Al Jazeera

Balkan migrants face hard times and vilification in London

London, United Kingdom – As promised lands go, London’s Victoria coach station at six o’clock on a rain-soaked, still-dark January morning is hardly an enticing destination.

An example of how the Daily Express depicts Romanian migrants to the UK.

An example of how the Daily Express depicts Romanian migrants to the UK.

Yet this, according to some British newspapers, is the disembarkation point for “hordes” of Romanians and Bulgarians making the journey from their homelands to take advantage of new rules giving them the equal rights with other European Union citizens to seek work in the UK.

Right-wing papers including The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph reported that seats on buses to London were booked for days and that thousands of migrants were due to start arriving from January 1, the date when employment restrictions in place since Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU seven years ago were lifted.

The tabloid Daily Star meanwhile cited fears about a migrant-fuelled “crime wave”, and The Daily Express said that many new arrivals were coming to take advantage of the UK’s welfare system, running the front page headline: “Benefits Britain Here We Come!”

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CNN

Empowering Haiti’s rape survivors

“Haiti is a very easy place to go and get a dramatic photo,” says Felipe Jacome. “It has great colors, great light and if you live in New York and you want some photos in a harsh environment you can literally go there for a couple of days, stick your camera in someone’s face and leave. But taking photos mindfully is extremely challenging.”

Photo courtesy of Felipe Jacome/Survivors for Survivors

Photo courtesy of Felipe Jacome/Survivors for Survivors

Jacome, an Ecuadorian photographer, originally went to Haiti as a humanitarian worker a year after the January 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 220,000 people and left about 1.5 million others homeless.

But, frustrated by the periodic invasions of “platoons of journalists” seeking stock images of photogenic desperation and devastation, Jacome set out with his camera to explore a society he had found to be more resilient, resourceful and self-reliant than was typically recognized.

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