Search results for category: State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2015

SWM 2015: Dubai - Everywhere but invisible – the continued marginalization of migrant construction workers 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Derek VerbakelDubai’s construction boom has tranformed this desert city into a dense urban landscape of skyscrapers, shopping malls, roads and swimming pools. This extraordinary development has been made possible by the labour of many hundreds of thousands of migrant construction workers, who first began arriving in the city in the 1960s and now number around a...

SWM 2015: Israel/Palestine - Life in a divided city – one Palestinian community under threat in East Jerusalem 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Tom PalmerWhile 35 per cent of land in East Jerusalem has been expropriated for the establishment of a dozen Jewish settlements, housing around 200,000 Israeli citizens, under the current Israeli master plan only 13 per cent of East Jerusalem is zoned for Palestinian construction, even though 300,000 Palestinians reside in the area. Decisions regarding planning policy...

SWM 2015: Lebanon - The disappearance of Wadi Abu Jmil, Beirut’s Jewish district 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Rania El RajjiLebanon’s wars have had a lasting impact on the country’s urban fabric. The infamous ‘green line’ which divided Beirut into East and West between 1975 and 1990 forced various religious groups – primarily Muslims and Christians, but also other smaller minorities who found themselves drawn into the conflict – to resettle on either side...

SWM 2015: Bolivia - Promoting indigenous participation in Santa Cruz de la Sierra 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Vanessa MazzeiBolivia has some of the highest levels of poverty in South America, and it also stands out as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the region with the highest percentage of indigenous people in Latin America – an estimated 62 per cent of the population. Yet indigenous communities have nevertheless struggled historically to...

SWM 2015: USA - Detroit – rebuilding the city from the bottom up 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Mariah GrantThroughout the recent recession in the United States, the city of Detroit, Michigan was seen as a cautionary tale of economic boom and bust within the country’s urban centres. Nicknamed Motor City, USA, Detroit was the thriving epicentre of the automobile industry from its early days in the 1900s to the 1950s, when the city boasted...

SWM 2015: Kenya - Urban migration and the loss of traditional culture among Endorois youth 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Rebecca MarlinIndigenous Endorois had inhabited Lake Bogoria for centuries when, in the 1970s, the Kenyan government forcibly removed them from their ancestral land. Their eviction brought to an end a unique way of life rich with culture and tradition, and they have been advocating for the rightful return of their land ever since. Despite a 2010...

SWM 2015: Hungary - How the redevelopment of Józsefváros is pushing out Budapest’s minorities 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Linda SzabóIn recent years Budapest’s most stigmatized neighbourhood, Józsefváros, has been undergoing significant change. ‘Józsefváros is being rebuilt,’ goes the municipality’s slogan – the only question is for whom. While Józsefváros has long been one of the city’s most diverse areas, with the highest concentration of Roma and migrant populations, the local municipality’s plans for the...

SWM 2015: Poland - Remembering Warsaw’s Jewish community through heritage conservation 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Dobroslawa Wiktor-Mach Before the outbreak of the Second World War, when Poland was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, more than 380,000 Jews lived in Warsaw. During the war, however, the Nazis annihilated the large majority of the city’s Jewish population and destroyed much of their physical heritage. Under Communist rule, the surviving...

SWM 2015: The San in southern Africa – adjusting to urbanization as a first people 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Inga ThiemannSouthern African countries have urbanized rapidly in the last few decades, with significant impacts on San indigenous populations in the entire region. Urbanization has not only threatened access to land among rural communities but also in areas where some measure of urbanization has taken place, while the government has failed to provide San residents with...

SWM 2015: Turkey - Little change, two decades on, for displaced Kurds  

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Bill BowringTurkey’s Kurdish community, besides being the largest minority in the country, is also one of the most discriminated against. Historically, Kurds are concentrated in the eastern and south-western parts of the country. Their situation deteriorated further following the outbreak of fighting in 1984 between the government and the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed opposition group...

