Skip navigation
Help

Forced migration

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /var/www/vhosts/sayforward.com/subdomains/recorder/httpdocs/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
Original author: 
(author unknown)

Yesterday marked World Refugee Day, as the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, visited Jordan to highlight the 1.6 million registered people who have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria. The UN refugee agency, which was set up in 1950 to aid those still displaced after World War II, reports that there are some 10.5 million refugees worldwide. -- Lloyd Young ( 29 photos total)
Afghan refugee children, swim in muddy water created from a broken water pipe, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, on June 17. Pakistan hosts over 1.6 million registered Afghans, the largest and most protracted refugee population in the world, according to the UN refugee agency. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)     

0
Your rating: None
Original author: 
Meghan Lyden

As part of World Refugee Day, Save the Children commissioned photojournalist Moises Saman to document the sleeping conditions of Syrian refugee children. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, 1.6 million Syrian refugees have fled the country. More than half of those refugees are children whose families are forced to cross borders into Jordan, [...]

0
Your rating: None
Original author: 
(author unknown)

World Refugee Day

June 20th is World Refugee Day, established by the United Nations to raise awareness of the 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world. They are men, women and children forced to flee their homes due to persecution, violence or conflict. You can read more about this campaign and make donations on the the World Refugee Web site created by the UNHCR.

Above are a few images from Reportage photographers who have focused their attention on refugee crises over the years. Clockwise from top:

SOMALILAND - MARCH 4, 2010: Tired Somali refugees sleep in the desert after traveling all night through rain and muddy roads on their trip to Yemen. Every year, thousands of people risk their lives crossing the Gulf of Aden to escape conflict and poverty in Somalia. (Photo by Ed Ou/Reportage by Getty Images)

LAIZA, KACHIN STATE – DECEMBER 20, 2011: Internally displaced refugees wait for food stamps to be handed out in Jeyang Camp in northern Myanmar. After a 17-year ceasefire, and despite promises to the contrary from Myanmar President Thein Sein, the Burmese Army went on an offensive in June 2011. (Photo by Christian Holst/Reportage by Getty Images)

SOUTH SUDAN - 2012: The shoes of Gasim Issa, who walked for 20 days on his journey from Blue Nile State, Sudan, to South Sudan. He is in his 50s. (Photo by Shannon Jensen)

NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - OCTOBER, 2012: A camp of refugees who fled the conflict between the government and M23 rebels. (Photo by Alvaro Ybarra Zavala/Reportage by Getty Images)

0
Your rating: None

Today marks World Refugee Day, which the United Nations uses to raise awareness of the plight of the estimated 42 million displaced people worldwide. A UN report released this week showed that 800,000 people were forced to flee across borders last year -- more than any time since 2000. In a message to mark the day, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help." -- Lloyd Young (30 photos total)
A Myanmar ethnic Rohingya child preparing for a midday prayer on April 23 inside a community school in Klang, a port town 30 kilometres west of Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is observing World Refugee Day along with other countries of the world, there are over 98,000 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia. (Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images)

0
Your rating: None

In 2008, photojournalist Alixandra Fazzina, who lives in Pakistan, began to stumble across stories of young Afghan refugees, children who were fleeing the country for Europe. Soon after she noticed the phenomenon, she visited a refugee camp in Afghanistan, where she witnessed the funeral of a boy who had died trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. Then, on the same visit, at a hospital, she met a boy who had lost his legs—not as she initially assumed, from a land mine, but as a consequence of having been kidnapped and tortured when trying to go west. “All the time he just kept saying he wanted to get the Europe again, despite the risks. He was just so convinced that there was absolutely no future for him as a young Afghan,” Fazzina says. The last time she saw him was in Greece, where he had again fled, the second time losing the prosthetic legs he had needed after his first attempt at emigration. “He was very lucky to survive that far, and he wasn’t done yet.”

The phenomenon that Fazzina observed first-hand was soon confirmed by statistics. The photographer noted a 64% jump in the number of underage Afghan refugees applying for asylum in Europe in 2010. With money that came that same year with her recognition by UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as the first journalist to win the prestigious Nansen Refugee Award, along with the support of the Norwegian government, Fazzina began a project to document the hardships faced by young people making that journey from Afghanistan.

That project, Flowers of Afghanistan, is now about one-third completed; Fazzina is planning to continue her work in Iran, Pakistan and Italy in the coming months. “When the U.S. leaves, we’re on the brink of civil war,” she says. “It’s very important to me to be highlighting this at this point in time. It’s very important for people to realize that Afghanistan isn’t a success story.”

