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Human Rights

 

Ending Supply-Chain Slavery: Is Asia Ready?

February 27, 2019

Blog Post

More than 40 million people are victims of modern-day slavery. Two-thirds of them are in Asia, and most of them toil in industries deeply embedded in global supply chains. But a growing international movement is calling businesses to account for human rights, and supply-chain transparency is the new frontline in this ongoing battle. Supply-chain sl… Read more

 

Nepal Human Rights: Too Many Cooks?

October 24, 2018

Blog Post

How many national human rights institutions (NHRIs) does it take to protect human rights? Are the rights of disparate groups better protected by multiple, specialized agencies, or is a single institution with a broad mandate more efficient and effective? The framers of Nepal’s 2015 Constitution opted overwhelmingly for multiple, specialized NHRIs…. Read more

 

Tackling the Backlog in Pakistan’s Courts

August 29, 2018

Blog Post

In his old age, a longstanding property dispute became the bane of Abdul Hamid Khan’s existence. The father of four sons and three daughters in Punjab’s Rahimyar district, Khan had been left, like Shakespeare’s King Lear, without a roof over his head. It was a dispute over land inheritance. In 2010, Khan transferred all his property, some 16 acres,… Read more

 

Forced Labor and Child Trafficking in India’s Garment Sector

September 20, 2017

Blog Post

The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that 168 million children worldwide are considered child laborers. This means that almost 11 percent of the world’s children are working, which interferes with their ability to get an education, and jeopardizes their safety and their ability to experience childhood. The largest number of laborers… Read more

Pakistan law firm 

Alternative Dispute Resolution: A Paradigm Shift in Pakistan’s Justice System?

July 26, 2017

Blog Post

According to the World Justice Project’s latest Rule of Law Index, Pakistan ranks near the bottom in its ability to ensure protection of fundamental rights and advancing civil and criminal justice. Beyond the impact that this has on citizens, the challenges facing Pakistan’s justice system also impede economic development and drive inequality. Now… Read more

 

Can a New Law Help Timor-Leste’s Land Rights Crisis?

January 18, 2017

Blog Post

Voters in Timor-Leste will head to the polls twice this year—for presidential elections in March and parliamentary elections in July—in what will be the first such elections to be held since the UN Mission departed in 2012. The next government will be faced with dwindling oil reserves and the urgent need to switch from a petroleum fund-based econom… Read more

 

India’s New Anti-Human Trafficking Law: What You Need to Know  

June 8, 2016

Blog Post

Human trafficking in India has reached a crisis level. A prominent headline in The Hindu last week declared ”An unsavory fact: India tops global slavery index.” A U.S. State Department report estimates that up to 65 million people were trafficked into forced labor, both into and within India. More recently, research reveals that India has the highe… Read more

 

New App Provides Nepali Migrant Workers with Safe Migration Information

May 25, 2016

Blog Post

At Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan Airport, young men and women snake through the international terminal, waiting their turn to begin what could be the world’s longest commute to work. More than 1,500 people depart the country in this way every day, mostly bound for temporary jobs as construction workers, domestic servants, or low- and medium-skill laborers… Read more

 

Philippines Marks First Disability-Inclusive Elections

May 25, 2016

Blog Post

The May 9 Philippine election not only set a new record for voter turnout, it also marked the first time that Republic Act 10366 – which mandates that polling stations be fully accessible for people with disabilities (PWDs) – was implemented in full. In his speech during the proclamation of senators-elect, the Philippine Commission on Elections (CO… Read more

 

A Conversation with Writer and Activist Ma Thida on Post-Election Myanmar

March 23, 2016

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation recently hosted a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., focused on changes underway in post-election Myanmar, which included the Foundation’s country representative in Myanmar, Kim Ninh, along with Ma Thida, noted human rights activist, surgeon, and writer.

 

Where Are India’s Working Women?

