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The use of new technologies in the humanitarian field

10/12/2020 

This article was originally published on www.orderofmalta.int.

The Sovereign Order of Malta took part in the annual Geneva Webster University Humanitarian and Security Conference, which was live-streamed on 1 and 2 October in the Swiss city. This year’s theme was “New Technologies and Humanitarian Action” addressing the advantages and challenges of new technologies in the framework of humanitarian aid and more specifically in human trafficking.

The Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta to monitor and combat human trafficking, Michel Veuthey participated in the debate with a presentation on the “the use and misuse of high-tech in human trafficking” emphasizing  how high tech is a double-edged sword in this context.. “New technologies like social networks and satellite imagery – explained Veuthey – are used to gather evidence and prosecute human traffickers but are also used by human traffickers to recruit and exploit their victims”. The Ambassador proposed to make a better use of high tech to promote cooperation, build networks and partnerships, and share good practices between all stakeholders.

Representatives from international humanitarian organizations such as UNHCR and UNICEF, as well as governments and NGOs took part in the conference which gave a thorough account on the application of new technologies in the field of humanitarian action, for instance with the use of artificial intelligence to recognize skin diseases in refugee camps, and the use of drones to search for persons in collapsed buildings.

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