32 Stunning Photos That Show the Depth of Humanity Around the World

Authors:
Olivia Kestin and Sushmita Roy

© John Moore, Getty Images

Why Global Citizens Should Care
Traumatic events unfolded all across the globe last year, and journalists were on the frontlines documenting everything from natural disasters to man-made conflicts. But they also documented the work of inspiring intiatives like South Africa's all-female anti poaching unit. These photos, the top contenders in the World Press Photo contest, convey stories of struggle and resilience by capturing the most moving tales of humanity. You can join us in taking actions on this issues and the Global Goals here

Last year saw both triumph and tragedy — and photojournalists have documented it all. They covered some of the most powerful global events around the world, including the Lake Chad crisis in Nigeria, the migrant caravan which struggled to seek asylum in the United States, and the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 

The annual World Press Photo Contest recognizes the incredible work of these photographers who travel the world, at times putting themselves in harm's way, to capture important moments and global issues. On Wednesday, the contest announced its six nominees for "Photo of the Year."

The contest is one of the most prestigious in the world and highlights impeccable visual journalism produced in 2018. Now in its 62nd year, the contest saw 4,738 photographers from 129 countries submit 78,801 images.

"As the need for images and stories we can trust has never been greater, we are proud to recognize these visual journalists and digital storytellers," Lars Boering, the managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, said in a press statement.

The nominated photos highlight the most important news events that unfolded in 2018, from the backlash following journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance to the separation of migrant families at the US-Mexico border to the water crisis in South Africa. 

Take Action: Encourage South African Corporates to Invest More Funds For Water Conservation

This year, the organization has also introduced a major new award: the World Press Photo Story of the Year. The honor will be awarded to the photographer "whose visual creativity and skills produced a story with excellent editing and sequencing."

These are some of the most powerful photos nominated by the World Press Photo Foundation nominees this year. They highlight some of the most devastating events of 2018 in the visually compelling ways, and emphasize the need to take action on these issues.


Nominees for the World Press Photo of the Year:

Crying Girl on the Border

005_John Moore_Getty Images.jpgHonduran toddler Yanela Sanchez cries as she and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas, USA, on June 12.
Image: © John Moore, Getty Images

Akashinga - the Brave Ones

006_Brent Stirton_Getty Images.jpgPetronella Chigumbura (30), a member of an all-female anti-poaching unit called Akashinga, participates in stealth and concealment training in the Phundundu Wildlife Park, Zimbabwe.
Image: © Brent Stirton, Getty Images

Almajiri Boy

002_Marco Gualazzini_Contrasto.jpgAn orphaned boy walks past a wall with drawings depicting rocket-propelled grenade launchers, in Bol, Chad. A humanitarian crisis is underway in the Chad Basin, caused by a complex combination of political conflict and environmental factors.
Image: © Marco Gualazzini, Contrasto

Being Pregnant After FARC Child-Bearing Ban

003_Catalina Martin-Chico_Panos.jpgYorladis is pregnant for the sixth time, after five other pregnancies were terminated during her FARC years. She says she managed to hide the fifth pregnancy from her commander until the sixth month by wearing loose clothes.
Image: © Catalina Martin-Chico, Panos

The Disappearance of Jamal Kashoggi

004_Chris McGrath_Getty Images.jpgAn unidentified man tries to hold back the press on October 15, as Saudi investigators arrive at the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, amid a growing international backlash to the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Image: © Chris McGrath, Getty Images

Victims of an Alleged Gas Attack Receive Treatment in Eastern Ghouta

001_Mohammed Badra_European Pressphoto Agency.jpgA man and a child receive treatment after the suspected gas attack on al-Shifunieh, Feb. 25 2018.
Image: © Mohammed Badra, European Pressphoto Agency

Nominees for the World Press Photo Story of the Year:

The Lake Chad Crisis:

A humanitarian crisis is underway in the Chad Basin, caused by a complex combination of political conflict and environmental factors. Lake Chad—once one of Africa’s largest lakes and a lifeline to 40 million people—is experiencing massive desertification. As a result of unplanned irrigation, extended drought, deforestation and resource mismanagement, the size of the lake has decreased by 90 percent over the past 60 years. Traditional livelihoods such as fishing have withered, and water shortages are causing conflict between farmers and cattle herders. Jihadist group Boko Haram, which is active in the area, both benefits from the hardship and widespread hunger and contributes to it. The group uses local villages as a recruiting ground, and the protracted conflict has uprooted 2.5 million people, exacerbating food insecurity.

