Securitization of Migration and the Role of Surveillance Technologies in European External Border Management


Kaya C. , Sadik G.

'DIGITIZED GLOBAL MOBILITIES’ THE ROLE OF NEW MEDIA AND DIGITIZATION IN THE SECURITY APPROACHES OF THE REFUGEE CRISIS, Utrecht, Netherlands, 3 - 04 June 2019

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Utrecht
  • Country: Netherlands

Abstract

This study tries to assess the role of technologies of surveillance and control in the securitization of migration policies with reference to the EU’s border management instruments and the impact of this securitization on the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.  With the large-scale movement of people from the conflict-ridden areas to the European states and the growing concerns of the host countries about cross-border crime and terrorism, the means and ends of the migration and asylum policies have been integrated into the security policies of the Union. Restrictive and security-oriented policies of the Union have manifested itself in the new technological instruments, such as automated decision making, artificial intelligence, biometric data, facial recognition, iris scanning, and fingerprinting, which have been widely deployed at the external borders in order to identify and screen illegal arrivals to the European territory. While being efficient in curbing irregular flows and maintaining the security of external borders, these new technologies has caused securitization of migration and violated the basic rights of migrants such as international right of seeking asylum, right to life and privacy. This study uses the theoretical framework of the Paris School which pays attention to the practices and technological developments in the securitization process. In this regard, the EU’s information technology systems such as the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, the Visa Information System and the new border security technologies such as artificial intelligence-powered lie detectors are examined to illustrate securitizing practices of the Union. The study reaches a conclusion that without a proper impact assessment of the new technologies deployed at the border management, the EU may risk of violating its founding norms and principles besides the international obligations for human rights, by securitizing its migration policies.

Key words: Technologies of surveillance, securitization, migration policy of the EU, border security, migrants’ rights.