New technologies and the monitoring and management of migration flows and population displacement

Type

Report

Author

Broeders, D.

Title

New technologies and the monitoring and management of migration flows and population displacement

Series Editor

Foresight

Series Title

Migration and Global Environmental Change

Year

2011

Institution

Government Office for Science UK

Abstract

This review discusses a number of new technologies in relation to the phenomenon of environmental migration, i.e. migration or displacement in reaction to environmental change or shock. Its main focus is not on how new technologies can identify refugees as being environmental refugees – that is the subject of other reviews done for the Foresight project – but rather on how these technologies can monitor and manage refugee flows, including environmental refugees, in a more general sense. The relation between new technologies and environmental migration is partly a new research theme, and partly adds to existing research as migration flows may be induced by environmental change, but do not make for their own legal and bureaucratic categories in the migration management of OECD countries (Kolmannskog and Myrstad, 2009; Gill, 2010). From the perspective of destination countries ‘environmental migration’ will add to existing legal/administrative categories of migration such as labour migration, asylum migration and irregular migration. However, migration flows towards the OECD countries are only a – small – part of human mobility resulting from environmental change. Displacement and movement of environmental refugees within countries and regions may also be monitored and ‘managed’ using various modern technologies. This review will therefore focus on the question of how new technologies and methodologies can contribute to knowledge and management of migration flows. Which technologies are in use in various contexts? What are the pros and cons of these technologies in relation to monitoring and managing environmental migration? And which foreseeable technological and political developments may stimulate or impede the spread and increased use of various technologies in the context of monitoring and managing environmental migration?

Citation

Broeders, D. (2011). New technologies and the monitoring and management of migration flows and population displacement. Government Office for Science UK: London.