Algorithmic Fairness for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (AFAR)
Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation under its ‘Challenges for Europe’ programme
Active October 2021 – October 2025
The AFAR project is a collaborative research project between five institutions across Europe, led by Prof Cathryn Costello. The project investigates the usages of new technologies in migration and asylum governance, in particular the automation or part-automation of decisions normally taken by humans, as well as more complex machine learning and artificial intelligence systems, and related uses of digital identity mechanisms. At its heart, AFAR is an exploration of the concept of ‘fairness’ as a legal, normative and political concept. The project will explore fairness as a multidimensional concept, and consider whether existing legal standards appropriately institutionalise fairness, in particular when decision-making in these fields is increasingly automated. The project includes work packages to map the use of new technologies in migration and asylum in Europe; explore the evolving overlapping legal standards in this domain; consider how fairness perceptions impact on practices; and develop proposals to reform practices for fairness.