IGF 2023 Launch / Award Event #140 Launch of Fellowship for Refugees on Border Surveillance

Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (23:30 UTC) - Monday, 9th October, 2023 (00:30 UTC)
WS 5 – Room B-2

Human Rights & Freedoms
Counter-terrorism and Human Rights
Digital Technologies and Rights to Health
Non-discrimination in the Digital Space
Rights to Access and Information
Technology in International Human Rights Law

Human Rights & Freedoms

Migration and Technology Monitor project at the Refugee Law Lab, York University and Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
Petra Molnar, Refugee Law Lab, York University and Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University Florian Schmitz, Migration and Technology Monitor Monica Greco, Open Society Foundations


Nery Santaella, Fellow with Migration and Technology Monitor, Venezuela Veronika Martinez, Fellow with Migration and Technology Monitor, Mexico Simon Drotti, Fellow with Migration and Technology Monitor, Uganda Wael Qarssifi, Fellow with Migration and Technology Monitor, Syria/Malaysia Rajendra Paudel, Fellow with Migration and Technology Monitor, Nepal

Onsite Moderator

Petra Molnar

Online Moderator

Florian Schmitz


Petra Molnar


1. No Poverty
3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Production and Consumption
13. Climate Action
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: People on the move are often left out of conversations around technological development, and like other marginalized communities, they often become testing grounds for new surveillance tools. The use of violent and high-risk technologies at the border touches on virtually every Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), most specifically Goals 1,9,10,11, and 16. Unfortunately, currently little regulation exists to govern technological experimentation, compounded by an opaque decision-making ecosystem where private sector priorities dominate the agenda. This governance gap leaves room for far-reaching incursions on people’s human rights. Our fellowship program aims to rebalance some of the power differentials inherent in the development and deployment of technologies at and around the border, empowering people-on-the-move to tell their own stories and engage in their own projects on the impacts of these technologies.


Launch of our first cohort of Migration and Technology Monitor Fellowship with a roundtable of our 5 fellows sharing their work (40 mins), introduced by coordinators Petra Molnar and Florian Schmitz (5mins) followed by a questions and comments section

Duration (minutes)

We are delighted to welcome our first Migration and Technology Monitor Fellows. After receiving over 100 applications, we are thrilled to work with and learn from 5 people with lived experience of migration from all over the world, as they interrogate technology, surveillance, and migration. Our fellowship program aims to create opportunities for people with lived experience to meaningfully contribute to research, storytelling, policy, and advocacy conversations from the start, and not as an afterthought. Among our aims is a collaborative, intellectual, and advocacy community committed to border justice. We prioritize opportunities for participatory work, including the ability to pitch unique and relevant projects by affected communities themselves. From Venezuela to Mexico to Uganda to Malaysia to Nepal, our fellows Nery Santaella, Veronika Martinez, Simon Drotti, Wael Qarssifi, and Rajendra Paudel will work on project ranging from innovative reporting on surveillance at the US-Mexico border to internet and social media usage by Venezuelan refugees and migrant workers in Qatar to the creation of a psychosocial archives of displacement storytelling. To learn more about our fellowship: https://www.migrationtechmonitor.com/ To learn more about the Migration and Technology Monitor: https://www.migrationtechmonitor.com/ Press release about fellowship: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/626d808cc8cf094dc06d60e4/t/64469…

We are delighted that the IGF2023 is planned as a hybrid meetings, as some of our participating fellows may not be able to physically travel to Japan due to visa constrains and their own migration status/statelessness. As such, we will plan a dynamic hybrid event which will be engaging both for participants in the room as well as those online. We would also like to explore options for closed captioning and and simultaneous translations (if that will be possible) in order to make this meeting as inclusive as possible.