The two Global Compacts for protection of refugees and migrants have advocated the increased use of digital technologies to enhance the protection, welfare, and development of refugees and migrants. The use of new technologies of surveillance that identify, track, and control the people crossing borders result in the increasing digitization of borders, migrants, and their management. Biometrics and automated decision-making tools, as well as the surveillance of social media have increasingly become central to migration management technologies. These border security technologies are not simply technological improvement of the border control or governance. The militarization and computerization of borders raise important questions about the politics of data, data subjects, biopolitics, (scales of) sovereignty, regulation, and different forms of sovereign, regulatory, and disciplinary power. Governmental and corporate responses to the pandemic not only rendered visible the increasing digitization of lives and surveillance of both migrants and non-migrants, they have further contributed to the normalization of these technologies, their traveling policy assemblages, and the formation of digital fortresses, as well as new ways of subjecthood and life.
This meeting is meant to be preparatory for a workshop that will take place at the end of August in Istanbul and be organized by the IWM-CRG Europe-Asia Research Platform on Forced Migration.