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ITALY -ROME- REFUGEES- EVICTION
Rome
By Christian Minelli
24 Aug 2017

Italy, Rome: A woman fells on ground after being hit by a water cannon used to disperse refugees who were evicted from a palace in the center of Rome on August 24, 2017. The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) voiced "grave concern" over the eviction of 800 people from a Rome building squatted mainly by asylum seekers and refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia. Almost 200 people expelled from the building sleep on the streets from 19 of August.

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Moth Building: Homeless in Johannesburg
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
06 Jan 2016

In the heart of Johannesburg, mere minutes away from the city's central train station, an enigmatic sign looms: "MOTH." Although hundreds and thousands of people pass it every single day, most have no awareness of what goes on inside.

It is In fact a rudimentary shelter for over 400 people. One that is cramped, uncomfortable, unsanitary and, supposedly, temporary. The residents moved in six years ago, thinking they wouldn't be staying long. They arrived after being evicted from their old apartment blocks, torn down to make room for a gleaming shopping mall.

The group was told they would be given a short-term place to live, something that would last for, at most, one year. Six years later, nothing has happened. The living conditions grow worse, the residents more desperate and yet outside, life goes on.

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johannesburg homeless 01
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Many of the over 400 residents that live in here don't have their own room. Instead they use curtains as walls.

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johannesburg homeless 02
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Dineo Mokgwetsi is a single mother. Like many others here, she doesn't have a job, and her opportunities are very limited. She cannot even afford to send her 5 year old daughter Dineo to school.

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johannesburg homeless 03
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Some of the homeless children in Moth Building.

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johannesburg homeless 04
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Busi bathing her children in one of the shower booths in the building. There is only cold water, and many of the toilets in the rooms don't work, creating unsanitary conditions and smelling from human feces.

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johannesburg homeless 05
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Moth children play on the balcony like skipping rope and singing songs. One of the songs says "The cockroach is in my house, the cockroach is in my house".

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johannesburg homeless 06
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Butle Mohekse watches over a friend's child in the building. All of the women take care of the others children and make sure they are safe.

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johannesburg homeless 07
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Trophies displayed in someone's space inside the Moth building.

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johannesburg homeless 08
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Even though the situation and environment is bad, the children is taken care of as much as possible. Mothers make sure the children are well fed and care for them, hoping they will have a better life when they grow up.

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johannesburg homeless 09
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Ntokozo smoking a cigarette and trying to keep his head straight. In the background, two of his friends are passed out. The weekends in Moth Building is filled with heavy drinking and music from Friday morning until Monday.

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johannesburg homeless 10
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

A resident in the building is ironing her clothes after washing them. She does it once a week, just to make sure she has some routine in her daily life.

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johannesburg homeless 11
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

The place is very crowded, and there is not much room and space for all. Some of the residents sleep in bunkbeds, others on old mattresses, like Rianda Ethel.

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johannesburg homeless 12
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Magdalena Gadende wants to be a model and a dancer when she grows up.

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johannesburg homeless 13
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

This man lives in the basement in the building. He has no electricity, like many others down there.

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johannesburg homeless 14
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

A view from inside the Moth Building in Johannesburg.

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johannesburg homeless 15
Johannesburg
By Fred Lerneryd
31 May 2015

Itumeleng is one of the many children in the building. The future for the children here is very limited, without any money it is hard for them to even attend school.

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On Deaf Ears 6
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

Heriika S., 25, apologizes to her boyfriend. He helped her flee a rival favela after drug gangs made threats on her life. The women were joking about a rumor that there are rich Japanese businessmen wanting to marry for money.

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On Deaf Ears 8
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

Lenice, 53, speaking about her life. She's a nursing technician and used to make a decent wage but had troubles with depression after both her parents died in her care. She can't get a job because she doesn't have a fixed address and is behind on her union dues.

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On Deaf Ears 9
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

A good samaritan only known as Felipe (not pictured, refused to be identified) learned that it was David's (center) 1st birthday and bought him a cake. In a rare moment of joy, the homeless organized a makeshift birthday party for him. David was given to his grandmother, Vera Lucia, 65, (also not pictured) after his mother had no way of supporting him. David is not related to anyone else there.

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On Deaf Ears 12
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
02 Apr 2015

Gracie, 25, began smoking cigarettes at age 11 after her grandmother would ask her to light hers on the stove for her. She smokes 3 packs a day when she can afford it. She never made it past the 3rd grade in school.

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On Deaf Ears 3
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
01 Apr 2015

Kaue, 2, cries for his mother. His dad, Claudio "CG", 24, used to work selling drinks at favela funk parties. He claims to have been earning well over $3,000 USD a month; he owned multiple stands. He was living a comfortable middle class until police came in and shut the parties down. Now he's struggling to pay his $130 month rent.

