Braverman says anti-gay discrimination is not a qualification for seeking asylum

​The Home Secretary

The Home Secretary will speak in Washington this afternoon

PA
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke


Published: 26/09/2023

- 08:20

Updated: 26/09/2023

- 16:32

'Nobody entering the UK by boat from France is fleeing imminent peril', Braverman said

Suella Braverman has suggested that anti-gay discrimination is not a qualification for seeking asylum in a speech calling for world leaders to crack down on migration.

She demanded world leaders rip up the UN Refugee Convention and instead introduce a migration regime "fit for our modern age".


Speaking in Washington in front of the centre-right thinktank American Enterprise Institute, Braverman said: "Seeking asylum and seeking better economic prospects are not the same thing."

The Home Secretary said "simply being gay, or a woman" should not by itself be enough to qualify for protection under international refugee laws.

WATCH NOW: Braverman addresses migrant crisis 'taboo'

She added: "Let me be clear, there are vast swathes of the world where it is extremely difficult to be gay, or to be a woman. Where individuals are being persecuted, it is right that we offer sanctuary.

"But we will not be able to sustain an asylum system if in effect simply being gay, or a woman, and fearful of discrimination in your country of origin is sufficient to qualify for protection."

The Home Secretary said that refugees cannot be allowed to "shop around" for safe havens, arguing that the convention is being interpreted as providing a right to asylum to those who face discrimination, rather than persecution.

As a result, she claimed that as many as 780 million extra people are eligible for resettlement.

"Nobody entering the UK by boat from France is fleeing imminent peril", she said, adding: "There is an argument that they should cease to be treated as refugees when considering the legitimacy of their onward movement."

Hitting back at the Home Secretary's upcoming speech, her Labour counterpart Yvette Cooper said: "The Home Secretary has given up on fixing the Tories’ asylum chaos at home so now she’s resorting to grandstanding abroad and looking for anyone else to blame."

Meanwhile, writing in the Express, Chair of the Refugee Council Enver Solomon said: "Since it was established back in 1951, the convention has saved hundreds of thousands of lives – from those fleeing ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, torture in Zimbabwe or war in Syria and Ukraine.

"These are people who have gone on to contribute to the richness of our communities – becoming friends, colleagues and neighbours.

"Paying taxes and playing by the rules they have become law-abiding proud Britons.

"Today, instead of returning to the old days in which countries pulled up the draw bridge and turned their back on those whom they don’t want to offer protection to we must continue to safeguard the promise of safety."

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:

Braverman arrives to meet British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce at the British ambassador's residence in Washington DC

Braverman arrives to meet British Ambassador to the United States Karen Pierce at the British ambassador's residence in Washington DC

PA

Meanwhile, Freedom from Torture chief executive Sonya Sceats said: "Having already trampled over international law with the Illegal Migration Act, it is shocking to see the Home Secretary imploring the US and other democracies to tear up treaties designed to protect human rights.

"This will make the world an even more dangerous place, and not just for torture survivors seeking safety, but for all of us."

Braverman has been a vocal critic of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention's EU counterpart - the European Convention on Human Rights.

She has previously called for the Government to withdraw from the convention in order to stop small boats from coming to the UK.

You may like

{% if context.post.roar_specific_data and context.post.roar_specific_data.affiliate_post %} {% elif %} {% endfor %}