At last one person around the world is forced from their home and property every single second. Many of them – about 22 million – are refugees.
Even more – some 36 million – are internally displaced. While the majority of displaced people are fleeing from violence, a surprisingly large number of people are also on the move due to development schemes and natural disasters.
The Igarapé Institute has launched a new platform to track the scope and scale of forced migration in a country often outside the spotlight – Brazil.
The Forced Migration Observatory is the largest repository of data on people displaced by a wide range of causes – including dams, roads, cyclones, floods and storms. It is the first time such a wide range of information is assembled in a single digital interactive platform.
The sheer dimensions of population displacement in Brazil is breath-taking. Between 2000 and 2017, 7.7 million people were forced to leave their homes.
On average, that represents one person per minute. The majority of people displaced – some 6 million – were forced to move owing to disasters, such as floods, mudslides and landslides. Development projects, including hydro-electric dams, road building schemes and infrastructure projects, displaced almost 1.3 million people.
The Forced Migration Observatory was a bombshell in Brazil. It was featured in eight special stories by Brazil’s leading print media outlet – Folha de São Paulo. The special series – “A Natureza do Desastre” – involved visits to affected communities across the country. What is more, the research was picked-up in a feature by The Guardian and TV Band. In total, the Forced Migration Observatory has been featured in over 55 stories across Brazil with many more to come.