SWM 2015: Ukraine/Russian Federation - Deteriorating rights for Crimean Tatars under Russian rule 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Nataliya Novakova At the beginning of 2014, following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the government of Ukraine lost control over the peninsula. The subsequent transition to the legislation of the Russian Federation and the continued presence of unregulated paramilitary groups, known as samooborona, posed considerable threats to the local population, particularly for ethnic and religious...

SWM 2015: Brazil - Preserving indigenous heritage in Rio de Janeiro 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Umamah BasitRio de Janeiro has a significant indigenous population, many of whom have been driven out of their ancestral lands in the Amazon due to poverty, deforestation and persecution. Due to unaffordable housing and lack of state support, these groups have settled in the poorest of urban slums, commonly known as ‘favelas’, where they face rampant...

SWM 2015: UK - Gentrification brings new challenges for Brixton’s minority communities 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Electra BabouriBrixton is an inner London neighbourhood renowned for its ethnic and cultural diversity. Beginning in the late 1940s, when migrants from the Caribbean began began settling in the area, it has cemented a reputation as a multiethnic hub with a vibrant music scene and an array of global cuisines. Yet Brixton has also seen serious...

SWM 2015: Honduras - The Garifuna’s battle to protect their land from urban development on the ‘Banana Coast’ 

Case study by Kara ChiucharelliLand rights are an ongoing struggle for Honduras’ Garifuna community, who for decades have faced forced eviction and the sale of titled communal lands as their territory has been appropriated for mining, oil extraction and palm oil cultivation. But communities are now being displaced to secure access to another resource – their pristine coastline.‘There is now a process of expulsion...

SWM 2015: Libya - Hopes and fears in cities after the fall of Gaddafi  

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Sarah El-AshmawyOf all the North African countries undergoing political change in the wake of the Arab spring, Libya has perhaps experienced the most uncertain and difficult transition. Since the fall of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi from power after decades of authoritarian rule, Libya’s cities have been characterized by rising political discord and armed opposition. Despite a government...

SWM 2015: Mexico - Sexual violence against indigenous women in Ciudad Juárez 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Mariah GrantCiudad Juárez is a striking example of both the good and the bad that the economic opportunities inherent to urbanization can bring. This city of nearly 1.5 million inhabitants is situated on the Mexico side of the border with the United States, directly opposite its sister-city, El Paso, Texas. Only the parched Rio Grande, contained...

SWM 2015: Rwanda - Promoting peace through sustainable urban development in Kigali 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Paige Wilhite JenningsApril 2014 saw the 20th anniversary of the genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people – three-quarters of the Rwanda’s Tutsi minority, as well as moderates from the Hutu majority – were killed in 100 days. While this small landlocked country’s population density, the highest in Africa, may have contributed to social tensions, ethnic...

SWM 2015: Somalia - Minorities on the margins of Mogadishu 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Michelle MincMogadishu, one of the oldest cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, has undergone tremendous population growth over the last century. This has been accompanied by the development of informal settlements, or obbosibo, which have sprung up across the city with little or no planning. As far back as the 1960s, donor-financed and government-led initiatives attempted to address...

SWM 2015: Mali - Cultural heritage as a vehicle for peace in Timbuktu 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Joana DabajThe fabled ‘city of 333 Saints’, Timbuktu, is located in the republic of Mali at the edge of the Sahara desert and near the Niger River. Founded in the 5th century, it was long regarded as a centre for the diffusion of Islam through West Africa and a city of trade, where manuscripts and books...

SWM 2015: Kyrgyzstan - Life as a migrant in Bishkek – a Tatar women tells her story 

Embargo: 2 July 2015 00.01 (GMT+1)Case study by Alisher KhamidovOn a cold morning in late February, Alya wakes up early as usual to prepare a simple breakfast of porridge for her and her 2-year-old boy, Shurik. Then she takes Shurik to her friend for baby-sitting before heading to work. Originally from Osh, a large city in south Kyrgyzstan, she is now a street vendor selling...


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