Although Fazzina had intended to follow the boys—and the very few girls who make the trip—along the road, photographing them, she has found that the journeys are rarely linear. Before they leave home, the boys hide their travel plans, often even from their parents; smugglers, Fazzina says, warn them that to tell will cast a jinn, a bad spirit, on their travels. And once they leave home, false starts are likely; kidnapping is frequent and deportation is a possibility even for children who seek asylum. Instead, Fazzina says she relies on networks and word of mouth, and perhaps the trust that is more easily won by a woman, to find the refugees at each stop along the way. She says that even smugglers, once they hear about her project, will reach out and provide information about their whereabouts. “Of course I want to see them traveling, but I’m not interested in photographing the smugglers themselves, so a lot of what I’ve been getting has been, in photography terms, very quiet pictures,” she says. Her photos from the series are often dark, capturing a moment of furtive rest or a person who must stay in the shadows, but stillness and gloom does not mean calm. “When I take a step back,” she says, “I often wonder if people really understand how dangerous it was.”

And the more time Fazzina has spent in that shadowy world, the clearer the patterns have become. About half the boys, she says, are fatherless due to war or sickness, thrusting them into positions of responsibility in their families. They are from the least stable provinces in the country. Recently, she met some children in Peshawar who had given up or been deported back to Afghanistan, and noticed another level of pattern. “I started to talk to them about the journey, and it was the same places, the same hotels they were held hostage in,” she says. “It’s very shocking and repetitive.”

Even though Fazzina has rarely been able to literally follow the boys she photographs, she has found that there’s a virtual way to keep track of them: through their own photographs, on Facebook. “I see a boy I’ve met and his pictures of himself in Athens, taken with fast cars and in tourist locations and in borrowed clothes, whereas the reality was he was living in a hotel, like a squat, that was being run by the smuggling mafia, full of prostitutes and drugs. It was a million miles from the pictures he showed,” she says. Unfortunately, that brave face can encourage others to try to make the dangerous journey themselves.

She once tried to make those photos that the boys take of themselves into something more true. One 16-year-old she met was passionate about photography. He was, she says, a “genius” at it. He wanted to be a filmmaker. After he survived for six days in a trucking container and arrived in Rome, Fazzina tried to get a camera to him through her colleagues in Italy. By that time he had left for Paris. They spoke by phone. He said that he had been told that he was too old when he went to a children’s home and that he was too young when he went to a refuge for adults. He was sleeping on the streets, in the winter, in the snow. She still hadn’t gotten a camera to him. He didn’t call again. “He just moved on. He disappeared. I have no idea what happened to him,” she says. “I am fearful what his fate is.”

Alixandra Fazzina is a British photojournalist. She is represented by NOOR Images and is the 2010 recipient of the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award. More information about Flowers of Afghanistan is available here.

0
Your rating: None

Oded Balilty / AP

Sudanese Mutasim Qamrawi, 22, shows his scars from the four months he was held in captivity by smugglers in Egypt's Sinai desert at a shelter in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Feb. 16.

Oded Balilty / AP

Sudanese Mutasim Qamrawi is among the growing number of African migrants who say they were captured, held hostage and tortured by Egyptian smugglers hired to sneak them into Israel.

By Jon Sweeney

Mutasim Qamrawi, a 22-year-old from Sudan, is among a growing number of African migrants reporting they were tortured in Egypt's Sinai desert by smugglers despite promises to sneak them into Israel, where they hoped to find freedom and a decent job. The smugglers then extorted the migrants' families for more money.

Human rights advocates say the situation is worsening, because smugglers are using harsher torture methods and demanding more money — as much as $40,000.

Some 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflict and poverty in search of safety and opportunity in the relatively prosperous Jewish state. They need the smugglers' help to navigate the rugged Sinai desert and reach Israel's border.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this blog post

Oded Balilty / AP

African refugees keep themselves warm at a shelter in Tel Aviv on Feb. 16. Some 50,000 Africans have entered Israel in recent years, fleeing conflict and poverty.

Oded Balilty / AP

African refugees share breakfast at a shelter in Tel Aviv on Feb. 16.

Related Links:

Follow @msnbc_pictures

0
Your rating: None

Norwegian photographer Espen Rasmussen spent six years photographing refugees in eight countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Georgia, Norway, Syria and Yemen). In 2004 Rasmussen discovered a common theme in the stories of refugees he found himself covering in places as disparate as Chad and Serbia, and decided to follow in the footsteps of displaced people the world over. Rasmussen writes about this remarkable opening image:

“I took the Janjaweed picture during a trip to Chad in 2004. I stayed in the border areas with Sudan for two weeks, documenting the lives of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the violence in the Darfur province in Sudan. Many of them lived in huge camps, others were forced to live in dry rivers, so that they could water their livestock. I crossed the border into Darfur together with a local town leader, and after a drive of some hours, we saw a group of armed men riding towards us in the desert. We stopped and talked with them, presenting me as a reporter. After following the Janjaweed group for a few hours, I returned to Chad with a set of images. The next day we got news that the group had crossed the border into Chad and attacked a local village, burning down the houses. The Janjaweed militia is responsible for massive violence in Darfur, and is accused of being armed by the Sudanese government.”

