Rwanda Policy

Disability and Migration Network Statement on the dehumanisation of people in the asylum system and the wider population of Disabled people

The last week has seen a sharp escalation in the dehumanisation targeted at people seeking asylum, Disabled people, and those who experience both forms of oppression. We come together in solidarity to condemn the government’s assault on people already marginalised.

This week, the Rwanda bill was passed and will soon become law. This will enable the government to forcibly remove people seeking protection in the UK, despite the Supreme Court ruling that this is unlawful.

Last week, proposed welfare reforms attacked the support that exists to protect us all – and the Prime Minister justified these attacks with an ableist narrative that blamed individuals for the systemic inequalities and barriers they face when accessing work. The Prime Minister’s speech blamed a “sick note culture” rather than taking responsibility for the erosion of our rights and the chronic underfunding of our public services.

This comes after the United Nations recently interrogated the UK Government on their violations of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD) and described our social security system as something that “undermines the human dignity of Disabled people”, causes “trauma and preventable mental distress”, and makes us “feel like criminals” – alongside also highlighting the specific barriers Disabled refugees and people in the asylum system face in the UK.
Each day, more and more of us are struggling to access our most basic human needs including food, housing, healthcare, and safety. During this cost of living crisis, many of us are having to choose between heating and eating.

These difficulties are not because people in small boats seek sanctuary in the UK or people use the welfare state. The position we are in is a direct consequence of government policies that fail to uphold our rights.

The rights of Disabled people and migrants are not separate issues.

We can only mount effective resistance to these policies if we come together. We stand with all oppressed people and seek to build the solidarity necessary to build justice for all, and hope that you will join us.

If you agree that we should all be able to access the support we need when we need it, then you can support the Disabled People’s Manifesto and call for the UNCRPD to be brought into domestic law.

The Disability and Migration Network:

For more information or to join the network please email:

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