The Home Secretary Suella Braverman was due to speak to the American Enterprise Institute today and has trailed in advance that she intends to make a wide-ranging attack on the principles on which the UN Refugee Convention was built.
Sarah Teather, JRS UK Director, said in response to reports of the contents of the Home Secretary's speech:
"The Refugee Convention is a vital and core mechanism to protect people fleeing persecution, and it is badly needed, now as much and more than ever. To suggest that many of those to whom it has extended protection for decades should be shut out and cast back into danger is appalling. The government should work to extend protection to those who need it, not to find new ways to deny sanctuary. These comments from the Home Secretary are the latest in a cruel, vaunting attack on refugees.
"Indeed, one is left to wonder who the Home Secretary is trying to court with this international speech? Is her focus political and aimed at her own party? If so, she is recklessly giving comfort to dictators and tyrannical regimes on the world stage for vain purpose. Her attack on LGBTQI+ community is particularly concerning given the scale of oppression worldwide.
In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which we marked at the weekend, Pope Francis renewed his call for the practice of 'good politics - one that is transparent, honest, farsighted and at the service of all, especially those most vulnerable'; these actions from the Home Secretary today are anything but.
"Where people are forcibly displaced from their homes, we have a human duty to work together to seek solutions. Trying to draw others into a coordinated attack on those in need is a new low."
Jesuit Refugee Service: www.jrsuk.net/