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The 21st Century Gold Rush: How the Refugee Crisis Is Changing the World Economy

December 23, 2016|

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Food, beds, pillows—those are luxuries in the ghettos of Agadez. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

Food, beds, pillows—those are luxuries in the ghettos of Agadez. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

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Abdullah, 12, lives in a crowded converted gym outside Berlin that houses refugees. Image by Emily Kassie. Germany, 2016.

Abdullah, 12, lives in a crowded converted gym outside Berlin that houses refugees. Image by Emily Kassie. Germany, 2016.

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These two Syrian girls live with their parents in a storage closet on top of the textile shop where their father works. Image by Emily Kassie. Turkey, 2016.

These two Syrian girls live with their parents in a storage closet on top of the textile shop where their father works. Image by Emily Kassie. Turkey, 2016.

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Children play in a hanger in Tempelhof airport, once a Nazi hanger and now home to over 2000 refugees. Image by Emily Kassie. Germany, 2016.

Children play in a hanger in Tempelhof airport, once a Nazi hanger and now home to over 2000 refugees. Image by Emily Kassie. Germany, 2016.

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Migrants from Burkina Faso have stayed for weeks in this small compound in the back of a grocery store. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

Migrants from Burkina Faso have stayed for weeks in this small compound in the back of a grocery store. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

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Migrants eat a meager meal of beans before making the dangerous trek into the Saharan desert and on to Libya. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

Migrants eat a meager meal of beans before making the dangerous trek into the Saharan desert and on to Libya. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

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Many prostitutes in Agadez are recruited by friends and family. Image by Emily Kassie. Africa, 2016.

Many prostitutes in Agadez are recruited by friends and family. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

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These two drivers work for a lucrative smuggling business, transporting migrants, drugs and weapons across the Saharan. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

These two drivers work for a lucrative smuggling business, transporting migrants, drugs and weapons across the Saharan. Image by Emily Kassie. Niger, 2016.

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Alex Omoregbe believes Sutera is beautiful, but no place to build a life. Image by Emily Kassie. Italy, 2016.

Alex Omoregbe believes Sutera is beautiful, but no place to build a life. Image by Emily Kassie. Italy, 2016.

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Refugee sleeping quarters in Istanbul. Image by Emily Kassie. Turkey, 2016.

Refugee sleeping quarters in Istanbul. Image by Emily Kassie. Turkey, 2016.

The biggest refugee crisis in recorded history has engulfed continents, swung elections and fueled the rise of nativism. It has also made a lot of people very, very rich. These are the stories of the CEOs, criminal masterminds, pencil-pushers and low-flying vultures who have figured out how to profit from global instability, also known as human suffering.

To experience the multimedia piece, following stories in Niger, Italy, Turkey, and Germany, visit the interactive presentation on Highline.com.

Chosen as a Longform Pick on December 23, 2016.