Tag Archives: low-income

Denmark News | Low-income Muslim Immigrants

Denmark approves new classification and requirements for low-income immigrant neighborhoods
  • The Danish government plans to classify low-income, predominantly Muslim immigrant neighborhoods as “ghettos,” triggering a set of household requirements for the receipt of welfare benefits.
  • Starting at one year of age, children will be separated from their families for 25 hours a week for education in “Danish values” (including Christian religious traditions), while other Danish children typically do not begin school until age six.
  • The policy comes as anti-immigrant sentiment has increased in the country, with political figures (including the Prime Minister) denigrating immigrant enclaves and demanding assimilation.
Read

Denmark to school ‘ghetto’ kids in democracy and Christmas” (Reuters | May 2018)

In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’” (The New York Times | July 2018)

‘No ghettos in 2030’: Denmark’s controversial plan to get rid of immigrant neighborhoods” (Vox | July 2018)

U.S. Feature | Poor & Low-income Women

The Haunting of U.S. Housing by Sexual Exploitation


Source: WBAL-TV/YouTube (October 2015)

Each year, hundreds of lawsuits against agencies and individuals associated with housing management in the U.S. are filed, the tip of the iceberg of rampant sexual misconduct and abuse disrupting housing security for poor and low-income women. Landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, security officers, and housing program managers have demanded sexual favors from tenant women in exchange for continued residence or program coverage, including qualification for Section 8 housing. A combination of an affordable housing crunch, long wait times for housing program intake, the threat of homelessness via retaliation, and the consequences of eviction on future housing access have left many women vulnerable to sexual exploitation and many men engaging in coercion with impunity.

While the lack of robust national studies and uneven state reporting practices on sexual harassment in housing have long obscured the problem, legislators have introduced House and Senate versions of a bill to amend the Fair Housing Act with explicit anti-harassment language and federal agencies have announced steps to target exploitation, including piloting an initiative to identify reporting barriers. Similarly, advocates have begun building consciousness amidst the burgeoning national conversation on gender-based sexual misconduct driven by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

Read

A woman’s choice – sexual favours or lose her home” (BBC News | January 2018)

HUD charges Wichita landlord with housing discrimination after alleged sexual harassment” (KWCH-TV | November 2017)

Justice Department Announces Initiative to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing” (U.S. Department of Justice | October 2017)

Watch

Complaints of Sexual Harassment in Public Housing Go Ignored” (The Real News Network | September 2017)

Justice Department sues KCK Housing Authority for sexual harassment” (KSHB-TV | October 2015)

Study

Fair Housing Act

Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing Act (Proposed Senate bill)

Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing Act (Proposed House bill)

Sexual Harassment and Fair Housing Toolkit (Equal Rights Center)

Memo: Questions and Answers on Sexual Harassment under the Fair Housing Act (U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)

Connect

National Fair Housing Alliance

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development: Fair Housing

Report

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (fairhousing@usdoj.gov1-844-380-6178)

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (1-800-669-9777)

 

South Africa Feature | Black Youth

The Fall Before the Rise in South African Higher Education

Over the last two years, a new set of student movements has situated the South African university as the site of a contentious conflict over higher education’s role in the perpetuation of racial and economic inequality. As the battle has shifted from public representation to economic access in the transformation of Rhodes Must Fall into Fees Must Fall, black South African students have taken on the deeply entrenched systemic and institutionalized inequality of South Africa’s higher education system. But beyond education, the struggle has called on South Africans to examine the “unfinished business of apartheid,” as one scholar has described it. BuzzFeed News investigates the emergence of the new student movements in South Africa and the stories of those driving its evolution.

Read

Poor, Gifted, and Black” (BuzzFeed News | May 2017)

Additional

The faces behind South Africa’s Fees Must Fall movement” (CNN | October 2016)

(Image Credit: Alon Skuy/The Times/Getty Images, via BuzzFeed News)

South Africa Feature | Low-Income & Working-Class Black

The Entrenched Legacy of Housing Segregation in Cape Town

Like many global metropolises, Cape Town faces conflicts over how to secure housing rights for low- and middle-income households inflected by histories of racist social engineering. Cape Town’s situation is complicated by the legacy of housing apartheid in South Africa, which continues to render historically white-only neighborhoods financially inaccessible for many black households and threatens to uproot others as the high tide of gentrification approaches. A number of media outlets have recently examined the persistence of housing segregation in the city and political and guerrilla efforts to promote inclusive urban planning and secure affordable housing rights for black Capetonians.

