Chained and Caged (2014): It has been a year since Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. In this report harrowing images reveal the mentally ill people left behind by their families in chains and cages, at the mercy of the storm.
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As the debris of Typhoon Haiyan was cleared, local organisations were shocked by what they found. In a single town they uncovered 7 cases of mentally ill survivors left in cages by their fleeing families. “I placed him in a cage because he hurts people. For him to be secure we used chains”, says Lolita. She is talking about her son, a mentally ill man who suffered a breakdown two years ago. Since then he has lived outside in a cramped bamboo cage, too small to stand up or lie down in. This is not uncommon for mentally ill Filipinos, shackled and caged by families ill-equipped to cope with them. The authorities say they’re aware that this is a common situation. Village chief Jorga Luna sees caging the mentally ill as the only way to “maintain peace and order” when there are no other options. “It’s about poverty, it’s about the lack of resources of the family”, says disability rights campaigner JP Maunes.
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