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Migrant Technologies: (re)producing (un)freedoms - Jude Yew's presentation at Afternoon Panel

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On 20th May 2016 UNU-CS hosted an event on Migrant Technologies: (re)producing (un)freedoms in Macau.

The one-day event brought together scholars, practitioners and activists to share learning and exchange ideas on the range of migrant technologies research being conducted across Asia and explore future collaborative approaches.

The key theme addressed at the event was how the use of mobile technologies adds layers of freedoms and unfreedoms to migration.

Speakers of the day include:

Introduction and Welcome: Michael Best, Director of UNU-CS
Opening Remarks: Tony Roberts, UNU-CS

Morning Panel: Emerging themes in Migrant Technology research
- Chair: Tony Roberts, UNU-CS
- Jack Qiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong - Freedom, Slavery, and Working-Class ICTs: Learning from Chinese Migrant Workers in Foxconn
- Nikos Dacanay, Chiang Mai University - ICT usage and how ethnic migrant women in northern Thailand indigenize/mediate human rights’ discourse of gender equality
- Odalia Wong, Baptist University of Hong Kong - Transnational Mothers and Mobile Phone Usage: The Case of the Filipino Female Domestic Workers in Hong Kong
- Discussant: Rhodora A. Abano, Centre for Migrant Advocacy in Philippines

Afternoon Panel: New Migrant Technologies
- Chair: Tony Roberts, UNU-CS
- Kayoko Ueno, University of Tokushima - Facebook Activism and Networking among Foreign Domestic Workers in Singapore
- Jude Yew, National University of Singapore - Pemca: A proposed mobile platform for crowdsourcing the reporting and visualization of migrant worker injuries/deaths
- Kakit Cheong, National University of Singapore - Kwento: Designing a family storytelling mobile application for domestic helpers
- Discussant: Fish Ip, International Domestic Workers Federation

Published in: Technology
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Migrant Technologies: (re)producing (un)freedoms - Jude Yew's presentation at Afternoon Panel

  1. 1. JUDE YEW National University of Singapore Migrant Technologies: (re)producing (un)freedoms Friday, 20th May, 2016 10:00am – 4:30pm Nations University Institute on Computing and Society for a free, one-day event where we bring together scholars, practitioners and o panel discussions to share our understandings and research on information and communication technology (ICT) use by migrants from Asia. r now on Eventbrite by 15th May 2016 to secure your place for the event ww.eventbrite.com/e/migrant-technologies-reproducing-unfreedoms- 922537982. : Casa Silva Mendes, Estrada do o Trigo No 4, Macau SAR, China to the main entrance of Hotel Guia) y: MIGRANT TECHNOLOGIES: (RE)PRODUCING (UN)FREEDOMS New Migrant Technologies Afternoon panel Pemca: A proposed mobile platform for crowdsourcing the reporting and visualization of migrant worker injuries/deaths
  2. 2. Pemca A proposed mobile platform for crowdsourcing the reporting and visualization of migrant worker injuries/deaths Jude Yew & Mohan Dutta
  3. 3. • Injured from fall at workplace • Medical attention not sought and given immediately • Prevented from going to the hospital • Offered one month’s salary and repar
  4. 4. Legislation surrounding migrant workers in many countries sets up the following set of conflicts Worker • Medical treatment • Compensation for incapacity • Stay on in Singapore Employer • Save money • Avoid compensation liability • Wants worker out as soon as possible
  5. 5. • an estimate of 1,200 to date • a projection of 4,000 worker deaths by the time the World Cup is held in 2022 (Ingraham, 2015) • Qatari govt. estimates 934 deaths to date "In the absence of more transparent statistics, it is difficult to take a view on the extent to which these recorded death tolls (and injury reports) involving migrant workers are attributable to the working conditions and / or breaches of health and safety standards (in particular in the construction sector) in Qatar." (DLA Piper, 2014)
  6. 6. In Singapore The Straits Times, 2016,March 11th 28 workplace fatalities as of May 16th, 2016 (a 30% increase from the same period last year). The Straits Times, 2016, May 12th
  7. 7. Harrigan & Koh (2015) Based on a sample of 605 South Asian Migrant Workers in Singapore
  8. 8. Problem • There exists no publicly available data that provides details such as the victims' nationalities and the companies that employed them • That the problem of migrant worker safety and worksite deaths is not confined to any one country, and is likely to be a much larger problem than what institutions or governments are acknowledging • A large part of the problem lies in the lack of transparency in the reporting, and vulnerable positions that these workers find themselves in.
  9. 9. Pemca A platform to crowdsource & visualize reports of worker injuries/deaths Ushahidi CrowdTrails
  10. 10. Features of Pemca • Migrant workers will be able submit pictorial evidence, location and descriptions/circumstance surrounding a worksite accident/death from commonly used mobile devices. • The privacy and anonymity of the contributor will be ensured by obscuring any identifiable information that would implicate the migrant worker. • Instances of worker deaths and injury will be verified through a social/collective information gathering process facilitated by the system. • Aggregate reports and summary visualizations of the reports of workers deaths can be generated on a website that is publicly accessible.
  11. 11. Research questions with Pemca • What are some of the constraints and needs of low-income migrant workers when it comes to reporting worksite deaths and injuries? • How can we support the information/communication needs of migrant workers on the issue of worksite deaths and injuries through an online reporting platform? • How can we utilize innovations in crowdsourcing to ascertain the veracity of the reports provided on the platform? • What are some of the design, technical and social innovations that we can utilize to encourage workers to use this system? • How can the aggregation of data about instances of migrant worker deaths help with the formation of policy and advocacy for migrant worker rights?
  12. 12. Goals of the project • Technical infrastructure that is sensitive to the needs of marginalized population of users • Participatory co-design (informed by the culture centered approach) = voice of the worker has traditionally been missing in the discussion of migrant worker rights • To develop a tool for advocacy and policy formation by providing a more accurate picture of the issue of migrant worker deaths globally.
  13. 13. Approach towards development Our participatory co-design method fits in the nascent but growing recognition that increasingly technologies/tools need to be designed specifically for the needs and uses of marginalized communities (LeDantec & Edwards, 2008) and to take into account the inherent values and needs of their users (Flanagan, Howe & Nissenbaum, 2008)
  14. 14. Development process Phase I • Understanding the constraints and needs of migrant worker communities in Singapore Phase II • Design, prototyping and development Phase III • Implementation, evaluation, advocacy work and international outreach
  15. 15. Future steps • Internationalization to countries with high numbers of migrant labourers e.g. Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia ... • Include the reporting of foreign domestic labour abuse

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