Today: Friday, 1 March 2024 year

Britain began to use special bracelets to track illegal immigrants.

Britain began to use special bracelets to track illegal immigrants.

UK authorities have begun using barcode bracelets to track illegal migrants who have arrived in the country, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

The UK has begun putting bar-coded bracelets on migrants held in refugee reception centers after they arrive on small boats as the government tries to track those who arrive in the country.

The UK Home Office has awarded a £1.6 million contract to British tech company Barcode Warehouse, and began implementing the measure last year. The company provides the authorities with the wristbands themselves, appropriate scanning equipment and software to track migrants. Similar bracelets are issued to patients in British hospitals, notes the Financial Times.

The tagging system was introduced to allow the ministry to track the number and location of illegal immigrants in the main refugee reception centers in Kent and try to solve data collection problems with new arrivals, the article says.

Human rights organizations have criticized the decision by the British authorities, saying that in this way they treat refugees “as things, not people”, but the Ministry of Internal Affairs responded that the introduction of such bracelets will help improve control over new arrivals, the publication reports.

A similar measure was also adopted and criticized in the US. New York authorities previously accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of inhuman and “bestial” treatment of migrants due to their forced labeling with barcode wristbands.

In addition, according to the newspaper, last year the British authorities also launched a separate scheme to track migrants arriving in the country in real time via GPS devices. In June, the program was extended for another six months, despite a flurry of criticism from human rights organizations, writes the Financial Times.

Illegal migrants often look for any opportunity to cross the English Channel and end up in the UK, where they are attracted by a social program, the possibility of obtaining refugee status and financial assistance. In August last year, Britain recorded the largest number of monthly border violations since the start of migration flows in 2019 – more than 13.5 thousand illegal immigrants crossed the English Channel to enter the country. The total number of migrants who arrived in Britain in 2022 exceeded 45 thousand people.