March 9, 2016

Blog Post

India is one of the youngest countries in the world, with a significant segment of its 1.2 billion population in the age group of 20-35. By 2020, it is estimated that the average age in the country will be 29. For an economy that is growing at an annual rate of 7 percent…

 

Asia’s Biggest Issues in 2016? Experts Weigh In

January 6, 2016

Blog Post

In the last year, Asia experienced both highs and lows: historic elections in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, devastating earthquakes in South Asia, booming growth in India and slumping economies in China and Mongolia, anti-government protests in Malaysia, South Korea, and beyond, aging populations juxtaposed with unprecedented youth bulges…

 

Local Pathways to Disability-Inclusive Governance in Indonesia

December 16, 2015

Blog Post

“Nothing About Us Without Us” has become a familiar slogan used by the international disability movement and relies on the principle of full participation for all. However, in Indonesia, where people with disabilities (PWDs) still face enormous barriers…

 

Signs of Hope for Pakistan’s Religious Minorities

December 9, 2015

Blog Post

The last few years have seen some of the most brutal attacks against Pakistan’s religious minority communities, estimated to make up approximately 3-5 percent of the total population of over 190 million.

 

New Study Reveals Patterns of Violence Against Women in Timor-Leste

December 9, 2015

Blog Post

Asia’s newest country, Timor-Leste, boasts one of the highest rates of female parliamentarians in the region and has made a number of important legislative advances in recent years on domestic violence.

 

Social Media Ignites Disability Movement in Indonesia

December 9, 2015

Blog Post

In Indonesia, stigma around people with disabilities often comes from those closest to them. In many cases, families hide away their disabled family members, communities shun them, and government services and policies…

 

Leading Disability Advocate Examines Draft Disability Law in Indonesia

December 2, 2015

Blog Post

Like many countries, Indonesia is accelerating efforts to implement its commitment as a 2011 signatory to the International Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), particularly as the newly minted 2030 Sustainable Development Goals…

 

Registration Symbolizes First Step in Integrating MILF in Philippines Electoral Process

March 11, 2015

Blog Post

It was an admirable effort. On March 7, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), understaffed with just four commissioners left after the retirement of Chairman Sixto Brillantes, held a symbolic special satellite voter registration of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members and their families….

 

Watch: Securing Property Rights in the Philippines

February 11, 2015

Blog Post

Over 12 million families in the Philippines do not own the rights to their own homes, and without legal ownership, homeowners cannot secure a loan or hand down a property to their children. “The issue of property rights is central to both economic development and political development…

 

Cambodia Steps up as Regional Role Model for Preventing Violence Against Women

February 4, 2015

Blog Post

Propelled by the leadership of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Cambodia is emerging as a regional, if not global, role model for advocating prevention of violence against women. Today, major gender-responsive policies are being produced, including the 2nd National Action Plan to Prevent Violence against Women…

 

Reversing the Legacy of Injustice in Thailand’s Conflict-Ravaged South

January 21, 2015

Blog Post

In the book, Voices of Hope: Stories of Women in Peace Process, Kamnung Chamnankij, whose husband and son had been charged in 2007 with the possession of chemicals associated with explosive devices and were subsequently arrested, recalled: “I had to sell my house, my only two cows, my husband’s fishing boat…

 

Editor’s Picks: 2014 Must Reads

December 23, 2014

Blog Post

Season’s Greetings! On behalf of In Asia’s editorial board and bloggers, we thank you for your engagement and continued readership throughout the year. We’ll be taking a short break, but will return on January 7. In the meantime, catch up on our must-read pieces and highlights on the most pressing events and issues in Asia throughout 2014.

 

Human Rights and Mongolia’s Small-Scale Mining Sector

October 29, 2014

Blog Post

Since the collapse of the socialist regime in 1990, Mongolia’s economic development has been dependent on an expanding formal and informal mining sector that for many years had little regard for the environment.

 

What Do Increasing Attacks Against Soft Targets in Thailand’s South Signal?

