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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Corporate Exploitation of Global Refugee Crisis Masked as Humanitarianism

Project Censored

According to a June 2015 United Nations report, sixty million people worldwide are now refugees due to conflict in their home nations. The UN report indicated that during 2014 one out of every 122 people was a refugee, internally displaced, or an asylum seeker; and over half of these refugees were children. (For previous Project Censored coverage of the global refugee crisis, see “Global Forced Displacement Tops Fifty Million,” Censored story #14 in Censored 2016: Media Freedom on the Line.)

While Syrian refugees account for the largest number (an estimated 11.5 million people), other places such as Colombia, parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia have large refugee populations that remain largely unreported. According António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the time of the report, “We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before.”

Although the extent of the global refugee crisis has been covered in the corporate media (including, for example, the New York Times and the Washington Post), the exploitation of refugees has been less well covered. In February 2016, Sarah Lazare published an article on AlterNet that warned of the World Bank’s private enterprise solution to the Syrian displacement crisis. “Under the guise of humanitarian aid,” Lazare wrote, “the World Bank is enticing Western companies to launch ‘new investments’ in Jordan in order to profit from the labor of stranded Syrian refugees. In a country where migrant workers have faced forced servitude, torture and wage theft, there is reason to be concerned that this capital-intensive ‘solution’ to the mounting crisis of displacement will establish sweatshops that specifically target war refugees for hyper-exploitation.”

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