Open Letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the Rwanda Bill/Act (23 April 2024)

Key document | Refugee

ILPA, along with 250 other organisations, has signed the below open letter sent to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak:

Dear Prime Minister,

We write to express our shared outrage at the passage of the misleadingly named ‘Safety of Rwanda Act’. This is a shameful and performatively cruel law that will risk people’s lives and betray who we are as a society.

We all want to be safe – and we want that safety for each other, too. As a country, we are proud to uphold our responsibility to support refugees. Given the chance, communities across our country go the extra mile to welcome those in need. The wider public do not support the Rwanda plan.*

But this law would enable the Government to forcibly expel people seeking asylum including children and survivors of trafficking and modern slavery – despite concerns they could be put at grave risk of harm and human rights abuses. The Rwanda plan will force people who have fled violence and persecution into detention centres where they may face abuse and mistreatment, with no time limit. They will then be removed to a country to which they have no connection, despite our country’s Supreme Court ruling that it is unsafe for them. Through this law, the Government will put them at grave risk of mental and physical harm, and of being returned to danger in the countries they fled.

Despite the clear ruling from the Supreme Court, the Government is rewriting the facts so they can shirk our responsibilities to refugees. In doing so, the Government would break international law and further shatter the UK’s commitment to justice and the rule of law. While this is a targeted attack on refugees and migrants, an attack on one group’s rights is an attack on all of us.

Outsourcing our asylum system to other countries is never acceptable. It abandons our duty to share in the global responsibility towards those forced to seek safety. Instead of continuing down this dangerous path, the Government must guarantee that asylum claims will be heard fairly on our shores, and open safe routes so that people are not forced to take dangerous journeys.

As organisations working towards a better future for all, we believe in kindness and compassion. The Government must listen to the people, abandon this deplorable deal with Rwanda and similar plans with other countries, and protect those who need sanctuary.

* British Future / Focaldata poll, published 17 March 2024: “Only 24 per cent of the public think the government should try to get the Rwanda Bill through in its current form” (“Less than a quarter of the public back Rwanda Bill in current form, poll finds”,, 18 March 2024, available at:

1 ACAP (Ashton Churches Asylum Project)

2 Action for Refugees i Lewisham

3 African Rainbow Family

4 After Exploitation

5 Amnesty Mid Gloucestershire Group

6 Anti Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU)

7 Apna Haq

8 Association of Visitors to Immigration Detainees (AVID)

9 Asylum Link Merseyside

10 Asylum Matters

11 Asylum Seeker Housing Project

12 Asylum Support Appeals Project

13 Asylum Welcome

14 Bail for Immigration Detainees

15 Baptists Together


17 Barnsley Borough City of Sanctuary


19 Best for Britain

20 Big Leaf Foundation

21 BIRCH Network

22 Birmingham City of Sanctuary

23 Boaz Trust

24 Bournville Amnesty

25 Bradford City of Sanctuary

26 Bradford Immigration & Asylum Support & Advice Network (BIASAN)

27 Bradford Rape Crisis

28 Bristol Defend the Asylum Seekers Campaign

29 Bristol Law Centre

30 Bristol Refugee Rights

31 Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcome Refugees

32 Bromsgrove Justice and Peace Group

33 Calais Light

34 Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary

35 Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group

36 Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign

37 CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers)

38 Care4Calais

39 Central England Law Centre

40 Children’s Rights Alliance for England, part of Just for Kids Law

41 Choose Love (CIO)

42 Christian Concern for One World

43 Church of Scotland

44 Churches Together in Sandbach

45 Citizens of the World Choir

46 City of Sanctuary Sheffield

47 City of Sanctuary UK

48 Columbans Missionaries in Britain

49 Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ)

50 Community Policy Forum

51 Communityworks

52 Connected Routes CIC

53 Conversations From Calais

54 Coventry Against Racism

55 Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre

56 Da’aro Youth Project

57 Darlington Assistance for Refugees

58 Detention Action

59 Disability Rights UK

60 Diverse Cymru

61 Doncaster Conversation Club

62 Durham City of Sanctuary

63 EachOther

64 Ecojustice Ireland

65 End Violence Against Women Coalition

66 Entraide UK

67 Equally Ours

68 Fair Vote UK

69 Fair Way Scotland

70 Faith Network for Manchester

71 Fatima House

72 Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)


74 forRefugees

75 Freedom from Torture

76 Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland

77 Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group

78 Global Link

79 Good Chance Theatre

80 Govan Community Project

81 Gower College Swansea

82 Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit

83 Hackney Stand Up to Racism

84 Haringey Migrant Support Centre

85 Haringey Welcome

86 Hastings Community of Sanctuary

87 Hastings Supports Refugees

88 HBTSR (Hay Brecon amd Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees)

89 Heanor Baptist Church

90 Helen Bamber Foundation

91 Herts for Refugees

92 Hexham Amnesty


94 Hope and Aid Direct

95 Hope Projects

96 House of Rainbow CIC

97 Human Rights Consortium Scotland

98 Human Rights Lawyer

99 Human Rights Watch

100 Humanists UK

101 Humans for Rights Network

102 Ice and Fire Theatre Company

103 IMIX

104 Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA)

