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BPS updates

BPS statement on the damaging mental health consequences of Rwanda deportations

The BPS is gravely concerned about the damaging mental health impacts of the detention, treatment and eventual deportation of asylum seekers.

21 July 2022

By BPS Communications

It is well known and evidenced that asylum seekers experience increased rates of mental health difficulties, including PTSD and depression. We also know that the uncertainty and fear about potentially being returned to a country from which they fled, or have no connections with, and the growing feeling of hopelessness, would be re-traumatising and may lead to increases in self-harm and suicide attempts. 

The approach to detain, often in squalid and inhumane conditions, and subsequently deport asylum seekers with no possibility of returning as a refugee, is unethical, devoid of compassion and inconsistent with commitments the UK made as part of the Refugee Convention 1951 and every adaptation since. 

We are deeply concerned that asylum seekers will be unable to access the mental health support they need and rather than outsourcing the care of asylum seekers to other countries, the UK should be ensuring they are safe and able to access the healthcare and vital services they need. We have particular concerns about vulnerable groups such as people who identity as LGBTQIA+, unaccompanied minors and people with disabilities.

It is imperative that the mental health of asylum seekers, and ensured continuation of any treatment, is considered when courts are making decisions about deportation and there must be a consistent approach of displaying compassion and kindness to refugees from all nations. We must protect and support the mental health of all those seeking asylum in the UK, and show care and compassion to those who need it most.


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