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THAILAND: Could A ‘Cleaner’ Fishing Industry Set New Norms?

Cleaning up atrocious labor practices in Thailand’s commercial fishing industry won’t happen overnight, even as an International Labour Organisation (ILO) report documents both progress and persistent problems. But experts say reforms may well lead to new norms that other countries in Southeast Asia and beyond would be pressed to follow, reports Johanna Son for the Reporting ASEAN series.

 

Q & A: Doing Sex Work Doesn’t Erase One’s Rights

“You don’t lose your human rights because you take a dollar for sex,” Liz Hilton of the Bangkok-based Empower Foundation tells Reporting ASEAN’s Johanna Son in this Q & A. But this has not been easy to push in Southeast Asia, where sex work is illegal in almost all  countries, she explains.

ASEAN’s Double Vision of Migration

Though far from radical, ASEAN’s consensus document on migration means that the regional grouping has to keep the conversation going, although it still sticks to putting skilled professionals and lower-skilled migrants in separate silos. Doing more on migration might make ASEAN closer to its constituency, as it is a bread-and-butter aspect of foreign policy. Johanna Son of Reporting ASEAN tells us more.

What Comes After the Election of Women?

In its 15 years as an independent nation, Timor-Leste has blazed a trail in gender equality and empowerment, especially in putting more women in political positions from the village to the national level. Now, it is time to ask how a robust gender-quota system has delivered its benefits to society, says this article for the 2017 Developing Media Fellowship of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance. Helio Pereira of Times Timor magazine contributed to this piece.

New Rules, New Fears for Myanmar’s Migrants

Myanmar’s migrants, the largest group of migrant workers in Thailand, are no strangers to living with uncertainty. But the latest set of new rules about their registration – there have been several others over the years  – has many nervous about being able to continue to work in this Southeast Asian country. Than Soe Aung of Mon News Agency reports for the 2017 Developing Media fellowship of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

Thailand’s Invisible Gender Law

Thailand passed a Gender Equality Act in 2015, but few people know about it – and this is part of the problem in addressing the discrimination that transgenders face in the country. Neang Sinen of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights looks deeper into this issue for the 2017 Developing Media Fellowship program of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

 

Spotlight on Gender, Access to Information in ASEAN

The Reporting ASEAN program is collaborating with the Southeast Asian Press Alliance by publishing the articles produced by its fellows in its Regional Reporting Fellowship program for 2017, the focus of which is on gender and access to information in the ASEAN region.

Can A Regional Body Like ASEAN Eliminate Violence against Women?

More than seven years after ASEAN member states created the ASEAN Commission for the Protection of the Rights on Women and Children, what impact has it have – or can it have – on countries’ efforts to address gender-based violence within? Amanda Siddharta looks into the issue in this feature for the 2017 Southeast Asian Press Alliance annual fellowship program.

The Missing Numbers

ASEAN’s Commission on the Protection of the Right of Women and Children is supposed to show ASEAN’s commitment to women’s empowerment. Yet it and ASEAN itself lag behind other organizations in presenting, collating gender-disaggregated data.  Reporting ASEAN’s Amanda Siddhartha reports for the 2017 fellowship program of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance.

Q&A: ‘Every Decision Must Be in Line with Gov’t Policy’

As ASEAN’s 50th year celebrations come to an end, what impact has the  ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) had in pushing member states to address violence against women? How much can it do as a regional body when member states tightly guard against anything that can ‘interfere’ with domestic issues, and when ASEAN is bound by its consensus principle? Reporting ASEAN’s Amanda Siddharta has a frank chat with former ACWC head, Lily Purba.

For Gender Justice, Women Journalists Use the Power of the Pen

It wasn’t easy to discuss issues of gender, be it the sexual abuse of women and girls or discrimination in the workplace, but Vietnamese journalists and growing sections of the media have been creating space for this. Tran Thi Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and Television tells us more in this in-depth feature.

When Media is Insensitive

Media have contributed to the campaign to bring child sex abuse cases to the public eye, bring justice to the victims and their families, and increase public awareness of the rights of young people and their families. But some media reportage, of the type that violate children’s rights and expose them and their families to more injustice and prejudice, have also been a problem, Tran Thi Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and Television reports.

How Women Journalists Stay with the Child Sexual Abuse Story

Two Vietnamese women journalists have doggedly focused on looking into child sex abuse issues in Vietnam, helping raise a public outcry over these and pushing authorities and the courts to take action. Tran Thi Thuy Binh of Hanoi Radio and Television tell us how their reportage, which has won awards, are making a difference in society.

 

In Search of A Political Voice Back Home

Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand lament the fact that many of them will be unable to vote in the 2018 national election at home, because the law has no provision for allowing them to cast their vote overseas. Min Pov of the Voice of Democracy tells us more in this article for the 2017 Developing Media Fellowship program of SEAPA.

Building an Alliance Culture in ASEAN

Increasingly, Filipino businesses eyeing expansion are looking in their ASEAN neighborhood for opportunities – especially Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, writing for the Reporting ASEAN programme, tells us more in the third/last of this three-part series.

Exploring One ASEAN

Philippine businesses appear to have high comfort level with working with Vietnamese partners, and are also venturing into areas like Myanmar. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla of the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports in the second of a three-part series with the Reporting ASEAN programme.

More ASEAN Cross-border Partnerships

Filipino CEOs are keen on using the opportunities opened up by ASEAN economic. integration, but choosing to team up with foreign investors in partnerships geared toward the regional market, reports Doris Dumlao-Abadilla of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in the first of a three-part series in partnership with the Reporting ASEAN programme.

ASEAN Likes, But Also Fears, China’s Economic Weight

China is not yet an economic behemoth in ASEAN, given that it’s s more of a trade power than a major foreign investor in the region. But the day may not be so far away when ASEAN countries find China’s clout to be much bigger – and a more potent geopolitical tool in areas like the South China Sea disputes – if they do not diversify their economic ties, writes Johanna Son for the Reporting ASEAN series.

On Summit Eve, ASEAN Means Eviction, Heavy Traffic and Holidays

The Philippines as hosted more than 200 ASEAN-related meetings as ASEAN Chair during the organisation’s 50th anniversary this year. But ASEAN remains a mystery of sorts to many Filipinos, who associate with hosting its meetings with holidays, heavy traffic, and evictions of vendors. Daniel Abunales tells us more in this Reporting ASEAN feature.

 

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