easyRights our new innovation project funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program Fund is set to develop AI-enabled digital solutions for easier integration of migrants into society using a co-creation approach.
The collaboration led by Politecnico di Milano and universities, NGOs, public administrations and SMEs from Greece, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Austria and the UK, aims to make it easier for both regular and irregular migrants to integrate into their new home communities. The project combines new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), with hackathon methodologies, to co-create and simplify complex administrative services in a way that mediates between migrants and the public administration to help those newly arrived to more easily exercise their rights, whilst improving language skills.
The project launched in January this year with project partners travelling from across Europe, along with EC project officer Hinano Spreafico, to Brussels for the inaugural project meeting. Presentations and discussions led by immigration and migration experts including Paola Regina, a human rights lawyer for the EC, Gudrun Biffle, an economist from Krems University, and Antonio Spilimbergo, Deputy Director of the IMF Research Department helped set the context for the work ahead.
EU studies reveal that refugees integrate very slowly compared to regular migrants, taking between eleven to twenty years to reach parity. With an estimated 4.8 million irregular migrants in Europe (Pew Research Centre, 2019) the need for innovative social cohesion projects like easyRights is high. By improving the current personalisation and contextualisation levels of existing services to better match migrants’ backgrounds and needs,this figure could be dramatically reduced and society across Europe could benefit far quicker from their integration. A win-win situation for all involved.
easyRights will initially trial its approach by focusing on different service needs in the cities of Birmingham, UK, Larissa, Greece, Malaga, Spain and Palermo in Italy.
At the launch of the initiative, Project Coordinator, Grazia Concillio, Associate Professor from Politecnico Milan said “This project and collaboration is critically important to ensure that migrants, and in particular undocumented and irregular migrants are able to understand the rights available to them so they can become valued contributing members of society. Collectively governments, civil society and communities will only achieve safer, happy, healthier and prosperous communities if no-one us left behind.”
More information will be made available at easyRights.eu in the coming weeks.