Canada Border Services Agency to Use Electronic Bracelets in Place of Detention

A satellite used in the Global Positioning System. Electronic bracelets with GPS tracking will be used by the federal government in place of long-term detention of high-risk asylum claimants

The federal government will use electronic tracking bracelets in place of detention for asylum claimants and illegal immigrants who pose a high risk of evading deportation orders, according to a recent report by the Globe and Mail.

Ottawa served notice this week that it plans to sign a contract with the U.K. firm Buddi Ltd., used by police forces there to track criminals through electronic bracelet devices that the British media have dubbed “Chav Nav” tags. The technology provides real-time tracking using the same space-based Global Positioning System that drivers rely upon for in-car navigation.

The decision comes a little less than a year after a parliamentary committee on public safety and national security presented its findings on the effectiveness, cost efficiency, and feasibility of using electronic supervision in the correctional and immigration setting.

That report concluded that electronic supervision would likely improve the federal government’s enforcement of removal orders for failed asylum claimants, which is something it has struggled with in recent years.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board see electronic tracking as potentially a more humane alternative to holding high-risk asylum claimants in long-term detention.

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