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

Following the first-round meeting in February 2013 between the Thai Government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) rebel group that marked the start of surprise peace talks, insurgents have primarily targeted hard targets such as military and police personnel. However, following the breakdown of talks in July 2013…

 

Minorities within the Minority: Indigenous Communities in the Bangsamoro

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

In March this year, a major milestone passed in the 40-year effort to end hostilities in the Philippines between the national government and Muslim separatist fronts. The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a Comprehensive…

 

The Struggle Against Religious Conflict in Pakistan

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

On the third day of Eid-ul Fitar last week, two Hindu trader brothers from district Umerkot in Sindh Province were murdered in front of their home. An Ahmadi doctor was murdered in Chiniot in May 2014 while a Hazara Shia community in Quetta was attacked and two brothers were murdered by Lashakr-e-Jhangvi on Eid-ul Fitar in July 2014. The killing of Rashid Rehman…

 

Human Rights Protection in Modern Cambodia: Building on Unstable Grounds

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

On January 3, ongoing street protests by garment workers in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, turned violent. Government troops opened fire into a crowd of civilians, killing four and leaving one person missing. A total of 23 civilians were arrested and 21 are still detained without bail.

 

Obama’s Asia Trip to Test Rebalancing Policy

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

This week President Obama travels to four Asian countries – Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In many respects, the president’s visit is to make up for his absence last October in Brunei and Indonesia to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting because of the U.S. government shutdown.

 

Philippines Mobilizes for a Disability-Inclusive 2016 Presidential Election

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

In his 4th State of the Nation Address in June 2013, Philippine President Aquino praised a 30-year-old Makati resident Nino Aguirre who has no legs, but had laboriously climbed four floors to reach his polling station and cast his vote in the May 2013 midterm elections. While Mr. Aguirre’s feat demonstrated laudable…

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Access to Justice & Human Rights

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

Weak legal institutions and poorly functioning systems of justice pose challenges to citizens throughout Asia in resolving disputes, enforcing their rights, and accessing benefits to which they are legally entitled. This photo blog examines issues of access to justice and human rights through the lens of three countries

 

Prejudice at the Polling Booth: Disabled Indonesians Face Barriers in Voting

April 9, 2014

Blog Post

Millions of Indonesians voted in legislative elections on Wednesday, their ink-stained fingers marking another important moment in the consolidation of Indonesian democracy. Sixteen years after the fall of the Suharto regime, elections are largely considered free and fair…

 

A Conversation with Nepali Journalist, Women’s Rights Advocate Jaya Luintel

March 5, 2014

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Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, In Asia editor Alma Freeman interviewed Nepali radio journalist and women’s rights advocate, Jaya Luintel, on women’s changing role in politics and society in Nepal, the country’s wide gender gap, and hopes of democratic momentum.

 

Legislating Against Witchcraft Accusations in Nepal

August 8, 2012

Blog Post

In Nepal’s Chitwan District, a 40-year-old widow and mother of two was

 

Overcoming Disability Challenges in the Philippines

October 26, 2011

Blog Post

Francia came to Tala Leprosarium from her hometown of Camarines Sur in Bicol region as a leprosy patient when she was 17 years old. Before she contracted leprosy, she had worked as a domestic helper. When I met Francia at Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, a former leprosarium and grantee of The Asia Foundation’s…

 

Gender and Conflict in Mindanao

October 19, 2011

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Newsweek/The Daily Beast, in its September 18 issue, ranked the Philippines as the “best place in Asia for women.” The Philippines ranked 17th worldwide, among 165 countries, the only Asian country to make the top 20. Data across five categories – justice, health, education, economics, and politics – were analyzed…

 

Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines: Is the Situation Really Improving?

October 12, 2011

Blog Post

A robbery suspect lies naked and writhing on the cement floor of a Manila police precinct with his genitals bound while a plainclothes policeman pulls a rope and whips him. All the while a uniformed officer stood by and watched. The torture was recorded on video via a mobile phone and was leaked to the internet and aired…

 

Social Media in the Philippines is Widespread, but what is its Impact?

October 12, 2011

Blog Post

The Philippines long had a terrible reputation for telecommunications, with Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew famously saying that in 1992, 99 percent of the population in the Philippines was waiting for a phone and 1 percent was waiting for a dial tone. However, beginning with the administration of Fidel Ramos (1992-1998) and followed by President Estrada (1998-2001), the telecoms industry was liberalized, and phone ownership skyrocketed.