UK Home Office charters its first ever deportation flight to Vietnam

Charities and human rights campaigners have expressed alarm at a decision by the Home Office to charter its first ever deportation flight to Vietnam.

The Guardian has learned that the flight is due to take off on Wednesday, though it is unclear why the government has decided to remove the Vietnamese nationals at a time when deportations are at a historically low level due to the pandemic.

Migrant rights organisations are concerned that those due to be removed have not had full access to legal and other advice due to the pandemic. It is understood that at least one of those due to fly tomorrow has lodged last-minute legal submissions based on being a potential victim of trafficking.

A ticket issued by the Home Office to one Vietnamese national booked on tomorrow’s flight states: “You are the subject of a deportation order … Directions have now been given for your removal from the United Kingdom on a direct flight to Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi, Vietnam on 21 April, 2021.”

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Diane Taylor