A Spatial Analysis of ‘Ghetto-Dwellers’ in Monrovia, Liberia

Research Reports

A Spatial Analysis of ‘Ghetto-Dwellers’ in Monrovia, Liberia

Across the globe, people are forcibly displaced from their homes, livelihoods and support networks for a variety of reasons. In 2012, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimated there to be at least 28.8 million internally displaced people (IDPs) across the globe. In 2013, the UNHCR claimed there are 15.2 million ‘refugees of concern’ across the globe; people who have had to leave their country to face great uncertainty for the hope of sanctuary, support or merely survival.

Through research conducted in Liberia, this report aims to show a form of marginalisation formed by place association. Within Monrovia’s slums, the ‘ghettos’ act as concentrated areas of marginalised youth, ex-combatant, criminal and drug dependent populations, often living in terrible circumstances of poor health, housing, social support and political oppression. However, the term ‘ghetto’, has never surfaced in reports by NGOs or academics to date.

This research aims to provide a tool by which ‘marginalisation’ can be assessed by identifying areas in communities that people feel fear, unease or hostility towards. Central to this report is the idea that sustainable urban development necessitates the inclusion of those at the ‘bottom of society’. In this report, violence is treated as a form of social behaviour people must utilise as they have no other option. By identifying and understanding the structures forcing people to this behaviour, NGOs can work to bring people out of this cycle and into a safer livelihood and social cycle.

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