BID, Medical Justice and Public Law Project have just published research – Every move you make: the human impact of GPS tagging in immigration bail – documenting the harm caused by Electronic Monitoring in the immigration system.
The report is based on 19 interviews with people who were made to wear GPS tags, as well as findings from independent clinicians working with Medical Justice about the psychological and physical health impact of GPS tagging. We found that GPS tagging caused anxiety, stress, discomfort and pain, and was particularly retraumatising for survivors of torture or trafficking, or people with mental health problems. Tagged individuals reported increased isolation, avoidance of public spaces, and an impact on their relationships and ability to care for their children. The tags affected every aspect of people’s daily life and routine, and we found that they were used alongside strict reporting requirements, which continued to be imposed for most people on a weekly basis.
The report is the first of its kind and will fill an important evidence gap concerning the impact of GPS tagging in the immigration system. They are calling on the government to end the use of GPS tagging in the immigration system.
Over 2,000 people on immigration bail are currently made to wear the GPS tags 24 hours a day, indefinitely, with cases often taking years to close. The latest figures show only 1.3% of people released from immigration detention absconded in the first six months of 2022.