Amnesty Slams UK for Picking Company That Helped ICE Detain Children

Amnesty International and the opposition Liberal Democrats have criticized the British government for picking Palantir, a company involved in the detention of child migrants in the United States, to help operate a new center to ease border disruption following Brexit, The Independent reported on Tuesday.

Palantir, which Amnesty accuses of “human rights violations,” will be providing the technology needed to minimize the long lines and general chaos at the border expected when the British leave the single market and customs unit at the beginning of next year.

Amnesty said it is the same technology used by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to arrest the parents of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border, as well as to carry out arrests of migrants and asylum-seekers.

“It’s absolutely vital that Palantir demonstrate human rights due diligence to ensure the technology they are providing in no way contributes to abuses in the U.K.,” Amnesty official Matt Mahmoudi said. “They singularly failed to demonstrate that in the U.S.”

The Liberal Democrats slammed the decision by saying, “Ministers are clearly not only involved in awarding dodgy contracts to their friends, but now they are giving contracts out to firms with serious questions about their involvement with human rights abuses,” adding that “People were rightly horrified … when images of families separated at the border and children sheltered in cages were revealed.”

The British government has promised that the U.K. will have the world’s most effective border by 2025.

Michael Gove, the minister in charge of the planning, said the Border Operations Center  “will help us tackle challenges quickly and decisively, and give us increased information which will make us safer and more secure.”

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