• Sheet of paper Report

The Digital Border: Migration, Technology and Inequality

Cover of The Digital Border: Migration, Technology and Inequality report
(Amnesty International)

Amidst human rights violations around the world, many of which are fueled by growing global inequality, the role of technology has continued to permeate into more areas of daily life. Racial, economic, and social inequities around the world have shaped and driven the movement of persons across municipal and international borders, many of whom are fleeing the effects of conflict, intractable poverty, political oppression, or the climate crisis. 2023 recorded the highest ever number of forcibly displaced people – an estimated 110 million. Many governments and political movements around the world have weaponized xenophobic rhetoric about refugees and migrants, often blaming domestic instability on migrants and refugees or otherwise mobilizing support for externalization and privatization of borders.

This briefing will provide an overview of how migration fits into an intersectional framework of technology, inequality, and human rights. Building upon previous work by Amnesty International and others, this briefing will outline how uses of new technology are central to a trend of violations of human rights at borders around the world, and provide a broad outline of forms of technology used by states and non-state actors in migration management and asylum systems. The second of a series of four briefings by Amnesty International USA on technology and inequality, this report will demonstrate how concerns around digital rights and the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are increasingly interrelated, and must be considered within a broader trend of criminalization of marginalized peoples’ lives that is often enabled and facilitated by new forms of technology.