Asia-Pacific

Smart Cities hold Key to Sustainable Development

Asia and the Pacific’s phenomenal development has been a story of rapid urbanization. As centres of innovation, entrepreneurship and opportunity, cities have drawn talent from across our region and driven economic growth which has transformed our societies.

Education for All—Refugees Too

Young Rohingya refugees are now facing new hardships as the Bangladeshi government cracks down on their education and future opportunities.

Increasing Leprosy Cases in Micronesia Points to Better Detection and Awareness

Elizabeth Keller is one of the most senior health officials in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). She is the current acting chief of Public Health and also the head of the leprosy programme in the island nation’s capital of Pohnpei.

Financial Hurdles to Eliminating Leprosy in Micronesia

Mayleen Ekiek has been working with the Department of Health in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for 12 years now. She is the head of the National Leprosy Programme in the Pacific island nation, which still remains one of three, along with the Marshall Islands and Kiribati, that is yet to eliminate leprosy.

What’s in a Name? Everything.

On March 19, 78 years old Nursultan Äbisjuly Nazarbayev unexpectedly announced his resignation as President of Kazakhstan, referring to the need for “a new generation of leaders”. The same day the speaker of the nation´s parliament was appointed as interim president, awaiting presidential elections scheduled for 2020.

Bridging the Gaps for the Disabled

People with disabilities are being left behind, and steps must be taken to ensure their inclusion in the world of education and work.

Developing Effective and Sustainable Programmes for Those Living with and Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country surrounded by Bangladesh, India and the Tibetan region of China. It is a country that brought the term Gross National Happiness as a concept by which to measure a country’s progress. In April 2017 it celebrated WAAD by hosting the International Conference on Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ANDD2017) in Thimphu.

Rising Inequalities in Asia-Pacific have become a Major Obstacle to Accelerating Progress

2019 will be a defining year for the 2030 Agenda; and the regional forums will pave the way for our first stocktaking on the SDGs in the General Assembly in September.

Safe Menstrual Practices Important for Progress

As menstruation continues to be shamed in many communities, one organisation is rising up to the challenge to ensure “safe menstruation for all women of Bangladesh.”

Q&A: “The Knowledge of Local Challenges Can Only Come from Working with People”

The remarkable story of an Adivasi lawyer and social activist who has led peoples’ movements against state development policies, and sought redress for human rights violations of his people in conflict-ridden regions of Maharashtra.

Q&A: Why Treating Leprosy as a Special Disease Violates the Rights of the Person Affected by It

His multiple awards and degrees aside, Dr. Arturo Cunanan is known as a people’s doctor; one who has profound belief in the human rights of every person affected by Hansen’s disease, commonly known as leprosy.

A New Window for Delhi’s Migrant Women & Girls

When the most devastating flood in Bihar’s history came in 1987, Renu Devi recalled that the rampaging waters and landslides had swept away people who were sleeping, along with their beds.

How Many Journalists are Jailed in China? Censorship Means We Don’t Know

Reporting on China's harassment of journalists has never been easy. Lately it's been getting much harder, which suggests that conditions for the press could be worsening.

Myanmar and China’s Bride Trafficking Problem

Women and girls from Myanmar are increasingly being trafficked as “brides” to China, a human rights group found.

Women Take the Lead Tackling Climate Change in Bangladesh

The stakes are high for women when faced with a warming world – their livelihoods jeopardised by labour markets that tend to put men first, their family responsibilities increasing rapidly in the face of droughts and flooding, and politicians who refuse to acknowledge the challenges they face. The story of those living on the frontline of a harsher climate is simply not being heard.

Women, Work, and Migration

Social barriers have historically been blamed for the lack of gender parity in the workplace. But there are other dimensions to this age-old discourse.

Island Women Take the Lead in Peatland Restoration

Eluminada Roca has lived all her life next to the  Leyte Sab-a Basin peatlands. The grandmother from of San Isidro village in Philippines’ Leyte island grew up looking at the green hills that feed water to the peatland, she harvested tikog—a peatland grass to weave mats—and ate the delicious fish that was once in abundant in the waters. But today, the land is losing its water, the grass is disappearing and the fish stock has drastically decreased.

Eight Years on, Fukushima Still Poses Health Risks for Children

On March 11, we commemorate the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. To an outside observer, this anniversary passes as a technical progress report, a look at new robot, or a short story on how lives there are slowly returning to normal.

Women’s Feature Service: Mapping the Struggles of Feminism in India

Pamela Phillipose was editor of the Women’s Feature Service, the only syndicated news service in India with a gender perspective, for nearly six years, until she stepped down this year as editor in chief and director. She wore other hats for the publication as well, writing and photographing.

A Disease as Old as Time – Eliminated but Not Eradicated

As the Executive Director of Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation (SMHF), Takahiro Nanri has been working on the issue of leprosy since 2014. Over the past few years, he has traveled across the world visiting the large number of leprosy projects that SMHF has been supporting and meeting dozens of organisations led by leprosy-affected people.

Q&A: Important to Treat Anyone Suffering from Leprosy as an Equal Individual

Discrimination against women who are affected by leprosy or Hansen's Disease is a harsh reality, says Alice Cruz is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members.

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