The government are set to announce tough immigration requirement which would prevent non-EU citizens who have been accused of serious human rights abuse, from visiting the UK.
Currently, the UK does not have a list of those who are banned from visiting the country, as each case is considered on its individual merits; but officials have admitted that there have been times where they have wanted to deny entry to individuals but have struggled because they are not allowed to simply on the basis of their human rights record.
However, under the new measures which form part of the governments Human Rights Report, and are set to be unveiled today by the Foreign Office, ministers will be able to refuse entry where credible evidence exists of past or continuing human rights abuse.
The new rule will say: “Foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area may only come to the UK if they satisfy the requirements of the immigration rules. Where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the UK.”
Despite allowing ministers to prevent entry for those accused of human rights abuse, the new immigration laws will not constitute a blanket ban on visas for human rights-abusing foreign officials; with ministers still able to rule that individuals – including human rights-abusing head of states – can visit the UK if it is regarded as part of a policy of engagement on human rights.
The change in immigration law has been driven by Foreign Office ministers and deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.