Commenting on the Supreme Court’s judgment that the Government’s Rwanda asylum plan is unlawful, and Rishi Sunak’s intention to press ahead, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"The NEU welcomes the Supreme Court ruling today that the Government’s Rwanda asylum scheme is unlawful, but is shocked by the Prime Minister’s apparent refusal to respect the ruling and accept its implications.
"In terms of Rwanda being a fit and proper upholder of international standards, the Supreme Court has set a high hurdle for the British government to pass. It is simply not credible or ethical for the Prime Minister to threaten to continue with further treaties with Rwanda. To persist with such a misconceived policy brings added cruelty to desperate people who have been kept in limbo, some for more than 18 months.
"A government which demands that schools teach about the ‘rule of law’ while itself being willing to breach that law, or evade the obligations of international law, whenever it is opportune to do so is not one that educators can respect.
"The Government’s plan to forcibly move asylum-seekers to Rwanda in order to process their claims was cruel from the beginning. The Court has today ruled that it is unlawful too and so the Prime Minister must abide by the ruling and respect its implications.
"Inspired by coalitions like Safe Passage and educational networks like Schools of Sanctuary, staff in schools and colleges are trying to offer a welcome to asylum-seeking and refugee children. They have been impeded every step of the way by a government that aims to create a hostile environment for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“While government works to demonise refugees, our Union supports the growing call for safe passage as a compassionate alternative. The Government must not continue to perpetuate human suffering or to treat people in this callous manner."