Greg Constantine is a freelance photographer from the United States. Since 2005, he has worked on the long-term project “Nowhere People”, which documents ethnic minority groups around the world who have had their citizenship stripped or denied and are stateless. His work has been published widely and exhibitions of his work have been held in: Washington, DC, Brussels, Tokyo, Geneva, London, Bangkok, Jakarta, Dublin, The Hague and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
This photograph features the Rohingya of Myanmar, a Muslim minority numbering nearly one million people who have been called the most oppressed people in the world. The Myanmar government has refused to recognize them as citizens and, as such, they are without civil and human rights. Among the human rights denied to them is access to formal education. This image depicts a 7 year-old child who is hauling mud at a worksite with other Rohingya men near one of the internally displaced persons (“IDP”) camps. The mud will be used to construct a man-made dam and pond so Rohingya IDPs can catch fish and sell them to other camps. The child does not go to school and is paid less than $1 a day.
The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as it reflects the impact on a population denied one of the most basic human rights – citizenship.