Human rights

Economic, social and cultural rights

Pressing the mute button

The fast-approaching Christmas and New Year celebrations are supposed to ignite a sense of joy among the public, but such enthusiasm has long been curbed by the pandemic crisis that has sunk economies and hopes around the globe. With a feeling of unease in the air ...

WICHIT CHANTANUSORNSIRI, PATHOM SANGWONGWANICH AND SUCHIT LEESA-NGUANSUK

‘I have to do this’: Myanmar garment workers forced into sex work by Covid

When Hla, 19, tried to go back to work seven months ago after having a baby, there were no jobs. Hundreds of garment factories in Myanmar had closed after western fashion brands cancelled orders due to the pandemic, leaving thousands of women jobless. As lockdown gripped Yangon, ...

Lorcan Lovett and Nay Chi Nway

How the pandemic made fintech matter again in Myanmar

Myanmar was considered Asia’s last frontier market, not too long ago – rich in natural resources and investment potential, but only just emerging to the possibilities of digitization. About a decade later, sweeping reforms brought a new era of connectivity, bringing down the cost of smartphones and mobile ...

Joe Devanesan

Land to lose: coronavirus compounds debt crisis in Cambodia

As dark clouds approached her village in northwestern Cambodia one afternoon in July, Set Sreylon prepared for the monsoon that threatened to flood her new family home. While the rains were a concern, the 37-year-old feared a bigger threat to her property – the daily visits ...

Matt Blomberg, Mech Dara

Lao Farm Worker Beaten, Tied Up, in Dispute at Chinese Banana Plantation

A young Lao worker was beaten, shocked and tied up by his employers at a Chinese banana plantation in northwestern Laos in a dispute over working hours, his relatives said. Lou Xiong’s relatives say he was beaten and shocked by Lao and Chinese employers at a ...

RFA's Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

Job losses, pay cuts, force Cambodians into bad debts

In the mid-1970s, when the city crashed and burned in a warped socialist uprising led by Communist Party of Kampuchea leader Pol Pot, untold fear gripped the people. Today, although less menacing, the fear is surreal as Covid-19 does a number on the economy. It has resulted ...

Sangeetha Amarthalingam

Xayaboury earthquake damage estimated at 2 billion kip

Damage to property in Hongsa and Xaysathan districts of Xayaboury province has been estimated at over 2 billion kip after at least 300 families were affected by an earthquake last week. Director of the province’s Labour and Social Welfare Department, Mr Nouphone Xaypanyachith, said two earthquakes ...

Cambodia's micro-loans accused of 'predatory' lending

Two prominent civil society groups in Cambodia have released a report detailing predatory practices by local microfinance institutions (MFIs), including coerced land sales. The joint report, released on Wednesday by human rights group, Licadho, and land rights group, Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), spans 10 communities in four provinces ...

Andrew Nachemson

Facial recognition push in South raises rights concern

Telecom firms under focus for ultimatum to phone users on submission of photos; isoc denies sending registration message Rights defenders raised concerns yesterday over the move to force all |cellphone users in the restive South to submit their pictures for facial-recognition identification. Those who fail to do ...

Buddhism in Southeast Asia: a Catalyst for Civic Exchange

On 13 November, Buddhist leaders from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia met in Vientiane, the capital of Laos,to “strengthen co-operation between the three countries’ Buddhist organizations and promote and develop Lao Buddhism [both] in the region and internationally.” This meeting, attended by over 500 monastics, was called ...

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