Thursday, March 15, 2012

Homeless in Dhaka

Homeless in Dhaka, Bangladesh: these little girls live on a brick kiln site in one of the fastest growing cities in the world. There are 8,000 brick kilns in Bangladesh employing over one million workers. Many workers are migrants, many children, many forced labor (despite laws forbidding child & forced labor). Without affordable housing, workers & their families are forced to live on these sites under poor & unhealthy conditions. The dust, along with the toxic gases emitted from tires & coal used to fuel the kilns, cause respiratory & skin diseases. The kilns are also an environmental disaster, polluting air, cultivable land, & devastating forests. It is estimated that nearly 15,000 premature deaths annually in Dhaka are due to poor air quality, mainly attributed to the kilns. Housing is a primary human need that is being denied millions of people around the world. The demand for safe, affordable housing should become a mantra--of the non-negotiable kind. (Photo by Jan Moller Hansen)

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