Migrants

News & Analysis

Documents disclosed to Privacy International reveal how the European Union has been using aid funds to finance the development of biometric identity systems in countries in Africa as part of its response to migration, and highlight urgent concerns.

18 Jul 2020
Several people have been arrested in Bangladesh for issuing bogus documentation to people who have not been tested for the coronavirus showing they are not infected. Such documents are required for migrant workers, who need to show that they are virus-free when they arrive at their overseas
13 Sep 2020
Around 8,800 children have been deported from the United States along the Mexican border thanks to a new pandemic-related measure that functionally stripped the rights of those seeking asylum. Donald Trump’s administration has expelled nearly 160,000 people since the emergency order proclaimed by
News & Analysis

A new UN experts report shines light on the role of private military and security services in immigration and border management and their impact to the rights of all migrants.

15 May 2020
Many of India’s informal workforce of 450 million people - 90% of the total workforce - were abruptly closed out of their places of employment when prime minister Narendra Modi abruptly ordered a lockdown in April. Left without pay, unable to stay in their living conditions, and with only limited
16 Aug 2020
All migrants arriving in the UK since June have been ordered to quarantine, but a Border Force source said that little is being done to ensure the rules are followed and some in emergency accommodation are being given vouchers to go to the shops. Thousands of British tourists returning from France
News & Analysis

PI responds to the plans announced by UK Home Office to make Channel crossings "inviable" for asylum seekers and joins efforts by migrant organisations to call for the UK government to introduce safe and legal routes to the UK.

29 Jun 2020
The pandemic has exacerbated the effects of the “hostile environment” on the UK’s undocumented migrants, many of whom have lost income, are working in unsafe and exploitative conditions, are scared to seek help even though the government has promised there will be no charging or immigration checks
22 Jun 2020
The work and pensions committee has said that the immigration rules that have left 1 million migrant workers in the UK at risk of destitution because they cannot claim universal credit should be suspended. The “no recourse to public funds rule” has left many foreign nationals facing a choice of stay
15 Jun 2020
Nepal will deport five foreign tourists and ban them from re-entering the country for two years after they joined protests demanding better quarantine facilities, more testing, and transparency in procuring medical supplies. Four tourists - three from China and one from the US - were arrested and
27 Jun 2020
More than 2,500 foreign Muslims from 35 countries travelled to India to attend a mid-March gathering held with government permission at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi in mid-March. A day later the government issued a notice limiting events in Delhi to 50 people and a week later grounded
Long Read

This article presents some of the tools and techniques deployed as part surveillance practices and data-driven immigration policies routinely leading to discriminatory treatment of peoplee and undermining peoples’ dignity, with a particular focus on the UK.

06 Jul 2020

 

 

 

Greece has extended a coronavirus lockdown on its migrant camps for the fifth time. The move has prompted accusations that the government is using the pandemic to limit the migrants' movement. The Greek Migration Ministry announced on Saturday that the country's migrant camps would remain under
06 Jul 2020
Domestic abuse campaigners and victims have accused the government of not valuing the lives of migrant women in forthcoming legislation on the issue.They are urging the government to make “life-saving” changes to the domestic abuse bill, which will be debated for its final stage in parliament on
04 Jul 2020
The Santiago Court of Appeals has ruled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cannot require migrants to sign a declaration saying they agree to not return to Chile for nine years. The government is now going forward with an appeal stating that this ruling contraditcs a 2018 resolution, says the
09 Jun 2020
Russian authorities are considering introducing an app that migrant workers will be required to download when they enter the country. Leaked details indicate that the app would contain detailed biometric data, health status, police records, and a “social trustworthiness” rating. It’s unclear whether
30 Jun 2020
The findings of Freedom from Torture’s report, based on reviews of transcripts of asylum interviews carried out by the Home Office in 2017 or 2018 and a series of focus groups and interviews involving 25 torture survivors who had attended asylum interviews, shows they were often prevented from
30 Jun 2020
Up to 30 charities and organisations have written to home secretary Priti Patel calling for a number of amendments on Tuesday - a year exactly until the scheme ends. Under current arrangements, EU citizens have been told to apply by June if they wish to continue living and working in Britain.The
21 Jun 2020
Although the Home Office does not record ethnicity data for detainees, analysis of nationalities of those recently held within the immigration detention estate found that citizens from countries with predominantly black and brown populations are held for substantially longer periods than those from
22 Jun 2020
Immigration rules that have left 1 million migrant workers in the UK at risk of destitution because they cannot claim universal credit should be suspended on public health grounds during the pandemic, a cross-party group of MPs has recommended. The work and pensions select committee said the no
09 Jun 2020

On May 29, Russian state media reported that the authorities are considering introducing an app that migrant workers would have to download when they enter the country, once the borders re-open after the COVID-19 lockdown. Little is known about the proposal. But the few details that have been leaked to the media, coupled with Russia’s longstanding record of racial profiling, other racism against migrants, and recent developments in the “surveillance state” are grounds for serious alarm.

