The UN Migration Agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has launched a pilot application, MigrantApp, as part of a global initiative to provide information to facilitate safe and orderly migration using mobile devices.
The pilot has been launched in Mesoamerica and provides reliable, easy-to-use and free information in three languages on governmental, private and civil society services for migrants. The app was developed as part of IOM’s Mesoamerica Programme and was financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the American State Department.
According to IOM global displacement is at a record high, with as much as 3.3% of the global population being international migrants. As the effects of climate change play out in the decades ahead, these figures will undoubtedly increase making migration a defining trend of the Twenty-first Century.
Could apps such as this one provide new platforms for major bodies to communicate directly with beneficiaries? If the pilot proves successful could a global app be launched in the near future? If so, could it help protect migrants from exploitation and facilitate access to services they are legally entitled to?
Alternatively, are there any data and surveillance implications that states eager to restrict migration could use to their advantage?