Asylum seekers

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.

07 Jul 2020
The Finnish government will not move forward with its plan to oblige unsuccessful asylum seekers to wear ankle monitors, Maria Ohisalo, the Minister of the Interior, stated on Tuesday. “It’s something that’d be difficult to carry out as it’s considered in the government programme,” she said. “The
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
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
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
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
Long Read

As migration continues to be high on the social and political agenda, Western countries are increasingly adopting an approach that criminalises people at the border. Asylum seekers are often targeted with intrusive surveillance technologies and afforded only limited rights (including in relation to data protection), often having the effect of being treated as “guilty until proven innocent”.

A recent report explains how the central German migration authority uses mobile phone extraction technology in the asylum application procedure, and why it is highly problematic.

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
Long Read

The ongoing requirement for asylum-seekers to register their claim for asylum in person reveals the Home Office's misplaced and onerous emphasis on biometrics collection at the expense of asylum-seekers' health

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:
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.


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
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