NORWAY is considering 24-hour surveillance of asylum seekers as more than 5,000 migrants vanished from reception centres in 2016.
In a radical move, the Scandinavian country’s Conservative government announced it is considering making ankle monitors mandatory for asylum seekers.
The proposal was made after the police directorate delivered a report on the possibility of using electronic decides to monitor migrants who are a flight risk if their application is denied in December.
In 2016, 5,482 migrants ran away from their reception centre, 69 per cent of which had their request for asylum denied or did not have permission to remain in Norway.
Around half of the migrants who vanished off the radar to escape deportation are still uncounted for, according to Aftenposten.
Ministry of Justice spokesman Andreas Bondevik said: “Every single year many [migrants] receive a final rejection of their asylum application. They should return to their home country.
“But unfortunately, many of them try to avoid deportation and therefore it is very important for Norwegian authorities to have as much control as possible over [rejected asylum-seekers].
“The deporting wants to see if it is possible to use electronic monitoring as an alternative to jail. In addition, we want to see if it can also be used in cases where we don’t currently use jail sentences.”
In September the Norwegian government announced plans to grant the police, who were tasked with removing 9,000 illegal migrants by the end of 2016, an additional £10million to cope with the demand.
At present, the majority of the migrants who have had their asylum applications rejected and are considered a flight risk are kept at the Trandum detention centre.
The facility has been widely criticised as it was claimed it was “worse than jail”.
In October last year, Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug forced to address the claims was accused of failing the migrants housed at the closed centre.
Hitting back, she said it was the asylum-seekers’ own actions that had landed them at Trandum, in Oslo, by either being a flight risk if their application was denied or for withholding information from the authorities.
“The whole point of placing families and others with denied asylum at Trandum is so they don’t disappear,” Ms Listhaug said.
“Trandum is an important tool to maintain a strict, but fair immigration policy. I did not cause the families’ situation. It is their own responsibility.
“There is even a support apparatus which helps migrants who have had their asylum applicants denied to get money for a voluntary return. Despite this, some chose to not adhere to this and so they are forcibly deported.”
It comes as the Norwegian government’s vow to crackdown on illegal immigrants resulted in a record number of deportations in 2016 as more than 7,000 migrants were returned to their home countries.
State Secretary Fabian Stang said: “This is a figure that shows that there have been many who do not have a legitimate claim to asylum who have stayed here and failed to leave the country, and that’s why it is necessary for the police to do the work they have done throughout the year.”