According to 2009 figures there are more than 43 million people on the run in the world today. Some are refugees seeking a home in a new country, while others are the internally displaced, but in many cases all they are looking for is somewhere to feel safe, somewhere to live their lives.
Photographer Espen Rasmussen has spent six years documenting the lives of some of those people, from the camps in the DR Congo to the displaced in Georgia.
Transit, a recently published book of the work and an exhibition at The Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo contains an incredible collection of pictures that in my opinion form one of the most compelling arguments for the sustained power of photography from recent years.
A short sequence at the end of the book comprises pictures of spaces in which the displaced sleep. There's a mat on a bed of straw in the DR Congo, mattresses at a UNHCR reception area in Yemen and a room for asylum seekers in Norway.
These simple pictures, say so much: the powerless individual caught up in events beyond control or comprehension and those who are trying to work through a system of bureaucracy. Yet it also includes moments of hope and humanity as throughout the book the individuals come through.
Alongside the photographs are the stories of those on the run plus an introduction by Jan Egeland. The stories are similar the world over, families on the run to protect their children from being abducted or forced to join guerrilla units, other who dare not return home following conflicts that officially ended many years ago.
Rasmussen's tenacity to visit the places where the TV crews have long since moved on from is admirable, but unlike so much photojournalism it is not his voice that comes across through the book, it is those of the silent millions whose lives are represented in these pages. Powerful stuff indeed.
You can see more or Espen Rasmussen's work on his website.