Forced to flee

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes to escape war or natural disasters. Displaced within their own country and having lost loved ones, livelihoods and belongings, they face terrible hardships.

Around the world there are as many as 70 million of them and their plight is largely forgotten.

To highlight this ongoing humanitarian catastrophe, IRIN Films has produced two short documentaries focusing on two very different communities, one in Africa and one in Asia.

In the first of these films, IRIN visits a small lakeside town in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, crowded by the arrival of thousands of displaced people seeking safety from fighting in the surrounding hills.

But even here the displaced are not safe. Women venturing out of town to farm their fields face rape, crossfire or brutal killing at the hands of armed gangs.

Watch DRC Film [18:10]
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Watch Philippines Film [15:15]

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 Film scripts
 IRIN's DRC page
 IRIN's Philippines page

Some of these people have already had to flee their homes more than once, and after the film was made, were forced to flee again, as the cycle of conflict, human rights violations and displacement goes on.

The second film shows the crushing human consequences for a relatively well-off family in the Philippines, after a typhoon and landslides wiped out their home and livelihood in the shadow of a volcano in Legaspi, Albay Province.

Even though the government is building them a new house, and life is peaceful and relatively safe, they are stranded far from their land, which is ruined for agriculture.

They have lost their self-sufficiency and are now mainly dependent on handouts to survive. The next generation will face a very different life with new risks and limited opportunities.

dg/cb