Serco: End contracts profiting from the UK’s Hostile Environment

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Serco holds a £200m contract to deliver 24/7 GPS monitoring services, used by the Home Office to surveil people without British citizenship. This is part of the government’s Hostile Environment immigration policy, and it causes serious harm.

Corporations like Serco have a choice to stop profiting from policies that raise serious human rights risks. It’s bad for humanity, bad for business. If you’re a Serco shareholder, join us in taking a stand.

It’s unlawful


The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has taken action against the UK’s Home Office, finding its policy of GPS tagging asylum seekers arriving into the UK was in breach of data protection law and had failed to assess its impact on people and their rights and freedoms. It also issued a warning about the future compliance of all GPS tagging by the Home Office.


It's dangerous

Of 19 interviewees in a research project led by BID, 16 said that the tag caused some kind of physical discomfort or pain, with varying levels of severity. Being forced to wear a tag disrupts every aspect of daily life and has been described as “psychological torture.”

It’s not necessary


People in the immigration system need support to rebuild their lives, not pointless surveillance. BID recently received FOI data confirming that only 2.7% of people released from detention absconded in 2021 and an even lower proportion (1.3%) absconded in the first six months of 2022.


It’s a human rights issue

In March 2024, the UN’s Human Rights Committee called out the UK for electronic monitoring of migrants, and recommended urgent resort to alternatives to detention that are “respectful of human rights, including the right to privacy, instead of surveillance-based technological alternatives”. To comply with its international law obligations, the UK must now implement these recommendations and hence abandon GPS tagging.

extra incentive

How to show up

Respecting human rights is a core part of responsible business. Shareholders must ensure the company they invest in carries out due diligence on its clients and activities, hold the company to its own Code of Conduct, and avoid significant reputational risks.

Why it’s so important for shareholders to take action

GPS tagging of migrants is a significant privacy intrusion, disproportionate and, following the ICO’s decision, unlawful in many circumstances. Serco’s contract with the UK Home Office makes it instrumental in the deployment of the technology and execution of the policy. Shareholders must seriously consider the legal and reputational risks of association with human rights violations and mistreatment of migrants - for the long term success of the business.

The hostile environment

A systemic issue

Serco and its shareholders must stop profiting from the hostile environment and the suffering it causes.

how private companies are involved in the UK's hostile environment

The UK Government is relying on private companies like Serco to deploy cruel, ineffective digital experiments. Companies’ stakeholders must face their responsibility in enabling such deleterious policies.