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Culture and Religion

Refugees and the dark side of ICT

Between 2009 and 2015, 25.000 refugees were abducted in the Sinai, mostly originating from Eritrea. It is estimated that USD 600 million was paid for the release of these refugees. Research by Mirjam van Reisen Conny Rijken and Meron Estefanos highlighted the increasing importance of mobile money and mobile phone in human trafficking and smuggling. This is refered to as "the dark side of ICT".



Mobile phones

In the book The Human Trafficking Cycle the authors desribed the vicious cycle of human trafficking, supported by mobile phone and mobile money. Part of the solution of the Refugee Crisis is that the financial transfers - remittances -  could be linked to the provision of positive services that would support refugees in the region: education, broadband, health services and support of livelihoods.

Mirjam van Reisen is Professor International Relations, Innovation and Care and coordinator of the Research Network Globalisation, Ageing, Innovation and Care (GAIC).