On 17-18 February, Hannah Thinyane and Juhee Kang attended the Migrants, Marginalization and Mobiles (3M) Workshop in Singapore, organized by the Singapore Internet Research Centre of Nanyang Technological University. Hannah and Juhee presented the new research area at the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) which focuses on how migrant workers can use technology to enhance their critical agency and change their overall conditions.
The workshop brought together researchers from South East Asia, Europe, and America, to share around ideas of marginalized migrants’ experience and use of mobile phones, and ICT interventions aimed to support them. Given the current context in Europe, there was a particular focus from a number of researchers on the use of technology by Syrian refugees in the journey as well as in their resettlement in the region. Many researchers spoke of the use of technology on the migration journey, but also in settlement in the receiving country. A widely agreed on finding at the workshop was that although technology played a specific role in allowing migrants to coordinate and navigate during the journey, once settled migrants primarily used the technology to restore a sense of normalcy, and to aid integration in the new country.
The 3M Workshop was part of the Research Initiative on ICTs and Forced Migration (REINFORM) network, a platform for connecting researchers, academics and practitioners involved in the field.