Asia-Pacific

Ecology is Economy – ‘We Need an Integrated Approach Between Lives and Livelihoods’

We usually think of livelihoods and lives separately, however, it is now time to imagine a more integrated approach.

Fighting India’s Bonded Labour During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Part 1

One of the worst fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the closure of industries in India, which caused thousands of migrant labourers to return home to villages in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal. In a region where the poorest have always been subjected to bonded labour, child labour and slave trafficking, it has meant revisiting the past.

Leveraging Research for Solution-driven Policymaking in the Era of COVID-19

The United Nations has tasked the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Population and Public Health (CIHR-IPPH) to lead the research roadmap to identify priorities that will support an equitable global socio-economic recovery from COVID-19 within the broader framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the world grapples with the impacts of COVID-19, identifying the research agenda and partnering with academic institutions and think tanks have become more essential than ever before.

Maritime Security in Asia-Pacific Region Under Threat

Maritime security in Asia Pacific is often viewed through a traditional security lens, where the main responsibility falls on maritime law enforcement agencies to protect maritime borders and territorial sovereignty.

Getting the Basics Right – India’s National Education Policy 2020

The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP) lays out a compelling, ambitious agenda for education reform in India. Yet, as others have noted, without concerted action the NEP’s promise will remain unfulfilled.

Financing Economic Recovery

As the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the length and breadth of Asia and the Pacific, finance ministries are continuing their relentless efforts to inject trillions of dollars for emergency health responses and fiscal packages. With continued lockdown measures and restricted borders, economic rebound seems uncertain.

A Pandemic Cannot Justify Child Labour

For the past five months, our screens have been flooded with distressing imagery of one catastrophe after another: From the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable communities, to cyclones in West Bengal, Odisha, and Maharashtra.

Nepal Welcomes Qatar Labour Reform

Even as Nepali workers stranded overseas face confusion and uncertainty during the Covid-19 crisis, labour reforms in Qatar – including an increase in the minimum wage announced in Doha on Sunday — may have lasting implications for migrants there.

Powerplay in Paradise: Sino-Indian Tussle in the Maldives

The Maldives is a picturesque country of merely 515,000 people located just beyond the southern tip of the South Asian land mass, in an idyllic Indian ocean setting. The nation is spread across 26 pretty atolls, comprising about 1192 islets, not all still inhabited. These are lapped by crystal blue waters containing flora and fauna of remarkable magnificence. Its scenic bounties attract droves of tourists who frolic in the sands, sun and the sea in salubrious languor. It has a thriving fishing, garment and tourism industry which have recently helped it graduate out of the United Nations list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).It is so tiny that used to be said that the catch of a single large fish any day could cause a remarkable jump in its Gross National Product (GDP) numbers. It is not without reason that the archipelago has often been compared to a paradise.

Neo Colonialism vs. Sovereignty in Sri Lanka

On August 5, 2020, a new government was elected in Sri Lanka, bringing down the previous regime associated with the Central Bank bond scam, the Easter Sunday bomb attacks and controversial international agreements.

Firing Up India’s Clean Cooking Fuel Plan

Usage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in rural Indian households has surged, partly due to India’s flagship clean cooking programme, but beneficiaries of the scheme consume less LPG than general customers per year, reports a new study.

What Will It Take to Prioritise Climate Change?

India ranks third in terms of absolute levels of carbon emissions after China and the United States. In a business as usual scenario, by 2030, emission levels are predicted to reach more than 4.4 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (GTCO2) equivalent of greenhouse gas—up from 3 GTCO2 today—overtaking the United States as the second-largest emitting country.

Fueling Pacific Economic Engines with Open Data in Times of Covid-19

Throughout my career, I have always championed the value of open data, especially geospatial and earth observation data for the social, environmental and economic growth that it brings. Access to timely and accurate data is critical to maximizing the efficiency of development programmes and is a critical economic as well as scientific imperative for our region.

Report Shows Sri Lanka has Escalation of Violence During COVID-19 Lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the escalation of violence against women and children in Sri Lanka.

The Battle over Barriers for People with Disabilities

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) at-least 15% of the population globally has some form or other of a disability- considered the world’s largest minority population and one that any of us can join at any point in our lives. It therefore makes so much sense for each one of us to invest towards inclusion, so everyone has the right to live their life to their full potential and contribute meaningfully to society. This article seeks to highlight the updates from the disability world in the past four months, particularly the last month, both globally and in India.

No More Lost Generations: Global Fund Provides Education for Children in Crisis

15-year-old Humaira* sits on the mud floor of her hut in Ukhiya camp, Cox's Bazar, listening as the rain beats down on the tarpaulin roof.

Getting India’s Construction Workers Their Entitlements

Basant Lal Chaudhary migrated from his village of 1,200 people in Madhya Pradesh, to a city of 90,000 people in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016. He last worked as a construction worker, before the COVID-19 lockdown forced him out of employment.“I used to earn a daily wage of INR 350. That was my only source of income,” he shares. During the lockdown, he along with others who worked with him, are finding it difficult to make the ends meet.”I don’t know whether I will be able to find work here anytime soon.”

COVID-19 Sharpens Caste Discrimination in Nepal

Across Nepal, it is the already under-served and vulnerable who have been affected by the prolonged lockdowns. But it is the Dalit returnees from India who have tested positive and their families who face double discrimination.

Crisis Management 101: Treating the Climate Crisis Like a Pandemic

On 23 February 2020, the South Korean government raised the national Crisis Alert Level to the highest tier in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, we have witnessed what our society is capable of when faced with a crisis.

75 Years after the Bomb, Hiroshima Still Chooses ‘Reconciliation and Hope’

In a video message delivered to a Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan on Thursday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has paid tribute to the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which devastated the city in 1945.

Mental Health and COVID-19 in India

To fully realise the mental health crisis that India faces in relation to COVID-19, one has to begin with recognising the very serious situation that existed even before the pandemic.

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