Relations between Information and Communication Technologies and International Migration

  • Vesna Lukić Demographic Research Centre, Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade (Serbia)
Keywords: international migration, information-communication technologies, social media, social capital, migration networks

Abstract

The paper focuses on the topic of the impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on the international migration phenomenon According to the discussed literature, there is an impression that ICTs change the essence of migration and monitoring of migration flows. It also suggests that migration and migrants’ needs shape the development of ICT services intended to them, but they also shape the content of social media.

The impact of new technologies on international migration (before migration, during migration and upon arrival in the country of destination) has been discussed through an overview of empirical research findings in Serbia and other countries. In this context, the ICT users relevant to the migration process (individuals and interest groups) have been more closely determined and discussed, the aspects of the relations between ICTs and migration have been highlighted, as well as their implications for individuals and society.

The considered aspects of relations of ICTs and international migration at different stages of the migration process and their severe implications for individuals and society, in our opinion, point to the need for cooperation of users of information and communication technologies relevant to the migration process in different domains ‒ the spheres of influence of ICTs. We believe that is how the potential of ICTs will be exploited in an adequate way, for benefit of both ‒ migrants and other relevant interested parties.

While widely accepted by individuals, information and communication technologies have just begun to be recognized as important for migration policy in Serbia and generally, in terms of their opportunities and challenges.

In Serbia, only recently (as of the 2011 Census) there has been data available on the use of ICTs by certain migrant groups (long-term settled refugees from former Yugoslav republics). Also, the qualitative surveys on the use of ICTs during the migration by transit asylum seekers have recently started. That can also be said for the research, where ICTs serve for gaining knowledge on migrants and attitudes towards immigrants.

Although not voluminous, academic literature on the use and implications of ICTs use in the migration process in Serbia points to greater use of ICTs by certain groups of migrants (long-term settled refugees from former Yugoslavia) in relation to the local population. There are also generational and gender differences in the use of ICTs by migrants. When it comes to transit asylum seekers in Serbia, the use of ICTs at various stages of migration and for various purposes (among them are the selection of the country of destination, the route of movement, but also contact with other migrants and smugglers) is observed.

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Published
2017-10-31
How to Cite
Lukić, V. (2017). Relations between Information and Communication Technologies and International Migration. Stanovnistvo, 55(2), 53-68. https://doi.org/10.2298/STNV170505004L
Section
Articles