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On Deaf Ears 4
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
30 Mar 2015

A pregnant woman gives a friend a back massage at 2:00 AM as other sleep and rotate shifts. As some sleep, others stay awake to watch for police.

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On Deaf Ears 5
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
30 Mar 2015

Andressa (alias), 20, posing for a portrait. Andressa spoke about leaving her boyfriend that day after he hit her. Despite this, they were seen cuddling 20 minutes later.

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On Deaf Ears 2
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
27 Mar 2015

Hiogo, 23, (center) emaciated. Food was scarce in the camp and usually consisted of stale crackers obtained from the homeless shelter or pasta made at a friends house and brought over. Hiogo is a day laborer working construction and in recent months has struggled to find work.

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On Deaf Ears 7
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
27 Mar 2015

Homeless women play cards to pass the time as they sit on their signs. Residents of a favela live effectively in a dictatorship run by drug gangs. The idea of using free speech to demand their rights is new to many of them.

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On Deaf Ears 10
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
27 Mar 2015

Stephany B., 24, (right) does nails as they talk about politics. Stephany said she wants a house with a yard so she can do nails and earn a living from home.

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Rio's Homeless Sidelined in the Name ...
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
26 Mar 2015

On the morning of March 26th, 2015, roughly 100 families were forcibly evicted from their homes by police in an abandoned lot in downtown Rio De Janeiro.  “If you don’t leave peacefully, you’ll leave when the bullets come down”, a police officer threatened, recalled M., a young black man who requested anonymity. By all accounts police were merciless in their eviction and went as far as confiscating simple things like hammers and pliers, allegedly for safety concerns.

Again homeless, the evicted families decided to sleep on the steps of City Hall and ensure their demands for affordable housing be heard. “People think we’re trying to rob them, but in fact we’re running away from that”, Fernando M., 48, said in desperation. Like Fernando, many of the evicted people were escaping the undeclared war between police and drug gangs in the city's Favelas, or slums. While the government does offer a growing number of public housing projects for the poor, few find them desirable to live in as they are still under the control of hostile drug gangs. Instead, these people set up homes in safer areas in the center of the city. 

Other evictees were crushed by soaring rent stemming from Olympic makeovers in their communities. Fernando recalled his rent only a few years ago was R$200 ($65 USD) and now has ballooned to over R$500 ($160 USD). Others are simply unemployed due to a sagging economy. Stuck in a catch-22, many are now unemployable because they have no fixed address.

As the days passed, the echoes of their discontent landed on the deaf ears of a bureaucratic and incompetent local government. In the end, no official action was taken by the city to ameliorate their situation. They eventually left their makeshift occupation by City Hall one-by-one. On April 6th, the remaining dozen or so families that had not left earlier decided to abandon the camp. Many of them found temporary housing in shelters, a friend’s house or other clandestine encampments throughout out the city.

Despite their efforts, the evicted families improvised war of attrition with local authorities is lost and their grievances continue unanswered. 

These photos offer an intimate portraite of some of Brazil's most neglected people.

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On Deaf Ears 1
Rua Alcindo Guanabara, 78-122 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-130,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
25 Mar 2015

Recently evicted from an abandoned lot in downtown Rio, a now homeless man begins to spontaneously pose for a portrait. Tensions were high as just hours earlier they were evicted at gunpoint from a plot belonging to the Rio de Janeiro state water company, CEDAE.

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On Deaf Ears 16
Praça Floriano, 176-242 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-007,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
25 Mar 2015

New construction projects tower over the ruble of recently bulldozed shacks. Over 100 families lived on this abandoned plot belonging to CEDAE, the state water company. This area was once blighted and is now being renovated for the Olympic games.

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On Deaf Ears 13
Praça Floriano, 176-242 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-007,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
25 Mar 2015

Homeless workers stand in attention at the steps of city hall as a meeting is called to discuss their housing situation. Behind them stands the Municipal Theater, which was remodeled at a cost of over $30 million dollars in 2010.

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On Deaf Ears 14
Praça Floriano, 176-242 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-007,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
25 Mar 2015

A pensive moment on the steps of city hall as recently displaced homeless workers rest after being evicted at 5 AM by police.

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On Deaf Ears 15
Praça Floriano, 176-242 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20031-007,Brazil
By Antonio Franco
25 Mar 2015

Homeless workers gather to hear proposed solutions from a mediator from the city council. Through donations, they managed to raise nearly $150 USD for diapers and food for the children. However, no permanent solution was found.

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Thai Tsunami Survivors Face Eviction ...
Phuket
By vincenzo floramo
22 Nov 2014

When a tsunami ravaged the shores of the Indian Ocean in 2004, the mangrove forest surrounding the Muslim village of Baan Nai Rai, in the province of Phang-Nga, saved most of its inhabitants even if it was one of the hardest hit areas in Thailand. Few months later, a company claimed the land where they have always lived and now plans to turn the area into a tourist resort. More than 100 people have already been displaced and 600 resist to be moved. But, above all, villagers want to protect the mangrove forest, an area that, according to Thai law, should be considered public land.

