Our statement on the Rwanda Bill

Read our statement upon the passing of the Rwanda Bill in parliament.
Micro Rainbow statement on the Rwanda Bill

The Rwanda Bill has finally passed. We are incredibly disappointed that this heartless bill has been signed into law. In November, the UK’s high court ruled that Rwanda is not a safe country to send refugees. Despite this ruling, this government has maintained its commitment to making the cruel bill law.

We know that Rwanda is a dangerous place for LGBTQI people; for more than 10 years, Micro Rainbow has supported LGBTQI asylum seekers who have been forced to flee to the UK to escape the persecution and discrimination they faced in Rwanda. The idea that LGBTQI asylum seekers could be safely resettled in the country – which has no specific laws protecting LGBTQI people – is illogical.

The risks faced by LGBTQI people in Rwanda have also been acknowledged by the Home Office. The UK’s foreign office advises that LGBTQI people avoid travelling to the country because of the risk of harassment and persecution. LGBTQI people in Rwanda suffer persecution and abuse, including by local authorities.

Micro Rainbow’s Founder and CEO, Sebastian Rocca said:

“Micro Rainbow currently works with two lesbians who were forced to leave Rwanda for their safety. In the past, LGBTQI people successfully gained refugee status in the UK. This means that Rwanda was not found to be a safe country for LGBTQI people.

“Even in the UK, LGBTQI people seeking asylum are not safe. They face violence and abuse by other asylum seekers in housing. That is why Micro Rainbow runs 22 safe houses across the country exclusively for LGBTQI people fleeing persecution. Processing LGBTQI asylum claims in Rwanda is unthinkable and could even mean death for many of our beneficiaries. It is time to start saving lives instead of trying to score political points.

“Most British people believe that the scheme is unprincipled and inhumane. It’s time the Government committed to create safe routes and a humane and dignified immigration system that we can all be proud of. The UK should be a place of sanctuary for LGBTQI refugees, somewhere they can live and love openly, and rebuild their lives.” 

What you can do about the Rwanda Bill

No-one should be sent to a country which is unsafe. It is time to end the deportation of LGBTQI people seeking asylum. Sign this petition and show the UK Government that change is needed