Asia-Pacific

First They Came for the Rohingya

In recent months, international media coverage of Myanmar has focused on the plight of the Rohingya people in the west of the country. And for good reason: Since August 2017, brutal army attacks on this Muslim ethnic minority have sent more than 750,000 people — 90 percent of the Rohingya population living in Rakhine state — fleeing over the border to Bangladesh, in what can only be described as a coordinated campaign of genocide.

Drowning for Progress in Cambodia

Suddenly the road ends. The cart track disappears under the water. A vast lake stretches out in front of me. I have to transfer from a motorbike to a canoe. "Tuk laang," my guide says coolly. "The water is rising."

For Many Migrants, No Land Is Sweeter Than Home

Most migrants to Europe, Australia and the United States from Rangpur in northern Bangladesh leave home at a young age and return when they have just passed middle age.

India Cracks Down on Human Trafficking

The Indian Union Cabinet has cleared the long-awaited Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, which proposes an imprisonment of 10 years to life term for those trafficking humans for the purpose of begging, marriage, prostitution or labour, among others. The bill will become a law once cleared by both houses of Parliament.

How Citizen Power Ignited Seoul’s Energy Innovations

In a bid to reduce its nuclear energy dependence, Seoul embarked on a massive energy reduction initiative—shaped by citizen participation—in 2012.

Solving Japan’s Fertility Crisis

While much of the global discussion for decades has been focused on overpopulation and its consequences, less can be said of the risks of low fertility and an ageing population—risks that are currently threatening the future of Japan.

Celebrations Herald a New Set of Hurdles for Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s great strides in human development were widely celebrated this month, although they come at the potential cost of Western trade benefits that have helped underpin the nation’s export success for decades.

A Breath of Fresh Air in India

With India’s citizens clamouring for breathable air and efficient energy options, the country’s planners are more receptive than ever to explore sustainable development options, says Frank Rijsberman, Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

Dowry Death or Murder?

Dowry deaths rose from about 19 per day in 2001 to 21 per day in 2016.It is indeed alarming that the rise in dowry deaths is unabated despite greater stringency of anti-dowry laws. In 1961, the Dowry Prohibition Act made giving and taking of dowry, its abetment or the demand for it an offence punishable with imprisonment and fine or without the latter. This was an abysmal failure as dowries became a nationwide phenomenon, replacing bride price. More stringent laws followed. The Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1983 inserted a new section (498-A) to deal with persistent and grave instances of dowry demand and such offences were punishable with imprisonment extendable to three years. As cases of brutal harassment and dowry deaths continued to rise, another Act was passed in 1986, relating specifically to the offence of dowry death.

Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis

As Cape Town inches towards ‘Zero Hour’ set for July 15, 2018, the real threat of water scarcity is finally hitting millions of people worldwide. For on that day, the South African city's 3.78 million citizens -- rich and poor, young and old, men and women -- will be forced to queue up with their jerry cans at public outlets for their quota of 25 litres of water per day.

Rohingya Crisis May Be Genocide, UN Officials Say

In the wake of persistent violence against the Rohingya community, UN officials have expressed growing fears that genocide is being incited and committed in Myanmar.

Guest Workers Prop Up the Economy of Home Country

NEPAL. A few chickens are running around the courtyard in front of the corrugated iron shack. The village has just awoken. A bus passes by below on the road that snakes around the mountain; it will be hours before another one passes.

Japan-led Pacific Rim Countries Desperate to Embrace Trump

The grandiose sounding Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be signed in Santiago de Chile today, 8 March. Instead of doing something to advance the condition of women on International Women’s Day, trade representatives from 11 Pacific rim countries will sign the CPTPP, which some critics argue will further set back the progress of humanity, including women who hold up ‘half the sky’.

Fear and Uncertainty Grip Rohingya Women in India

In the semi-lit makeshift tent covered with strips of cardboard, five women sit in a huddle. As their young children, covered in specks of mud and soot, move around noisily, the women try to hush them down. Hollow-eyed and visibly malnourished, all the women also appear afraid.

Women Peace Laureates Condemn Inaction on Rohingya “Genocide”

Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Tawakkol Karman met with more than 100 women refugees in camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh this week, as well as travelling to the “no man’s land” where thousands of Rohingya have been stranded between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Monsoon Season Threatens More Misery for Rohingyas

More than half a million Rohingya refugees crammed into over 30 makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh face a critical situation as the cyclone and monsoon season begins in a few weeks’ time.

Nobel Women Laureates at Zero Point with Rohingya Refugees

Nobel Laureates, Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland), Shirin Ebadi (Iran) and Tawakkol Karman (Yemen) speak to Rohingya refugees stranded in the no-man’s land between Myanmar and Bangladesh. They promise to seek justice for the Rohingya genocide.

Inclusive Green Growth Must Shape Thailand’s Future, Says GGGI Chief

Energy efficiency in industries presents a unique opportunity for Thailand’s environmental and economic policies as regional trends push towards more inclusive and sustainable green cities for the country and its neighbors, says the Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Dr. Frank Rijsberman.

Dung-Eating Earthworms Restore Soil Nutrients in Bangladesh

In Kaliganj village, 20 kilometres south of Rangpur city in Bangladesh, small farmers are turning to vermicomposting after crop yields started dropping. The problem was that soil fertility eroded due to organic nutrient depletion.

Paradise on Tenterhooks

It was a shutdown that was emblematic of the instability plaguing the Maldives in recent months.On Feb. 8, Raajje TV, an opposition aligned TV channel in the atolls, suspended broadcasting due to lack of security.

Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia

Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

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