Asia-Pacific

Migrant Workers in the Gulf Feel Pinch of Falling Oil Prices

In the Al Quoz industrial area of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a number of medium and large-sized buses can be spotted transporting workers clad in company uniforms to distant worksites early in the morning. In the evening or, in certain cases, late at night, these workers are brought back to labour camps in the same buses.

Towards Safe Migration and Decent Work for Women in Nepal

In August it’s blazing hot in Kathmandu. Dawa Dolma Tamang, 32, sits on a chair at Pourakhi’s office—an organization that works with migrant women workers—staring out of the window. “I want to send my children to a better school and support my husband to make a decent living. I want to make my family whole again," she says.

India and China, a New Era of Strategic Partners?

Despite bilateral dissonances and an unresolved boundary issue, India and China -- two of the world's most ancient civilisations -- are engaged in vigorous cooperation at various levels. The Asian neighbours' relationship has also focussed global attention in recent years on Asia's demographically dominant, major developing economies engaged in common concerns of poverty alleviation and national development.

Communities See Tourism Gold in Derelict Bougainville Mine

The Panguna copper mine, located in the mountains of Central Bougainville, an autonomous region in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea, has been derelict for 27 years since an armed campaign by local landowners forced its shutdown and triggered a decade-long civil war in the late 1980s.

Myanmar Turns to Kofi Annan for Help on Festering Rohingya Crisis

Myanmar’s government has responded to pressure from the international community to tackle religious tensions and persecution of Muslims in Rakhine State by appointing former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan to head a commission to advise on “a sustainable solution” to the crisis.

Tracing War Missing Still a Dangerous Quest in Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka readies to begin the grim task of searching for thousands of war missing, those doing the tracing on the ground say that they still face intimidation and threats while doing their work.

The Lesser Sex

Sakina’s  glare is empty. Her defeated, glassy eyes scan the room passively. The subdued silence and withered frame expose her fragility.

Asia, Looking Beyond the Green Revolution

More than 2.2 billion people in Asia rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but the Asian Development Bank warns that stagnant and declining yields of major crops such as rice and wheat can be ultimately linked to declining investments in agriculture. Public investments in agriculture in India, for instance, have been roughly the same since 2004.

India’s New Maternity Benefits Act Criticised as Elitist

The passage of the landmark Maternity Benefits Act 1961 by the Indian Parliament, which mandates 26 weeks of paid leave for mothers as against the existing 12, has generated more heartburn than hurrahs due to its skewed nature.

Dhaka Could Be Underwater in a Decade

Like many other fast-growing megacities, the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka faces severe water and sanitation problems, chiefly the annual flooding during monsoon season due to unplanned urbanisation, destruction of wetlands and poor city governance.

Interview: The UN Security Council and North Korea’s Nuclear Threat

Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee, UN representative of the Republic of Korea, spoke with IPS about the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2270, which was unanimously adopted on 2 March 2016.

Adaptation to Climate Change: Need for a Human Rights Approach

The memories of Cyclone Sidr and Aila are fresh in the mind of Razia Begum, a victim of climate change, of Dacope Upazila, Khulna. The standing field crops and houses of her community were destroyed, and they suffered the loss of cattle as well as people who perished in these natural disasters. She says mournfully that Saturkhali, Kamarkhola, Koilashganj and Baniashanta are the most vulnerable unions where access to necessary human rights is disrupted. Furthermore, salinity, flood, river erosion, heavy rain, cyclone, water logging and seasonal variations etc. are the most devastating impacts of climate change in those areas.

Let’s Improve Our Global Ranking on Impunity

After my remarks on impunity last week, a friend brought to my attention a disturbing study on Impunity (via InterAksyon), showing that among 59 countries, the Philippines led in the Global Impunity Index.

Rickshaw Painting in Digital Age

With the advent of the digital printing press, Riskshaw painting a previously well known art form is on the verge of extinction. Many painters had to switch their profession to survive the "digital revolution".

An Unequal Country

One of the world’s great achievements of the past decades has been the significant fall in global poverty. Between 1990 and 2012, the proportion of humanity living under $1.90 a day fell from 37 per cent to only 13pc, driven in large part by the efforts of China. South Asia also witnessed a major decline in poverty, from 51pc to 19pc, with unequal progress across countries.

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