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Rwanda Deportation Bill faces another defeat in House of Lords

The Government's controversial Rwanda Deportation Bill suffered another defeat in the House of Lords last night. Peers defeated the government on all 10 of the amendments being voted on. 

One of the major amendments added to the bill involves safeguards applied to Victims of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Peers voted by 246 to 171 to protect victims of modern slavery and human trafficking from being removed to Rwanda without their consent. 

As reported by the Guardian: 

"The amendment states that a person with a “reasonable grounds” decision from the National Referral Mechanism that they are a potential victim should not be removed until a “conclusive grounds” decision has been made.

"A person with a “conclusive grounds” decision that they are a victim must not be removed without their consent if it would negatively affect their physical or mental health or their safety, including the risk of re-trafficking."

At Medaille Trust, we've joined with other providers in consistently raising concerns about what the Rwanda proposals will mean for people who are potential victims of trafficking and modern slavery. There is too little detail about how prepared Rwanda is to replicate support that UK provides in line with its domestic and international legal commitments to support victims of slavery, or what the consequences will be for the health and wellbeing of survivors who are removed.

We welcome these developments, and hope that the government will take the opportunity to rethink this proposal when this amendment is considered by MPs.

For more information on this developing story, see the Guardian's coverage here.