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United Kingdom Nationality and Borders Bill undermines rights of victims of trafficking and modern slavery

January 23, 2022 4:03 PM
By Chris

Five Special Rapporteurs from the UN Human Rights Agency (OHCHR) on 14 January 2022 issued an open letter saying the Bill breaches the UK's obligations under international law. "If adopted, it would seriously undermine the protection of the human rights of trafficked persons, including children, increase risks of exploitation faced by all migrants and asylum seekers, and lead to serious human rights violations" said the UN experts.

The legislation's incompatibility with international law has already been confirmed by UNHCR, who on 1 January released their Updated Observations on the Bill. These state that the legislation would "impermissibly externalise the UK's obligations to refugees and asylum seekers" and "criminalise seeking asylum".

A report from the UK parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights, published on 19 January 2022, concurs that the reforms would "undermine the UK's human rights obligations".