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UK gov't plan to force back Channel refugees "breaches human rights laws": parliamentary committee
December 03,2021   By:Xinhua
LONDON, Dec. 3, 2021 -- The proposed legislation that will enable boats carrying refugees across the English Channel to be forced back to France will be a breach of human rights, a committee of the British parliament said Wednesday.
 
The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) said in a report that a suite of new measures proposed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to criminalise and disincentivise attempts to enter Britain without a visa or immigration leave will breach human rights law and the Refugee Convention.
 
Instead, the committee called on the British government to switch focus and prioritise measures to ensure the safety of life at sea, and in particular preventing the loss of life of those attempting to cross the Channel.
 
The issue of asylum seekers and refugees crossing what is one of the world's busiest waterways has become a major issue in Britain following the loss of 27 lives in a failed crossing last week.
 
The report is part of the JCHR's ongoing legislative scrutiny of the Nationalities and Borders Bill currently going through the parliamentary process.
 
According to the committee, as a signatory to international treaties governing maritime law, Britain is required to take all reasonable measures to prevent people coming to harm at sea.