105 Inclusion North CIC


107 Interfaith Scotland

108 Iraqi Association

109 Jesuit Refugee Service UK

110 Just Fair

111 Just Futures Research Centre, University of Huddersfield

112 JustRight Scotland

113 KRAN

114 Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS)

115 Law Centres Network

116 Leeds Anti Raids Action

117 Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network

118 Leeds Refugee Forum

119 Legal Aid Practitioners Group

120 Leicester City of Sanctuary

121 Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network (LRMN)

122 Liberty

123 Lifeline Options CIC

124 Louth Churches for Refugees

125 Mafwa Theatre CIC

126 Manchester City of Sanctuary

127 Manchester Migrant Solidarity

128 MAP Middlesbrough

129 Mary Thompson Fund

130 Medact

131 Medical Justice

132 Mermaids

133 Merseyside Solidarity Knows No Borders

134 METRO Charity

135 Metropolitan Community Church of North London (MCCNL)

136 Micro Rainbow

137 Migrant Champions Network

138 Migrant Voice

139 Migrants’ Rights Network

140 Migration Policy and Practice

141 Music Action International


143 New Citizens’ Gateway

144 New Europeans UK


146 No To Hassockfield

147 North Wales Regional Equality Network

148 Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF)

149 Oasis Church

150 Oldham Unity Destitution Project

151 One Community Link

152 One Life To Live

153 One Roof Leicester

154 Open Rights Group

155 Our Second Home

156 Out In The City

157 Oxfam GB


159 Peace of Mind CIO

160 Pendle New Neighbours

161 People & Planet

162 PERN (Penrith and Eden Refugee Network)

163 Plan International UK


165 Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)

166 Praxis

167 Public Interest Litigation Support Project

168 Public Law Project

169 Quakers in Britain

170 Race Equality Network

171 Rainbow Home

172 Rainbow Migration

173 RAIS (Refugee Advocacy, Information, and Support)

174 Reach Group, Huddersfield

175 Reclaim the Agenda

176 Refugee Action

177 Refugee and Migrant Centre (West Midlands)

178 Refugee Council

179 Refugee Futures

180 Refugee Legal Support (RLS)

181 Refugee Support Group

182 Refugee Welcome Homes CIC

183 Refugee Women Connect

184 Refugee Youth Service

185 Refugees & Mentors CIC

186 Refugees at Home

187 Rene Cassin, the Jewish Voice for Human Rights

188 Restore, a project of Birmingham Churches Together

189 Right to Remain

190 Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton

191 Room to Heal

192 Safe Passage International

193 Scotswood Garden

194 Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees

195 Scottish Refugee Council

196 Settle Area Refugee Support group

197 Six Ways Baptist Church

198 Six Ways Erdington Baptist Church

199 Skipton Refugee Support Group

200 Social Equity Centre

201 South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG)

202 South Yorkshire Refugee Law & Justice

203 Southall Black Sisters

204 Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group

205 Southeast and East Asian Centre (SEEAC)

206 Southeast and east Asian Women’s Association

207 St Paul’s Church, Birmingham

208 St Vincent de Paul RC Church (Liverpool) Justice & Peace Group

209 St Vincent Newcastle (St Vincent de Paul Society England & Wales)

210 Stand and Be Counted Theatre

211 Stand For All

212 Stories of Hope and Home

213 Street Talk

214 Stroud District Together With Refugees

215 Student Action for Refugees (STAR)

216 Swansea Asylum Seeker Support (SASS)

217 Swansea Women’s Asylum and Refugee Support Group

218 Tees Valley of Sanctuary

219 The Ark Synagogue

220 The Comfrey Project

221 The Gomes Brothers

222 The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI)

223 The Launchpad Collective

224 The Methodist Church

225 The Pickwell Foundation

226 The Snowdrop Project

227 The United Reformed Church

228 The VOICES Network

229 The William Gomes Podcast

230 These Walls Must Fall

231 Together with Migrant Children

232 UK Must Act

233 Unicorn Theatre

234 Unite NW522

235 United Reformed Church, Wythenshawe

236 Vauxhall Law Centre

237 Voices in Exile

238 Voices Without Borders

239 Waging Peace

240 Walking With

241 We Are Survivors

242 We Belong

243 Welcome Group Halesowen

244 Welsh Centre for International Affairs

245 Welsh Refugee Council

246 West London Welcome

247 Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary

248 Women for Refugee Women

249 Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom

250 Women’s Support Project (Rights & Choices)

251 Young Roots