UK Passes Legislation to Send Asylum Seekers to Rwanda, Hope Hostel Prepared as New Home

Britain’s Conservative government has succeeded in securing the passage of legislation aimed at enabling the country to transfer asylum seekers to Rwanda. The move has sparked controversy and raised concerns about the welfare of migrants as they transition to their new home in the Hope Hostel neighborhood on the outskirts of Kigali.

Hope Hostel, a bustling area characterized by street vendors, moto taxis, and grand villas, is slated to accommodate migrants brought in from the UK. Managed by Ismael Bakina, the hostel boasts 50 double rooms, capable of hosting up to 100 guests. Originally serving a different purpose, the hostel provided shelter for survivors of the 1994 genocide until two years ago when it was repurposed.

Currently sitting empty, the hostel awaits the conclusion of the political process in the UK. A Rwandan government spokesperson has assured that asylum seekers from the UK will receive training and support to integrate into the local job market. However, concerns arise amidst Rwanda’s existing employment crisis, with the World Bank reporting a 15% unemployment rate among the labor force in 2023. Moreover, youth unemployment stands at over 20%, posing additional challenges for aspiring workers.

The decision to send asylum seekers to Rwanda has drawn criticism from various quarters, with human rights advocates expressing apprehension about the conditions asylum seekers may face in their new environment. Additionally, questions linger regarding the feasibility and sustainability of the arrangement, particularly in light of Rwanda’s own economic and social challenges.

As the implementation of the legislation unfolds, stakeholders continue to monitor developments closely, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the safety, dignity, and rights of all individuals involved. The fate of asylum seekers sent to Rwanda remains uncertain as they navigate a new chapter in their quest for refuge and stability.

Asylum seekers sent to Rwanda will stay in a hotel with a football pitch and bedrooms with prayer rugs if migrant flights go ahead.

Now that the Government’s Rwanda Bill has passed, the Prime Minister has said ‘nothing will stand in our way’ of getting flights off the ground. French media reported that at least five migrants tragically died while trying to cross the Channel this morning.

The House of Lords ended the deadlock last night after MPs rejected a requirement that Rwanda could not be treated as safe until the secretary of state, having consulted an independent monitoring body, made a statement to Parliament to that effect.

Migrants sent to Rwanda will be staying in £19-a-night tourist hotel Hope Hostel, a hostel in Nyabugogo, the Gasabo district of Kigali.

They will have to get past metal detetctors and bag-scanners in airport-style security to enter the hotel.

It will be the first place asylum seekers will stay for around three months while their claims are being processed before they are moved elsewhere.

They will be allowed to move around freely and leave the property as they wish, which is described on Tripadvisor as offering WiFi and good views of the surrounding hills.

Former Home Secretary Priti Patel made a private visit to Hope Hostel in April 2022 to see an example of what accommodation may be on offer.

The complex has 50 rooms at and can accommodate around 100 people with up to two people per room and sharing communal bathrooms.

There are plans to expand the facility by building more accommodation blocks, eventually seeing it offer 150 rooms and be able to sleep up to 300 people.

Asylum seekers are expected to be provided meals three times a day to eat in a communal dining room, with some kitchen facilities also available for those with special dietary requirements.

However, many of the other Rwandan homes initially reserved for deported UK migrants were reportedly sold off to locals in Kigali, while the Tories floundered over the controversial policy.

According to developers of the Bwiza Riverside estate, 70 per cent of the 163 homes have been taken, with ‘sold’ signs popping up in front of the properties.

ADHI-Rwanda said the homes had gone to ‘private people who want to live in them’ which means there will only be spaces for a handful of migrants if flights from Britain ever take off.

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