Grave Concern’ Expressed Over UK Government’s Migrants Proposal

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More than 28,000 migrants and refugees crossed from mainland Europe to the UK via the English Channel in 2021, a more than three-fold increase on the figure for the year before [File: Peter Nicholls/Reuters]
More than 28,000 migrants and refugees crossed from mainland Europe to the UK via the English Channel in 2021, a more than three-fold increase on the figure for the year before [File: Peter Nicholls/Reuters]

The United Kingdom Government’s proposal to allow ministers to disregard interim measures issued by the European Court of Human Rights in relation to the treatment of migrants has been strongly criticised by the World Medical Association.

At their Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, physician leaders of the WMA said the Association was committed to the principle of respect for international law and they expressed ‘grave concern’ about the UK proposal.

They voted unanimously for an emergency resolution which warned: ‘If enacted, this legislation would remove an important protection for people seeking asylum, other migrants and those health workers caring for them.

‘Rule 39 interim measures have prevented the forced removal of asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda, under a controversial offshoring scheme that the UK medical community has condemned on medical, ethical and humanitarian grounds.

‘Human Rights are only meaningful and effective if they are applied equally to everyone. Given the key role of the United Kingdom in drafting the European Convention on Human Rights, this creates a dangerous precedent that other nations might seek to follow.’

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