Technologies for sustainable development

Information technologies as an opportunity for migrants, displaced persons and host communities

In the Kenian refugee camp Kakuma refugees are training to become mobile reporters.

Around the world, there are nearly 250 million international migrants, people who are living in a country other than the country where they were born. There are currently more than 65 million people who have been forced out of their homes by war and persecution; about 40 million of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs). Digital solutions can help in both harnessing the potential of migration and in improving the living conditions of migrants, refugees and IDPs. The communities hosting the displaced people can also share in these benefits.

For example, people moving from place to place use digital technology to stay in contact with their private and professional networks in their country of origin, and can thus facilitate knowledge transfers between their host country and their country of origin. It is easier for migrants and refugees to transfer money to their country of origin: price comparison websites increase transparency and help identify the cheapest money transfer service.

Furthermore, digital approaches can give forcibly displaced persons access to education and to the labour market. This can improve their future prospects and create jobs. The IT sector has huge potential as a job machine. Indeed, in many of the countries from which migrants and refugees originate, it is the industry with the highest growth rates. Labour market demand for highly educated IT professionals is rising every day.

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