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Vaccination in Southeast Asia: It’s Complicated

Resignation, frustration mix as Southeast Asians find that their countries are back in lockdowns. But vaccination is underway, covering larger proportions of people in Singapore and Indonesia, than in the Philippines and Thailand.

Developed and Displaced in Southeast Asia

BANGKOK, Jun 30 – Families moved to distant, poorly equipped resettlement areas to make way for railways in the Philippines. Villagers still dealing with the loss of access to livelihood resources decades after dam construction in Thailand. Communities in Indonesia seeing their lands converted to palm oil plantations run by privately held concessions.

For Urban Asylum Seekers, Uncertainty is the Certainty

A permanent state of uncertainty is how life is for asylum seekers and urban refugees in Bangkok and other Southeast Asian cities. Often invisible in the cities they live in, they cannot work legally and do not have papers to stay for long periods of time, even if the process of seeking asylum takes years, reports Johanna Son*.   

ASEAN’s Anti-Trafficking Weapon Has Teeth, But Jury Out On Effectivity

ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) is two years old, but what concrete difference it has made in curbing trafficking remains unclear. It could have teeth as a legally binding convention – but not all ASEAN countries have ratified it as yet. Analysts say the instrument could also be stronger on prevention, reports Amanda Siddharta for the Reporting ASEAN series.

Why Indonesians Haven’t Taken Advantage of ASEAN’s Work-abroad Opportunity

The ASEAN Economic Community is supposed to make it easier for ASEAN nationals to live and work in one another’s countries. But many Indonesians don’t know about the Mutual Recognition Arrangements designed to ease the movement of skilled labor  – or understand them correctly. The result? Fear and misperception, explains Ursula Florene of Rappler Indonesia in her article for the Reporting ASEAN programme.

 

Thais Take to A New Language: Bahasa Indonesia

Indonesian has become a popular language to learn among Thais. This is a gateway to deepening intra-ASEAN linkages, a key building block for the socio-cultural pillar of the ASEAN Community. Sathapat Phaethong (@Sathapat_P) of ‘Sawasdee ASEAN’ programme reports from Bangkok and Jakarta in this TV report for the ‘Reporting ASEAN 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.

INDONESIA: Controls on Agricultural Imports Protect Whom?

Indonesia controls – through reference pricing – the imports of products like shallots. It’s meant to protect local producers, but there often isn’t enough supply and consumers find the prices of this basic kitchen spice high. What’s the balance between a barrier to trade and a protection tool for domestic interests? Kanis Dursin reports for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.

THAILAND: Unified Halal Standard Still A Big Issue in ASEAN

Thailand is a major exporter of halal products, but hasn’t found it easy to export to Indonesia, home to the biggest Muslim population and thus the biggest consumer base for halal products. Thai officials propose that ASEAN pushes for a unified halal standard, but this does not seem likely anytime soon,  explains Sathapat Phaethong (@Sathapat_P) of ‘Sawasdee ASEAN’ in this video report for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.

Business Tries to Cut Through the Haze

As this year’s haze episode affects Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand, businesses are trying to look beyond governments to address this recurring problem – by using market and consumer tools. Candida Ng reports.

 

 

Illegal Fishing Costs Indonesia 3 Billion Dollars A Year

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, loses some 30 trillion rupiah (slightly over 3 billion U.S. dollars) a year because of illegal fishers, most of whom are from South-east Asian countries. How is Indonesia coping, and what is ASEAN’s role in solving the problem of illegal fishing? This set of four stories by Heriyanto looks into these issues.

Rich in Fisheries, But Fisherfolk Remain Poor

SUNGAI KAKAP, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Morning, approximately three o’clock. Dozens of boats are docked at Sungai Kakap, Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan province. The dock is beginning to buzz with activity. A boat is unloading its catch. One by one, large fish are removed from the storage in the vessel’s hull and hauled into a shed close to the boat.

Vietnamese Boat, Indonesian Flag

SUNGAI RENGAS, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – On the dock of the Pontianak Monitoring Station of the Marine Resources and Fisheries (PSDKP) here on Kapuas River in Kubu Raya District sits yet another illegal fishing vessel that Indonesian authorities had caught and confiscated recently.

Interaction in ASEAN Should Not Just Focus On Liberalisation Alone

BANGKOK, Oct 16 (Bangkok Post) – Further integration and economic growth in Asean should not focus on liberalisation alone, but also take into account inclusivity and poverty, two issues that need more attention across the region, said Indonesian Finance Minister Mahendra Siregar.

Rapid Dev’t Eating Up Food Security

TOKYO, Oct 12 (TerraViva) – Call it a flipside of South-east Asia’s robust economic growth: Its economies are churning out healthy growth rates, but this rapid development is also eating into its food security.

‘Flawed’ Human Rights Document Would Hurt ASEAN – Activists

In this Sep.26 open letter, human rights activists argue that “serious flaws” in the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, set to be adopted by ASEAN later in the year, must be addressed. If not, they say, the declaration would “not bode well for the reputation and credibility” of the ASEAN human rights mechanism.

What ‘Public Morality’? Women’s Groups Ask

In this July 2012 statement, the South-east Asia Women’s Caucus on ASEAN argues that the phrase ‘public morality’ has no place in the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration because it can too easily be used to violate the rights of women and girls.

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