The Lake Chad Crisis

The Lake Chad Crisis
An orphaned boy walks past a wall with drawings depicting rocket-propelled grenade launchers, in Bol, Chad.
© Marco Gualazzini, Contrasto

The Lake Chad Crisis

The Lake Chad Crisis
Men punt a pirogue through marshy cane thicket at the lake’s edge.
© Marco Gualazzini, Contrasto

The Lake Chad Crisis

The Lake Chad Crisis
Ababakar Mbomi, an anti-Jihad activist in Melea, Chad, was shot 11 times when Boko Haram tried to kidnap his wife in 2014.
© Marco Gualazzini, Contrasto

The Lake Chad Crisis

The Lake Chad Crisis
Women gather water from the lake.
© Marco Gualazzini, Contrasto

The Migrant Caravan:

During October and November 2018, thousands of Central American migrants joined a caravan heading to the United States border. The caravan, assembled through a grassroots social media campaign, left San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 12 October 2018, and as word spread drew people from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. They were a mix of those facing political repression and violence, and those fleeing harsh economic conditions in the hope of a better life. Traveling in a caravan offered a degree of safety on a route where migrants have previously disappeared or been kidnapped, and was an alternative to paying high rates to people smugglers. Migrant caravans travel to the US border at different times each year, but this was the largest in recent memory with as many as 7,000 travelers, including at least 2,300 children, according to UN agencies.

The Migrant Caravan

The Migrant Caravan
People run to a truck that has stopped to give them a ride, outside Tapanatepec, Mexico, on Oct. 30, 2018. Some drivers charged to give travelers a lift for part of the way, but most offered services free as a sign of support.
© Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act

The Migrant Caravan

The Migrant Caravan
Families bathe, wash clothes and relax beside the Rio Novillero, when the caravan takes a rest day near Tapanatepec.
© Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act

The Migrant Caravan

The Migrant Caravan
A father and son sleep after a long day’s walking, Juchitán, Oct. 30, 2018.
© Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act

The Migrant Caravan

The Migrant Caravan
A girl picks flowers during the day’s walk from Tapanatepec to Niltepec, a distance of 50 km.
© Pieter Ten Hoopen, Agence Vu/Civilian Act

Yemen Crisis: 

After nearly four years of conflict in Yemen, at least 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation and 22 million people—75% of the population—are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. In 2014, Houthi Shia Muslim rebels seized northern areas of the country, forcing the president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, into exile. The conflict spread, and escalated when Saudi Arabia, in coalition with eight other mostly Sunni Arab states, began air strikes against the Houthis. By 2018, the war had led to what the UN termed the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster. 

Yemen Crisis

Yemen Crisis
A woman begs outside a grocery store in Azzan, a pivotal southern crossroads town that had seesawed back and forth between government and insurgent forces, on May 22.
© Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post

Yemen Crisis

Yemen Crisis
Taif Fares gasps for air in the intensive-care unit at al-Sadaqa hospital, Aden, on May 21. She had a heart disorder and required constant care. Supplies of oxygen and medicine to the hospital had been discontinued, and, on 14 May, a violent confrontation between a member of the militia controlling the hospital and a doctor had led to doctors going on strike. Taif died a few days after the photograph was taken.
© Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post

Yemen Crisis

Yemen Crisis
A militiaman stands in a frontline position outside the besieged city of Taiz, on November 26. Aid and supplies could be delivered to the city only along a road under control of the Saudi coalition.
© Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post

Yemen Crisis

Yemen Crisis
Wafa Ahmed Hathim (25) lost her left leg when a mortar landed on her house in the strategically important Red Sea port of Hudaydah on December 8—at a time when long-negotiated peace talks were taking place in Sweden.
© Lorenzo Tugnoli, Contrasto, for The Washington Post

Nominees in the categories of general news, environment, contemporary issues, nature, people, sports, spot news, and long-term projects.

