News & events

Information on Rwanda – May 2024

We are very aware and extremely saddened, from watching the news and hearing from befrienders and asylum seekers, that fear and anxiety have ramped up significantly this week as the Government moves towards sending asylum seekers to Rwanda.

We are, therefore, circulating information to volunteers to help you better understand what is happening and so you can share information with your befriendee.

Before we give links to information, one key message for us all is that Restore staff and volunteers are not trained or permitted to give immigration legal advice.  But we can share information. This means you can pass on general information that applies to all asylum seekers, but you must not give advice that is specific to an individual’s situation or interpret information and apply it to your befriendee’s specific case and situation. If you are confused about the difference between legal advice and legal support, please read this blog.

Right to Remain have compiled a blog with detailed information about the Rwanda plan which also clarifies which asylum seekers may be sent to Rwanda. Please click here to access that information.  We are anticipate the blog will be kept up-to-date, so it should be an ongoing resource for information.

 

How can asylum seekers access help, if they are detained? 

When asylum seekers are detained, they are entitled to legal advice.  There are voluntary sector organisations who work in detention centres to support those there. When someone is detained their mobile phone will be taken from them. Information we can give to all is the suggestion that it is helpful to have paper copies of important phone numbers including organisations that work in detention centres.  This means if someone is detained and no longer has their mobile, they still have contact details for those who can help. A suggested list, taken from the Right to Remain blog, is below.

Action we can all take and share with others:

Freedom from Torture continues its campaign to ask airlines to refuse to participate in the forced removal of people to Rwanda, you can support their action here against Airtanker  Over 80,000 people have already signed.

Detention Action launched a new campaign last week to stop the Rwanda flights.  Please sign the petition and join over 50,000 people who have already signed.

At times like these, we can feel powerless. We’re reminded of the following quote from a volunteer befriender. “You can’t always make it better, but you can make a difference.”  We may not be able to overturn the Rwanda plan (although we’ll continue to try that!), but we can offer compassionate relational support at an increasingly stressful time for those we welcome and support.

If you need to chat about how this is affecting your befriendee or if they are detained, please contact Jasmine, Andy and Nicole.

Thank you for the support you offer to your befriendee – it is counter-cultural, and you are making a difference.

 

With best wishes,
Jeremy, Jasmine, Andy, Nicole and Sundus
Restore staff team

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