Asia-Pacific

Pacific Community Warns of Threat to Education Retention in the Wake of COVID-19

Before the pandemic, many Pacific Island countries grappled with low numbers of students completing secondary education. Now experts in the region are concerned that the closure of schools to contain the spread of COVID-19, and the economic downturn, will lead to even more students dropping out of education early.

Crisis in Afghanistan: All Eyes on Central Asia

The political and human catastrophe in Afghanistan is threatening to boost autocratic tendencies in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. With the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover by the Taliban, neighbouring Central Asian countries are once again at the focus of international attention.

Haunting Photos of Bangladesh’s COVID Pandemic

Documentary photographer and filmmaker Mohammad Rakibul Hasan has documented the health crisis in Bangladesh over the past several months. In these haunting images, Hasan brings to life the conditions in which many patients are being treated in poor conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Climate Disaster Migration Rises, Girls Get Married Off

When 11-year-old Mitali Padhi hugged her childhood friends to say goodbye, she felt a deep-seated foreboding.

Resilience in a Riskier World

Over the past two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has made remarkable progress in managing disaster risk. But countries can never let down their guard. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its epicentre now in Asia, and all its tragic consequences, has exposed the frailties of human societies in the face of powerful natural forces. As of mid-August 2021, Asian and Pacific countries had reported 65 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1 million deaths. This is compounded by the extreme climate events which are affecting the entire world. Despite the varying contexts across geographic zones, the climate change connection is evident as floods swept across parts of China, India and Western Europe, while heatwaves and fires raged in parts of North America, Southern Europe and Asia.

The Tragedy of Afghanistan: Is there a Way Forward?

The desperate scenes at Kabul airport of Afghans trying to flee and the image of the US Airforce flight taxying down the runway with people scrambling to climb on, is an image that will be etched on our minds forever.

Afghanistan – What Will Happen Now?

As I write this, India has just celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence from British rule (Pakistan celebrated it a day earlier). But there is little cause for celebration. A dark shadow looms over both countries, indeed over much of the world as well.

Woman Farmer Shows Way as Small Island Developing State Battles Pandemic’s Impacts

A woman farmer in Samoa is using innovation and technology to overcome economic hardship as the Pacific Island nation seeks ways to adapt to the challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Parliamentarians Determined to Reach ICPD 25 Goals

Politicians from Asia and Africa shared activism anecdotes demonstrating their determination to meet ICPD 25 commitments. They were speaking at a hybrid conference held simultaneously in Kampala, Uganda, and online.

Where Did We Go So Wrong in Afghanistan?

President Biden’s decision to finally withdraw US forces from Afghanistan was the correct decision and certainly overdue. However, the lack of preparation to do so orderly and safely was yet another terrible mistake in a string of mistakes that have plagued the US from day one.

Were US War Profiteers the Ultimate Winners in Battle-Scarred Afghanistan?

As the 20-year-old occupation of Afghanistan came to an inglorious end last week, there were heavy losses suffered by many-- including the United States, the Afghan military forces and the country’s civilian population.

Afghan Female Journalist: “I may not be Alive by the time US can Evacuate Me”

Steven Butler describes it as “mass panic.” As the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator has been fielding “hundreds and hundreds” of daily pleas from journalists asking for help to flee the country.

As the Taliban Returns, 20 Years of Progress for Women Looks Set to Disappear Overnight

As the Taliban takes control of the country, Afghanistan has again become an extremely dangerous place to be a woman.

Here Is How We Can Keep Women Safe From Sexual Violence

The past weeks have been quite traumatic for the women of Pakistan. Recently, a young woman named Noor Mukadam was murdered and beheaded by her alleged partner in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital city. A few weeks ago, the prime minister’s statement on rape erroneously construed the crime as being the fault of the victim.

‘Proud of Being Able to Speak the Truth’: Journalist Nidhi Razdan on her Cyber Attack

Earlier in January, Indian journalist Nidhi Razdan found out she was a victim of one of the most sophisticated and elaborate cyber attacks. Razdan wrote in a piece that it was all an attempt to access her bank account details, personal data, emails, medical records, passport and access to all her devices, including computer and phone.

Trouble in the Land of Smiles?

Could the rise of the youth-led 'Ratsadon' movement lead to changes in Thai politics? Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha now faces an ongoing threat as the movement continues to mobilize many, especially young people, against the government. They have broken traditional taboos by opening new conversations about the monarchy and shaping public discourse to question many conservative views in Thai society.

Child Protection Schemes Are Failing Children Orphaned by COVID-19 in India

The second wave of COVID-19 brought with it unimaginable grief, agony, and frustration. India saw a sharp increase in the number of deaths, especially among younger people, which meant that many children lost one or both parents. Reports of people seeking help for orphaned children as well as requests to ‘adopt’ these children emerged on social media.

Wildlife Trafficking to Come under Fire at IUCN Congress

A recent seizure at Johannesburg’s international airport of a large consignment of rhino horns confirmed worst fears – illegal trafficking of wildlife and the plundering of treasured species is back with a vengeance after a Covid-19 lockdown lull.

China Struggles with Socio-environmental Standards in Latin America

In southeast Mexico, work on the Yucatan Solar Park, owned by the Chinese company Jinko Solar, has been halted since 2020 for lack of proper consultation with indigenous communities, after affected local residents filed an injunction against the project.

When Branded as a Born Criminal: The Plight of India’s De-Notified Tribes

Branded as being born ‘criminal’ 150 years ago under British colonial rule, De-Notified Tribes (DNTs) continue to bear the brunt of the various laws that stigmatised them since 1871.

Golden Rice: Triumph for Science

After almost two decades, Golden Rice was approved last week by the Philippines authorities for use as food. This together with the approval of the bioengineered Bt eggplant represents a landmark victory of science over misinformation; it will provide consumers with improved nutrition (Golden Rice) and safer food (Bt eggplant).

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