Asylum Seekers in U.K. Hide to Avoid Being Sent to Rwanda

Aid agencies in Britain say some asylum seekers have gone into hiding for fear of being sent to Rwanda, from where they will be resettled.

Under the partnership between the United Kingdom and Rwanda that was signed last month, people who cross into the UK illegally will be transferred to Rwanda, where their paperwork will be processed.

The British Red Cross and the Refugee Council have warned that the threat of transfer to Africa has seen some of the asylum seekers disappear from hotels, while others resort to self-harm, including attempted suicide.

The agencies accuse the UK government of a breach of the duty of care as some asylum seekers have declined to seek medical and mental healthcare for fear they would be enrolled in the programme.

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A joint report by the British Red Cross and the Refugee Council, which last year collectively worked with nearly 44,000 people at all stages of the asylum process, warned that existing problems with the asylum system were getting worse because of the new Rwanda policy.

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