The Igarapé Institute launches the Forced Migration Observatory

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.

Access the Forced Migrations Observatory


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