Read

‘End spatial apartheid’: why housing activists are occupying Cape Town” (The Guardian | May 2017)

Profile: How gentrification is creating a new apartheid in South Africa” (The National | May 2017)

We must end Cape Town’s housing ‘apartheid’ – think-tank” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation | May 2017)

(Image Credit: Ashraf Hendricks/GroundUp, via The Guardian)

Peru Feature | Farmers

Big Victory for a Small Farmer in Peru

Peruvian Máxima Acuña de Chaupe may have seemed like an unlikely agent for the deterrence of a major international company’s mining project, but the 47-year-old farmer and mother of four was able to halt U.S.-based Newmont and Peru-based Buenaventura’s joint development of a mine on her 60-acre farm with the help of social media and international organizations. Despite physical violence, arson, lawsuits, and fines, Acuña fought to stop the expropriation of her land and stave off eviction attempts that began back in 2011. A recipient of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize, Acuña has brought global attention to ongoing rights battles as private development encroaches upon territory small, often poor farmers depend on for their livelihoods. The Guardian and El País have profiled Acuña and the centrality of international solidarity in efforts to protect land and environmental rights.

“No sé si la situación se calmará, voy a seguir defendiendo mi tierra, tengo fe y seguiré pidiendo justicia.”

Translation: “I don’t know if the situation will calm down, I’m going to keep defending my land, I have faith and will continue demanding justice.”

Read:
Peruvian farmer wins David-and-Goliath battle against US mining giant” (The Guardian)
La vuelta a la lucha de Máxima Acuña” (El País, in Spanish)

Additional:
Máxima Acuña: Goldman Environment recipient (The Goldman Environmental Prize)
Peru’s Goldman Prize Winner Maxima Acuña’s Life is in Danger” (teleSUR English)

(Image Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize, via The Guardian)

Brazil News | Farmers & Indigenous

Increasing violence plagues Brazilian land rights activists
  • After 50 died in 2015, at least six activists were killed in the first two months of 2016 as land rights groups report increased intimidation, criminalization, and violence committed against them.
  • Activists have sought reform to protect the at times conflicting land rights of small farmers and indigenous communities, particularly in rural states.
  • Brazil has some of the highest land-proprietary inequality in the world, with 1% of the population owning nearly 50% of the land and single families subject to payments from as many as tens of thousands of property owners thanks to a colonial-era law.

Read more:
Brazil land activists facing ‘increased intimidation’ with six killings in 2016” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Indigenous Continue to Face Violence in Reclaiming Territory in Brazil” (Indian Country Today)
Journalist survives shooting at his home in northwestern Brazil” (Journalism in the Americas)

Additional reading:
For Brazil’s 1 Percenters, The Land Stays In The Family Forever” (NPR, August 2015)

Kenya Feature | Mental Illness

The Struggle to Treat Mental Illness in Kenya

Healthcare in Kenya has struggled to reach the portion of the country’s population afflicted with mental illness, particularly those in rural communities. With around one psychiatrist for every 500,000 people in the country, families struggle to find professional support services, and services that do exist are overtaxed and underresourced. Rather than seek medical help, religiously devout communities often turn to faith healers to treat what are commonly accepted as spiritual rather than medical diseases.

People with mental illness find their conditions compounded by poverty and diseases that go unidentified and untreated, facing significant HIV infection rates and vulnerability. Recent efforts by Kenya-based mental health advocacy organizations and foreign investments in the country’s mental health services have created hope for broader treatment and enfranchisement of the community in Kenya, which, like many developing countries, shoulders some of the highest mental health burdens in the world.

Read more:
The taboo of mental illness in Kenya” (Al Jazeera)
Mental Health Care Still a Challenge in Rural Kenya” (Voice of America)
11mn Kenyans suffer mental disorder – WHO” (Capital News)
Double-edged stigma for people with mental illness and HIV” (Key Correspondents)
Kenya benefits from $6.1 million fund for mental health” (Standard Digital)
Fighting the ‘funk:’ How one Kenyan battles her mental health problems by helping others” (Public Radio International)

Resources:
Africa Mental Health Foundation

(Image Credit: Osaman Mohamed Osaman/Al Jazeera)