Technologies and Asylum Procedures

A/Prof Derya Ozkul, Older Research Fellow, Refugee Studies Centre, College or university of Oxford

Increasingly, systems and algorithms are being used to streamline asylum procedures. These range from biometric matching engines that examine iris scans and fingerprints to sites for refugees and political refugees to chatbots to help people signup protection situations. These tools are made to make it easier pertaining to states and agencies to process asylum applications, especially as many systems are slowed down due to the COVID-19 outbreak and raising levels of compelled displacement.

However they raise a host of human rights concerns. For instance , privacy issues, opaque decision-making, and the potential for biases or machine errors which may lead to discriminatory outcomes. In addition, they pose significant problems to migrant workers and asylum seekers, who are frequently already disenfranchised and vulnerable and open.

Ozkul’s exploration explores the ways in which new technologies can be used to verify identities and narratives of migrants, allowing them to speed up their asylum application procedure. It also examines the ways through which these systems can create a specific informational space around migrants, and how they configure their particular subjecthood. Pursuing Foucault, the woman argues that such methods are both territorial and institutional. For example , eye scanning algorithms can be seen for the reason that an institutional technology, because they require the migrant to enter a specific territory in order to be accepted; while suggestion algorithms are industrial and global in their results, configuring subject areas as customers.

As a result, they will enact a specific form of hegemonic power more than displaced people. This is especially true offered the current contest to the lower part in asylum policy – with some countries offering bonuses like the Nansen passport to help in cachette resettling and others impacting restrictive insurance policies that block their particular access to location and drive them back into dangerous and deadly travels.

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