Webinar: The Migration Crisis in the Digital Age: How the Use of Smartphones and Technology has Impacted Migration and Trafficking

Between 2015 and 2020, both speakers carried out field studies across the refugee camps, hotspots and borders within: North Africa, Sicily, Serbia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Mexico City, Iraqi Kurdistan, Northeast Syria and Iran, witnessing the trauma experienced by those who had direct contact with war, social conflict, human trafficking, slavery, and human rights violations. This was a unique period in human history, since for the first time, the digital medium played a vital role in all these processes. Leading to the first migration crisis and exodus of the digital age.

Both speakers will discuss in detail how the smartphone, with its numerous applications, such as, for example: Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, Vimeo and networked technologies, such as 3G or 4G, played a vital role in the lives of refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, traffickers of human beings and security forces working in these areas.

Further, we will highlight how, research findings, were shared via conferences and presentations across academic institutions in Europe and Central America. Leading to cooperation with members of the Spanish National Police and staff of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, North Macedonia.

In this interactive and engaging webinar, experts will discuss and demonstrate the impact of the digital age on migration, trafficking of human beings and transnational organised crime.

We will also investigate the probable reasons behind migratory movements, based on first raw data, and then research in the field, and how migrants and traffickers use mobile phones to communicate.

The interactive presentations, we will be drawing on the presenters’ areas of expertise, and using multimedia content and witness testimony from the field.

Join us and discover more about:
– How have smartphones and networked technologies been used by organised gangs to coordinate trafficking
– How migrants utilise technologies to plan movements
– How are agencies and security forces using these technologies to counter the threat of migration and trafficking
– Publications made on the area of expertise by the authors

We will also brief on present and future challenges regarding: ethical hacking for mobile networks security assessments, cryptocurrencies as untraceable forms of payment for smugglers and traffickers and the current 5G scenario.


  • Maria De Benito, Border Management and Trafficking in Persons, Spanish National Police
  • Professor Dr. Miguel Oliveros Mediavilla. BA (Hons), MRes, PhD., Professor at the Faculty of Communications, University Nebrija, Madrid, Spain