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12 November 2018

Comments/questions: editor@iom.int


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Migrant workers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Florian Buettner/laif/Redux

How New Technologies Can Help – and Hurt – Migrant Workers

(Open Society Foundations) – In 2017, a recruiter arrived in Ojo de Agua, Mexico, with an enticing pitch. For a few thousand pesos, he said, he could arrange for documented employment in the United States. The jobs were waiting with H-2 visas attached. The claims caused a stir in the small community in Mexico’s Hidalgo state. Offers like this didn’t come along every day.

Three residents paid the recruiter, unaware that the jobs he spoke of didn’t exist. Since he was from out of town, no one in Ojo de Agua knew of his reputation as a scam artist. And because migrant workers operate within a sprawling global supply chain that isolates individual laborers, they felt there was no way to verify the promises he had made.

Such scams may become rarer in the future. An increasing number of digital platforms are being created to connect and organize workers, and to enable them to share their experiences and advocate for better conditions.

The potential for such technology to improve the lives of low-wage migrants is huge. Utilized responsibly, it could level out many of the power imbalances that enable exploitation. But it also holds risks. Without proper buy-in, worker-oriented design, and safeguards to keep it from being used exploitatively, digital tech could disempower workers even more.

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More than Numbers: The Value of Migration Data

Berlin (GMDAC) – Migration data are gaining traction on the international development agenda, as both experts and states increasingly recognize the critical role that data play in improving migration governance.

However, there is limited clarity on how to prioritize strategic investments in data. The corresponding value (e.g., economic, social, humanitarian, political) for migration outcomes is often unknown. Unless decision makers are presented with a clear value case, current efforts to improve migration data will not be translated into action. 

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Data Bulletin Issue 3  | Measuring Migration Governance 


Mercedes: "When I’m there, I miss the Paraguayan rhythm. But when I’m here I miss the city...I think that I’m not from here, not from there."

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  • Anadolu Agency reported that according to IOM, Latin American and Caribbean countries currently host 2.4 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees.
  • The Libya Observer reported that 44 migrants in vulnerable circumstances have left Libya for Italy through a new humanitarian corridor, according to the Italian Embassy in Libya.
  • Xinhua reported that the Spanish authorities recovered the bodies of four migrants on the Spanish coast on Saturday.
  • Sri Lanka’s Sunday Observer reported on the meeting between IOM Director General António Vitorino and the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez.

  • Al Jazeera reported from inside a Libyan detention centre where a refugee recently burned himself alive.
  • The New York Times ran the obituary of Haitian photographer and activist, Gérald Bloncourt, who turned his zeal for social justice into photography that captured the humanity of immigrants and factory workers.
  • UK’s Derbyshire Live reported about a firefighter who has been using his holiday leave to save the lives of refugees and will now be featured in a documentary.