You can see the impressive results of Rasmussen’s years covering refugees in his brand new book Transit, or on Transit’s interactive online pages. Photographs courtesy Espen Rasmussen/Panos Pictures.


“They are called the Janjaweed militia “Devils on horseback”. They arrived on horseback through the desert, 30 strong and heavily armed. These are the men who have forced hundreds of thousands to flee and who are responsible for killing and rape in Darfur province, western Sudan. Their leader is decorated with knives, bullet belts, automatic weapons and a spear. The populace are the victims in a conflict involving rebels, the Sudanese army and militant nomads. The Arabian Janjaweed soldiers are accused of the genocide of the non-Arabian part of the population, with help from the authorities.”


“A mother buries her second child in the space of a week. Family and friends have gathered around the tiny coffin in the Soacha slum in Colombia to pay their respects. A year earlier her husband was killed, so the family had to flee from the town of Putumayo. The woman believes that the paramilitary group who killed her husband also killed the children, to prevent them from returning to their home. Her five year old boy was kidnapped and beaten to death, while his eight year old sister was strangled in her bed. Everyday life for the between 3.3 – 4.9 million internally displaced in Colombia is dangerous. Paramilitary groups, the guerrillas and the army fight for territory and cocaine production. Families are forced to flee every day, often to the slums around the capital city.”


Adem (25), Yemen:
“Every day I have to tie my three children to the wall with rope. There is nobody here to look after them. I am afraid they will injure themselves if not, or crawl out of the window. The twins are three years old, my daughter is only two. They are alone from when I go to work around six o’clock in the morning until I come home again around midday. I work as a housemaid, but the money I earn is not enough for both rent and food. I earn around 50 dollars a month, when there is work. My rent is 46 dollars a month. Sometimes I get food from the families I clean for. It pains me to tie up my children. I think about them every single day. How will they grow up? Will they go to school? Will they survive? Like any mother, I dream that they will get an education, go to a university and become engineers or doctors. I just want them to go to school, to have friends and to play like other children.”


“During the escalating violence in Iraq in 2007, the owner of one of the most popular restaurants in Baghdad had to close it down and flee. In Syria, in Damascus, he re-opened in the Iraqi neighborhood Jaramana, and has found the same popularity among his customers – just in a different country. All people working in the restaurant are Iraqi refugees.”

0
Your rating: None

Their homelands are torn by war, economic distress, political strife, or environmental collapse. They choose to leave, or have no choice. They're called migrants, refugees, or internally displaced people. The labels are inadequate as often circumstances could allow all three descriptions, or some combination of them. Once in their new countries, they face difficult transitions, discrimination, or outright hostility. Host countries are burdened with the economic and political repercussions of the arrivals, while home nations are sometimes saddled with a "brain drain" of their most important human resources. Immigration is a hot-button issue in the American presidential race, and a wave of new arrivals from Libya to Italy has left the European Union struggling with decisions over the Schengen policy of borderless travel between member nations. Gathered here are images of some of the estimated 214 million people worldwide in the process of redefining what "home" means to them. -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
Rescuers help people in the sea after a boat carrying some 250 migrants crashed into rocks as they tried to enter the port of Pantelleria, an island off the southern coast of Italy, on April 13. Italy is struggling to cope with a mass influx of immigrants from north Africa, many of whom risk their lives by sailing across the often stormy Meditteranean in makeshift vessels. (Francesco Malavolta/AFP/Getty Images)

Add to Facebook
Add to Twitter
Add to digg
Add to StumbleUpon
Add to Reddit
Add to del.icio.us
Email this Article

0
Your rating: None

For more than a month, refugees have been fleeing the violence and uncertainty of Libya into Tunisia. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has reported nearly 180,000 people have fled -- a rate of 2,000 a day. Most end up at border transit camps, desperately trying to find a way home. Here are the faces of a few of them. -- Lloyd Young
(39 photos total)
A Sudanese migrant fleeing the unrest in Libya holds her child as she walks at the Tunisian border crossing of Ras Jdir on March 2. (Zohra Bensemra/Reuters)(credit)

Add to Facebook
Add to Twitter
Add to digg
Add to StumbleUpon
Add to Reddit
Add to del.icio.us
Email this Article

0
Your rating: None