THE LIBERALITIES AND TYRANNIES OF ICTs FOR VULNERABLE MIGRANTS: THE STATUS QUO, GAPS AND DIRECTIONS

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Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have increasingly become vital for people on the move including the nearly 80 million displaced due to conflict, violence, and human right violations globally. However, existing research on ICTs and migrants, which almost entirely focused on migrants’ ICT use ‘en route’ or within developed economies principally in the perspectives of researchers from these regions, is very fragmented posing a difficulty in understanding the key objects of research. Moreover, ICTs are often celebrated as liberating and exploitable at migrants’ rational discretion even though they are ‘double-edged swords’ with significant risks, burdens, pressures and inequality challenges particularly for vulnerable migrants including those forcefully displaced and trafficked. Towards addressing these limitations and illuminating future directions, this paper, first, scrutinises the existing research vis-à-vis ICTs’ liberating and authoritarian role particularly for vulnerable migrants whereby explicating key issues in the research domain. Second, it identifies key gaps and opportunities for future research. Using a tailored methodology, broad literature relating to ICTs and migration/development published in the period 1990-2020 was surveyed resulting in 157 selected publications which were critically appraised vis-à-vis the key themes, major technologies dealt with, and methodologies and theories/concepts adopted. Furthermore, key insights, trends, gaps, and future research opportunities pertaining to both the existing and missing objects of research in ICTs and migration/development are spotlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 1st Virtual Conference on Implications of Information and Digital Technologies for Development (IFIP 9.4)
EditorsSilvia Masiero , Petter Nielsen
PublisherDepartment of Informatics, University of Oslo
Pages543-576
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-82-7368-462-2
ISBN (Print)978-82-7368-462-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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