After 10 years of hostile environment, critics say immigration crackdown has had devastating human cost
Frontline Home Office staff have warned of a “culture of fear” where they are being put into dangerous situations, and may be asked to act illegally, on the 10th anniversary of the launch of the hostile environment.
Privacy International has made a submission to the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration inspection of the Home Office Satellite Tracking Service Programme. We highlighted some of our concerns about the intrusive nature of location data as well as systemic failures relating to the quality of tags and battery life of devices which have a significant impact on individuals, as battery depletion can result in criminal prosecution.
Electronic tags have been a key part of criminal justice for many years throughout the world. As traditional radio-frequency tags are replaced by GPS ankle tags, we examine how these different technologies work and the seismic shift that will result from 24/7 location monitoring and data analytics, enabled by GPS tags.
14 June 2021: from BID and Liberty: Our letter, signed by 42 organisations, was covered in an article below in the Guardian
The most recent Home Office bail policy sets out its plan to transition from radio frequency monitoring to GPS monitoring for people on immigration bail. Whereas radio frequency monitoring can verify whether a person is where they should be at a given time, GPS monitoring provides 24/7 real time location monitoring, tracking an individual’s every move: it tells you where someone has gone, where they have shopped, what GP’s practice they have been to, and much more. Those who are being monitored in this way do not know when the ordeal will end because there is no time limit for how long people will be tracked.
The continuous rise in forced displacement worldwide is alarming. Global inequality continues to fuel migration. The most recent Global Trends report by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reveals a concerning rise in forced displacement globally, with 82.4 million people displaced worldwide, with children representing 42%, with 1 million born in displacement between 2018 and 2020. According to the United Nations Migration Agency’s (IOM) World Migration Report 2022, global displacement is rising despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Estimating the numbers of precarious migrants is difficult. The population is de facto hidden. In Europe, it is estimated that between 3.9 and 4.8 million precarious migrants lived in Europe in 2017, an increase on 2014, but stable since 2016. In the United Kingdom, the estimated population of precarious migrants ranges between 417,000 and 863,000, including a population of UK-born children ranging between 44,000 and 144,000.