U.N report expresses concern at possible discrimination stemming from algorithmic assessments used to determine the detention of migrants
GENEVA – The U.N. Human Rights Office has published a report warning about the potential human rights violations due to the use of digital border technologies.
While recognizing the security advantages of such technologies for states, the report highlighted their unintended consequences on migrants’ rights.
It pointed out that tools like video surveillance and surveillance towers might deter migrants and asylum seekers from border crossings rather than assisting them.
Migrants often steer clear of monitored routes for fear of detection, leading to heightened risks.
Furthermore, the report shed light on the possible discrimination stemming from algorithmic assessments used to determine the detention of migrants.
If these algorithms are biased, they could result in discrimination based on gender, race, or ethnicity.
The U.N. Committee on migrant rights also underscored that these technologies might amplify negative stereotypes about migrants and limit their freedom of movement.
The report recommends a human rights-centric approach to migration.
This involves states conducting thorough evaluations to ensure that their digital surveillance measures align with human rights standards and avoiding technologies that compromise these rights.
Earlier this year, the U.N. expressed similar concerns.
Fionnuala Aoláin, a U.N. Special Rapporteur, noted that digital tools designed for counter-terrorism might inadvertently harm human rights on a global scale.
Additionally, the U.N. has commented on the misuse of surveillance technologies in Southeast Asia, which threaten civic freedoms and are prone to online abuse.