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On 1 April 2022, the Algorithmic Fairness for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (AFAR) project hosted its first stakeholder meeting with civil society organisations at the Centre for Fundamental Rights in Berlin and online. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation Challenges for Europe programme, AFAR aims to understand the role of automation and algorithmic processes, actual and potential, in the governance of immigration and asylum in Europe, with a focus on their impact on fairness, legally and ethically. 

At the workshop, Professor Cathryn Costello introduced the project and Dr Derya Ozkul presented her preliminary findings of a mapping of new technologies in immigration and asylum systems across Europe. Members of civil society organisations shared their ongoing work in the area of technology and migration and asylum governance. The workshop served as a platform for participants to contemplate existing practices, research methods, and potential areas for collaboration. The workshop will inform Dr Ozkul’s mapping report, one of the first outputs of the AFAR project.

The workshop was attended by project team members across the project’s five partner institutions: EUI, Hertie School, University of Copenhagen, University of Oxford, and University of Zagreb, as well as invited researchers and civil society members. Apart from the AFAR team, presenters included Damini Satija and Matt Mahmoudi (Amnesty International), Chris Jones (Statewatch), Matthias Spielkamp (AlgorithmWatch), Antonella Napolitano (Privacy International), Caterina Rodelli (Access Now), Alexander Kjærum (Danish Refugee Council), Martha Dark (FoxGlove), Monica Greco (Open Society Foundation), and Belkis Wille (Human Rights Watch). Professor Başak Çalı (Hertie School) and Dr Zeynep Yanasmayan (DeZIM-Institut) served as external moderators. 

Workshop organiser was Dr Derya Ozkul.