“I mainly fight for the mangrove area”, says Anun Poung Sa Nguan, a 54 year-old fisherman who has lived in the village for 30 years. “Without the mangroves, we would have to go too far away to catch the fish, because now they grow here."

“We worked very hard to take care of the mangroves, even before the tsunami," says Duk, one of the leaders of the village. We depend on them."

According to a research published by the Prince of Songkla University, the Baan Nai Rai community played a key factor in the reforestation, cultivation, protection and rehabilitation of the post-tsunami mangrove forest. Mangroves are considered an important factor for climate change adaptation and mitigation in coastal areas, especially in poor communities.

The villagers filed a lawsuit against the company but a tribunal considered in 2013 that the land was rightfully belonging to the company.

“I think this [property] document has been wrongfully obtained. This land should be public according to the law”, says Suttipong Laithip, a volunteer lawyer who is helping the villagers with the legal procedures against the company.

The Baan Nai Rai community is now trying to find additional evidences to bring again the case in court. After the 2004 tsunami, that killed more than 220.000 people in a dozen countries – 8000 of them in Thailand - the tourism sector has rapidly grown in the Phang-Nga province, where at least 14 villages were engaged in land and tenure disputes with the government and private companies one year after the disaster, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.

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Palestine: When a School is Illegal
Khan al-Ahmar
By Vinciane Jacquet
14 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan al Ahmar, West Bank, Palestine

The Khan al-Ahmar School serves the children of the Jahalin Bedouin community in the West Bank and has been declared illegal by Israeli authorities. It is now facing possible demolition. Built in 2009, the school was constructed with mud and tires due to a lack of funds and an Israeli law that bans Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank from building structures made of cement. The children now attend school in poorly equipped classrooms with no heating, leaking ceilings, and little electricity. However, it is possible that even this primitive learning environment could be snatched from them at a moment's notice. Over 140 students are currently enrolled in the school. The nearest alternative school is located about 45 minutes away by car. The school's imminent demolition is part of a plan by Israeli authorities to displace the Jahalin Bedouin living in "Area C" of the occupied West Bank. The Khan Al-Ahmar School and Bedouin community is located in the Jerusalem periphery, between the Israeli settlements of Ma'ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim. While the Jahalin Bedouin have a longstanding presence in this area (they settled in the area in 1948, after being evicted by Israel from their lands in the Negev desert), the community and school present an obstacle to Israel's planned settlement expansion and construction of the separation barrier. The community lives with the constant threat of displacement. Every year, the school administration goes to court in order to postpone the planned demolition of the school. This year they were lucky and the court sided with them. However, the order still stands and next year they may not be so lucky.

Tents and Tombstones: Bedouins in Isr...
Al-Araqib
By Vinciane Jacquet
10 Nov 2014

November 12, 2014
al-Araqib, Israel

Al Araqib is one of the 46 Bedouin villages in the Negev desert that the state of Israel refuses to recognize. The residents of the village, both past and present, inherited these lands from their fathers and grandfathers. Harassment from the Israeli Army and vigilanties has become commonplace for the Araqib Bedouin. The harassment dates back to 1948, when a gang of Zionist militants rounded up 14 Bedouin men working in a field in al-Araqib and summarily executed them. Since 1948, homes and properties in al-Araqib have been regularly destroyed and stolen. On July 27th, 2010, the village was totally demolished. Since then, the village has been re-built and destroyed 33 times. However, many residents were unable to stay and moved to the recognized village of Rahat. Those who did choose to stay are confined to the area of the Al-Turi cemetary and have been living under harsh conditions, always scared of an unexpected visit from the soldiers.

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"State Land"- Fresh Territory Seizure...
Bethlehem
By Vinciane Jacquet
20 Sep 2014

September 16-19, 2014
West Bank, Palestine

At the end of August, 2014 Israel seized nearly 1000 acres of Palestinian land in the West Bank in order to make room for new Jewish settlements. The residents of the Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin, which is located on the seized land, were delivered eviction notices and had some of their farmlands destroyed, all with the purpose of having them abandon their village. The villagers have refused to leave and now face a lengthy struggle to stay on their land.

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Israeli Forces Demolish Bedouin Camp ...
Al Araqib, Israel
By Transterra Editor
27 Aug 2013

Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), was demolished for the 54th times since July 2010. Israel Land Administration inspectors and some 40 riot police officers stormed the village and 2 bulldozers knocked down three shacks.

Photos By: Eloise Bollack

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Israeli Forces demolish Al Araqib for...
Al arakib, Israel
By Elo B
26 Aug 2013

Al-Araqib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), was demolished for the 54th times since July 2010. Israel Land Administration inspectors and some 40 riot police officers stormed the village and 2 bulldozers knocked down three shacks.