21 Jun 2022

Rwanda: what about LGBTQ+ asylum seekers?

Why LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are concerned about the government’s Rwanda policy

Rwanda is in the news because back in April, the UK government confirmed a £120m deal to deport adults who arrived illegally into the UK after January 1st this year to this African nation. And last week’s attempt to start this policy failed.

The Home secretary has said the Rwanda deal will act as a deterrent for people smugglers, while also allowing those sent there the opportunity to “build their lives”.

But can asylum seekers really do that in a nation that has a shocking human rights record, particularly when it comes to LGBTQ+ people?

Rwanda’s high commissioner Johnston Busingye says: “There’s no doubt that we [Rwanda] are a work in progress, every country is, but the Rwanda of today is unrecognisable from the country the world was introduced to in 1994.”

In this episode, we’re going to focus on how this immigration policy is of particular concern to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, who are fleeing persecution.

Producer: Freya Pickford.


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