Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

September 4, 2007

Imprisoning migrants and children big global business

Imprisoning migrants and children big global business

By Brenda Norrell

SASABE, Ariz. -- The same corporation that owns Wackenhut and deports migrants from the Arizona/Mexico border for profit, imprisons children with sex offenders in Scotland.

The corporation G4S operates Dungavel detention center in Scotland and owns Wackenhut Transportation buses. The buses are a common sight along the Arizona border as they wait to be filled with migrants for deportation.

Wackenhut took over those duties from the US Border Patrol, privatizing the migrant deportation industry in the U.S., for the European-owned corporation G4S. G4S is the result of a merger in 2004 between the Danish Group 4 Falck and the British company Securicor.

In Scotland, humanitarian groups are pressing for immigrant children to be kept out of Dungavel detention centre, which houses paedophiles, rapists and human traffickers. It is operated by G4S global security.

Meanwhile migrant and refugee infants and children continue to be imprisoned at T. Don Hutto prison, near Austin, Texas. It is the same prison that denied a visit from the U.N. Rapporteur. Jorge Bustamante, special rapporteur on migrant rights for the United Nations, was denied touring privileges of T. Don Hutto prison in May. Maggots were also found in the food there by a prison guard. The privatized prison is operated by Corrections Corporation of America.

The ACLU reached an out of court agreement recently with Hutto prison in regards to conditions, but human rights groups say children should not be imprisoned.

John Wheat Gibson in Dallas said of the ACLU settlement with Hutto, that it is no more than "Lipstick on the pig."

Imprisoning migrants has become big business globally. In the United States, GEO Group, formerly Wackenhut Corrections, received multiple contracts to build and operate migrant prisons in Texas and Louisiana in 2007.

TOP PHOTO: SHAMEFUL: Asylum seekers and their children are housed at Dungavel detention centre (Scotland) alongside human traffickers, paedophiles and rapists. Picture: Martin Shields.

BOTTOM PHOTO: Wackenhut bus in Three Points, Arizona, near Tohono O'odham border. Photo Brenda Norrell.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One more update on the Wackenhut ownership front: A Danish company, Group 4 Falk did buy Wackenhut a few years back; but Group 4 merged with the British company Securicor in 2004. With 500,000 employees in over 100 countries, it is the largest security company in the world. One thing has not changed – its lack of social responsibility. For more information on its problems in the US go to and for its problems around the world, go to or