Electronic tagging of asylum seekers: an abuse of Human Rights?

Priti Patel has fallen under scrutiny in her promise to ‘curb’ the number of people arriving on UK shores by tagging asylum seekers arriving in small boats across the English Channel. Electronic tagging is a form of bodily surveillance and is usually preceded by an extensive risk assessment of a person’s surroundings and behaviours. 

Under the Home Office’s “new plan for immigration”, the Home Secretary is expected to announce this year that small boat arrivals will be electronically tagged, so as to avoid working-age people working illegally while their asylum claims are processed. It has been reported that this tactic will also make it easier for the Home Office to remove those whose application for asylum has failed. Ministers hope tags will deter people from absconding during the application process and will prevent the dangerous trip taken on Channel crossings, thus protecting people from modern slavery-type exploitation. Yet how ironic is the protection that would subject innocent asylum seekers to restriction on their movements, especially when they originate from countries where they have had severe breaches of their fundamental human rights?

Sources claim new legislation is not required because powers to require asylum seekers to wear tags are already available. As black-market jobs constitute a big pull factor for immigration into the UK, the Home Office has been urged to keep track of those who would take up these jobs by way of electronic tagging. There has been much ongoing debate regarding the practicability of this scheme, particularly as it has been argued by some as ‘draconian and ‘punitive’. 

As the Home Office continues to expand its policies on deterrence, asylum seekers are now at risk of further surveillance and restricted civil liberties. This plan is the latest proposal in a string of ideas aimed at deterring and curbing the influx of asylum seekers in the UK, none of which have been successful thus far. 

If you are subjected to or are unsure about the above-mentioned plans, our expert team of immigration and asylum solicitors in London can provide fast, friendly, and reliable advice. Reach out to us on 0208 159 2888 or email info@shawstoneassociates.com for more enquiries.

Electronic tagging of asylum seekers: an abuse of Human Rights?

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