EU #Protect Not Surveil

Vote to Protect the Human Rights of people on the move and migrants in the Artificial Intelligence Act


Unless EU Members of Parliament take action, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act will enable dangerous tech in migration control and threaten everyone’s rights.

From lie detectors to scanning drones, the European Union and its partners are building a vast and powerful web of surveillance and tracking at European borders, deep inside Europe, and beyond. But this is about much more than just border control.

These technologies are tested first on people on the move* and racialised communities where it is harder to fight back and challenge them.

Once the tech is in place, there’s no going back - and these dangerous experiments will shape how all of us live.

The AI Act fails to prevent irreversible harms in migration and in so doing it undermines its very purpose - protecting the fundamental rights of all people affected by the use of AI.

So we’re calling on legislators to ban the use of experimental tech against people crossing borders and effectively regulate to ensure AI is used with safety and accountability.

*By people on the move, we mean migrants, asylum seekers refugees and undocumented people. We recognise that this is an imperfect term and that not all people affected by such systems are 'on the move'. However, with this term, we centre that those affected by such systems are people.

“We are Black and border guards hate us. Their computers hate us too.”

Adissu, living without immigration status in Brussels, Belgium*, quoted in EDRI report “Technological Testing Grounds”


A coalition of civil society partners developed amendment recommendations to the AI act to better protect against these harms in the migration context.

The AI ACT must be updated in four main ways:

1) Ban harmful AI practices in the migration context

Some AI systems pose an unacceptable risk to our fundamental rights, and they will never be fixed either via technical means nor with some procedural safeguards. Lawmakers must ban:

  • Predictive analytics systems used for preventing migration that will exacerbate violence at the borders and lead to push-backs;

  • Automated risk assessments and profiling systems that entrench racism and bias and erode human dignity and freedom from discrimination;

  • ‘Lie-detectors’ and all pseudo-scientific technology that claims to categorise people and infer emotions on the basis of their biometric data;

  • Remote Biometric Identification at the border and in and around detention facilities that enable mass surveillance.

2) Regulate all AI high-risk systems in migration

    Lawmakers must also ensure that the AI Act regulates any types of AI systems used in migration, especially the surveillance technology used in the context of border control and for identity checks. The EU AI Act will be an instrument of protection only if it does not leave anyone behind.

    All AI systems used in migration should be subject to oversight and accountability measures, including surveillance technology used in the context of border control and for identity checks.

3) Ensure the AI Act applies to EU’s huge migration databases

Article 83 must be amended to ensure AI as part of large-scale EU IT databases falls within the scope of the AI Act and that the necessary safeguards apply for uses of AI in the EU migration context.

4) Make the EU’s AI Act an instrument of protection

There will never be justice without a system of accountability and transparency. The violence, the push-backs and the deaths caused by AI systems will remain unknown if the AI Act fails to guarantee people the right to challenge the violations they have suffered, and if public oversight is impeded.

Lawmakers must ensure the EU AI Act empowers people to seek justice, guarantee public transparency, and prevent harm from the most harmful AI systems when used in migration and border control.


LIBE and IMCO the European Union’s civil liberties and internal markets committees will soon
vote on proposals to amend the AI Act

We’re urging them to ban the use of harmful tech used against people on the move and racialised communities and effectively regulate all AI systems used in migration.

Read our Joint Statement
‘The EU AI Act must protect people on the move’



The coalition is led by:

With the support of:


Dr. Derya Ozkul

Dr. Jan Tobias Muehlberg

Dr. Niovi Vavoula