclusion into national services such as education, health, socio-economic and financial services (including access to investment & bank accounts) as outlined in Article 18 of the Law n°13ter/ 2014 of 21/05/2014. This law ensures that refugees enjoy the rights provided for by international refugee instruments.

Refugees have access to civil registration and documentation, including Proof of Registration (PoR), birth and marriage certificates, and refugee IDs issued by the Government of Rwanda for those above 16 years old. All new arrivals/asylum seekers in Rwanda, undergo individual Refugee Status Determination (RSD) by the Refugee Status Determination Committee (RSDC).

UNHCR provides shelter and communal services as a core life-saving activity to all refugees living in camps in Rwanda. Due to environmental degradation, including landslides and giant ravines caused by soil erosion and lack of proper drainage facilities in the camps, families in high-risk zones of landslides continue to be relocated into new shelters or to the other camps.

UNHCR ensures that all refugees have access to life-saving and essential health care through camp-based primary health facilities for refugees and inclusion in the national Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) for urban based refugees. UNHCR also supports and pays the cost of refugee referrals to secondary/tertiary healthcare at national hospitals, although advocacy is directed towards the inclusion of camp-based refugees in CBHI.

Refugees in all camps receive cash for food from the World Food Program (WFP) on a targeted basis. 87 percent of the refugee population are in the highly vulnerable category, 6 percent are moderate vulnerable, and 7 percent are least vulnerable. Over the course of the multi-year strategy, UNHCR will make efforts to strengthen the targeting criteria based on socio-economic data. UNHCR’ s cash assistance programmes for non-food items and energy will likely also be delivered on a targeted basis.

To enhance refugee inclusion in the national education system, UNHCR together with education partners, plays a catalytic roll in supporting the expansion of school infrastructures, improving the quality of education, and distributing scholastic materials to refugee students.

In Rwanda, there is a gradual shift from a humanitarian approach to a developmental focus with emphasis on sustainable livelihoods and social cohesion. UNHCR is working to strengthen its advocacy with partners and assist refugees to become more self-reliant in line with GoR strategies. UNHCR also supports activities in community leadership, livelihoods, child protection, inclusion of People with Disabilities (PwDs) and in prevention and response of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

UNHCR provides technical and financial support to the government to address and prevent statelessness and will support the National Statelessness Taskforce. In 2024, the National Statelessness Taskforce plans to finalize a nationwide identification survey to determine an updated figure of the Stateless population in Rwanda and develop a strategy to provide solutions.

UNHCR has a solutions approach and is implementing a multi-year durable solutions strategy that aims at pursuing resettlement for the most vulnerable and protracted Congolese refugees, while examining other broader options including local integration and voluntary repatriation as and when feasible."


This 2024 strategy report will have been prepared largely by country -based staff, who appear to have a different view from more critical voices at HQ. The mention that the solutions offered by UNHCR include the option of "local integration" is significant. It indicates that UNHCR is willing to facilitate the longer-term settlement of asylum seekers/refugees in Rwanda. Given that another UN body, WHO, continues to praise Rwanda as an African "beacon" of universal healthcare coverage (free or low cost care for all), it looks safer than most African countries. I imagine that is why UNHCR chose it as a hub for support activities.

But as I suggested in my OP, some will probably say that no African country is safe.
[Post edited 2 Feb 14:45]
What is a safe country? on 16:05 - Feb 2 with 472 viewsSullutaCreturned

Lack of available healthcare a reason to grant asylum, hoy crap, British people should he heading the Taiwan en masse to claim health asylum!

Righ, the Op. In my opinion no country is safe that has any humans in it. Hmans are the most dangerous, most destructive speciies on the planet, the sooner we exterminate them the better. We are making a good start, pollution, over medication, cheap highly processed food, lack of won't be long.
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