TECHNOLOGY FOR MIGRANT WORKER PROTECTION AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE

The last two years have seen a proliferation of digital technology initiatives designed to improve conditions for migrant workers and address forced labour. These include, for example, platforms assisting workers to articulate and report exploitation within supply chains, evaluate recruiters and employers, or make secure recruitment or salary payments. Digital technology offers the promise to transform the labour migration landscape and to empower workers in new and previously uncontemplated ways, but also carries with it a host of risks and challenges. It is now time to take stock of these initiatives so that lessons can be learned in developing more effective future platforms that are used by migrant workers and result in improved choices and outcomes, and that meaningfully address risks to users and platform hosts. The MWJI has undertaken the first global study of digital technology initiatives designed to improve migrant worker protection and enable access to justice, funded by the Open Society Foundation’s International Migration Initiative.

TRANSFORMATIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR MIGRANT WORKERS: OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES AND RISKS

On 8 November, 2018, Bassina Farbenblum, Laurie Berg and Angela Kintominas released the report Transformative Technology for Migrant Workers. The report, published by OSF, maps the range of digital tools that have been developed for migrant worker engagement, analysing the problems they are seeking to address and the ways in which they do this. It considers the conditions that promote (or inhibit) effective uptake and outcomes for workers. By identifying practical, legal, ethical and technological issues and risks for both migrant workers and platform-host organisations, the report is intended to promote a well-considered, migrant-centred approach to the development and implementation of disruptive digital interventions by funders and other stakeholders globally.