British Home Secretary Suella Braverman intends on Tuesday to raise questions about the United Nations Refugee Convention and whether it is “appropriate for our modern times” during a speech she delivers at a research center in the United States.
Braverman will speak at the center-right American Enterprise Institute and present an international plan to deal with the refugee crisis, an important political issue for the Conservative Party as it prepares for the election.
According to excerpts published by British media, after describing the agreement as “an amazing achievement in its time,” Braverman will say, “But after more than 70 years, we now live in a different time,” and she cites a study that says that the agreement could currently grant 780 million people the right to... In moving to another country.
According to the excerpts, she will also say that “politicians and thought leaders must ask whether the Refugee Convention, and the way it is interpreted in our courts, is appropriate for our modern era. Or whether it needs to be amended.”
The minister will point out that Western countries will not be able to adhere to the asylum system “if simply being gay or a woman, or fearing discrimination in your country of origin is enough to be eligible for protection.”
The 1951 Refugee Convention legally defines the term “refugee” and sets out refugee rights.
The British government is now suffering from a decline in opinion polls, and is seeking to stop the flow of immigration boats from Europe since Britain left the European Union.
About 24,000 people have crossed this year, adding to record levels of outstanding asylum claims and increasing pressure on ministers who have pledged to "take back control" of the UK's borders.
A series of controversial proposals have been put forward to address this issue, including criminalizing irregular migration and sending rejected asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Braverman, a lawyer who has criticized the European Convention on Human Rights, will say in her speech that a system “in which people are able to travel through a number of safe countries...while choosing their preferred destination to seek asylum, is absurd and unsustainable.”
For its part, the non-profit organization "Refugee Council" criticized this, saying that instead of criticizing the UN agreement, London should "address the real issues in the asylum system, such as the backlog of applications and providing safe routes for those in need of protection."
As for Labor Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, Suella Braverman accused her of "neglecting to fix the asylum mess created by the Conservative Party," noting that she was "looking for someone to blame."
While in the United States, Braverman is scheduled to meet with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland for talks on immigration, among other topics.