021_Diana Markosian_Magnum Photos.jpgThe Cubanitas: Pura rides around her neighborhood in a pink 1950s convertible, as the community gathers to celebrate her fifteenth birthday, in Havana, Cuba. Nominated in the Contemporary Issues Singles category.
Image: © Diana Markosian, Magnum Photos

121_Forough Alaei.jpgCrying for Freedom: Women follow the match from a separate stand, Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Nov. 10, 2018. 
In Iran, female fans are banned from entering football stadiums to watch the nation’s most popular sport. Nominated in the Sports Stories category.
Image: © Forough Alaei

035_Wally Skalij_Los Angeles Times.jpgEvacuated: Evacuated horses stand tied to a pole, as smoke from a wildfire billows above them, on Zuma Beach, in Malibu, California, USA, on November 10. Nominated in the Environmental Singles category.
Image: © Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times

095_Jasper Doest.jpgMeet Bob: Bob, a rescued Caribbean flamingo, lives among humans on the Dutch island of Curaçao. Bob was badly injured when he flew into a window, and was cared for by Odette Doest who runs a wildlife rehabilitation center. Nominated in the Nature Stories.
Image: © Jasper Doest

080_Yael Martínez.jpgThe House That Bleeds: Yael Martínez documents the psychological and emotional fracture of the families of missing people in Mexico, to give a personal account of the despair and sense of absence that accrues over time. Nominated in the Long-term Projects
Image: © Yael Martínez

091_Ingo Arndt_for National Geographic.jpgWild Pumas of Patagonia: Young female puma at Torres del Paine. Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia is thought to contain higher concentrations of pumas than anywhere else in the world. Nominated in the Nature Stories category.
Image: © Ingo Arndt, for National Geographic

051_Daniele Volpe.jpgStill Life Volcano: The living-room of an abandoned home in San Miguel Los Lotes, Guatemala, lies covered in ash after the eruption of Volcán de Fuego on June 3, 2018. Nominated in the General News Singles category.
Image: © Daniele Volpe

135_Pedro Pardo_Agence France-Presse.jpgClimbing the Border Fence: Central American migrants climb the border fence between Mexico and the United States, near El Chaparral border crossing, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, on Nov. 25, 2018. Nominated in the Spot News Singles category.
Image: © Pedro Pardo, Agence France-Presse

058_John Wessels_Agence France-Presse.jpgFighting Ebola and Conflict: A health worker waits to handle an unconfirmed case of Ebola at a newly built treatment centre in Bunia, 200 km north of Beni, on Nov. 7, 2018. Nominated in the General News Stories category.
Image: © John Wessels, Agence France-Presse

078_Alejandro Cegarra.jpgState of Decay: Alejandro Cegarra's series documents the changes in Venzuela, picking up the story in 2013, starting with Chavez’s death, and aims to tell the story of a crumbling country from the inside. Nominated in the Long-term Projects category.
Image: © Alejandro Cegarra

096_Jasper Doest.jpgMeet Bob: Bob, a rescued Caribbean flamingo, lives among humans on the Dutch island of Curaçao. Bob accompanies Odette on a visit to a school to educate children about flamingos and their habitat. Nominated in the Nature Stories category.
Image: © Jasper Doest

106_Jessica Dimmock_for Topic.jpgNorthwest Passages: Mharie (83), in Eugene, Oregon, used to draw her curtains so that neighbors wouldn’t see her dressed in women’s clothes while her wife was out. Nominated in the Portraits Stories category.
Image: © Jessica Dimmock, for Topic

019_Enayat Asadi-For-Publish.jpgAfghan Refugees Waiting to Cross the Iranian Border: An Afghan refugee comforts his companion while waiting for transport across the eastern border of Iran, on July 27. Nominated in the Contemporary Issues Singles category.
Image: © Enayat Asadi

123_Forough Alaei.jpgCrying for Freedom: A woman watches the AFC Cup match disguised as a young man. 
In Iran, female fans are banned from entering football stadiums to watch the nation’s most popular sport. Nominated in the Sports Stories category.
Image: © Forough Alaei