 

Writer: Damelya Aitkhozhina

Source: Human Rights Watch

22 May 2020
Excluded groups such as sex workers and asylum seekers are being left behind in the UK’s COVID-19 response as control measures amplify existing health inequalities and put life-saving advice and care further out of reach. The closure of services and some GP registrations, a lack of access to
16 Jun 2020
South America has become the scene of one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent times. The crisis involving migrants and refugees from Venezuela involves children, adolescents, and young people who have left their country of origin to settle in surrounding countries, either due to political or
24 Apr 2020
Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Jamaica, and Ecuador have all asked the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to screen migrants in detention for COVID-19 before deporting them. At least 85 deported Guatemalans have tested positive, accounting for about a fifth of all the cases reported in
Singapore has launched a new FWMOMCare mobile app for workers to record daily symptoms and report their health status. Reporting symptoms prompts the worker to seek medical assistance; a doctor will also be alerted and call the worker within 30 minutes for a teleconsultation. Employers are told to
16 Apr 2020
The travel bans and border controls instituted to prevent the spread of COVID-19 jeopardise refugees’ access to international protection, bringing the right to leave any country and seek asylum into direct collision with the human right to life. Source: https://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au
News & Analysis

The European Commission submitted a draft proposal to amend the general budget 2020 in order to, among other measures, provide assistance to Greece in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, the proposed distribution of funds will not ensure migrants' safety and access to healthcare, but will further enhance control and surveillance over them.

 

14 Mar 2020
On March 14 a group of immigrant advocacy groups wrote to the government asking for the Home Office to release all 1,500 to 2,000 detainees in order to protect them from a coronavirus outbreak in the UK's seven removal centres and two short-term holding centres.. On March 21, the Home Office said it
11 Mar 2020
Taiwan's response to the coronavirus has kept the country's level of cases extremely low. Building on its experience from the 2003 SARS outbreak, the country immediately responded when the first news of the outbreak in China appeared with numerous measures that leveraged its national insurance data
Long Read

Governments across the world are building technologically integrated programmes to allow citizens to access welfare payments, and these could have adverse effects on those they should be supporting.

A 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Lebanon, Ismail B. Ajjawi, was deported shortly after he arrived at Boston Airport, where he was due to start attending Harvard University the following week. Immigration officers subjected him to hours of questioning — at one point leaving to search his phone
In 2018, repossession services in the US were experiencing a boom in business as the number of Americans failing to keep up with their car payments reached its highest point since 2012. One of these, Ohio-based Relentless Recovery, was increasing its hit rate by equipping its agents' vehicles with
In February 2019, the UK Home Office told the Independent Chief of Borders and Immigration that it was planning to build a system that could check and confirm an individual's immigration status in real time to outside organisation such as employers, landlords, and health and benefits services
The US Department of Homeland Security awarded a $113 million contract to General Dynamics to carry out the Visa Lifecycle Vetting Initiative (VLVI), a renamed version of the Extreme Vetting Initiative and part of a larger effort called the National Vetting Enterprise. In May 2018, public outrage
In October 2018, the answers to a FOIA request filed by the Project on Government Oversight revealed that in June 2018 Amazon pitched its Rekognition facial recognition system to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials as a way to help them target or identify immigrants. Amazon has also
In November 2018, 112 civil liberties, immigrant rights groups, child welfare advocates, and privacy activists wrote a letter to the heads of the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security demanding an immediate halt to the HHS Office for Refugee Resettlement
In November 2018 the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission warned that asylum seekers have been deterred from seeking medical help in Scotland and Wales since the UK government began forcing the English NHS to charge upfront in 2017 and by fears that medical personnel will comply with Home
The Home Office Christmas 2018 announcement of the post-Brexit registration scheme for EU citizens resident in the UK included the note that the data applicants supplied might be shared with other public and private organisations "in the UK and overseas". Basing the refusal on Section 31 of the
In October 2018, British home secretary Sajid Javid apologised to more than 400 migrants, who included Gurkha soldiers and Afghans who had worked for the British armed forces, who were forced to provide DNA samples when applying to live and work in the UK. DNA samples are sometimes provided by
In December 2018, Florida citizen Peter Sean Brown filed a federal lawsuit against the Monroe County Sheriff's offices for arresting and detaining him for three weeks claiming he was an illegal alien from Jamaica. Even though Brown offered to show the sheriff his birth certificate and explained he
In December 2018, in the wake of the Windrush scandal, the National Police Council, which represents police chiefs across England and Wales agreed to cease passing on to deportation authorities information about people suspected of being in the country illegally. The measures also ban officers from
In a report released in December 2018, the UK's National Audit Office examined the management of information and immigrant casework at the Home Office that led to the refusal of services, detention, and removal of Commonwealth citizens who came to the UK and were granted indefinite leave to remain
In November 2018 reports emerged that immigrants heading north from Central America to the US border are more and more often ensuring they are accompanied by children because "family units" are known to be less likely to be deported, at least temporarily, and smugglers charge less than half as much