Life-threatening Sea Level Rise in Kiribati

A young woman standing in the rain in the village Naviavia, which has just been bought from Fiji by Kiribati to ensure that Kiribati islanders have a place to go when the sea level overcomes their islands. 

The people of Kiribati are under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. Each year, the sea level rises by about half an inch. Though this may not sound like much, it is a big deal considering the islands are only a few feet above sea level, which puts them at risk of flooding and sea swells. 

It is well agreeable that the people of Kiribati account for little to nothing in terms of green house emissions but are forced to face the direct consequences of global warming. And with an average age of 22, Kiribati's future generations are at risk of potentially lethal sea level rise.
A picture of the village chief, Sade Marika, in the village Naviavia, which has just been bought from Fiji by Kiribati to ensure that Kiribati islanders have a place to go when the sea level overcomes their islands. 

The people of Kiribati are under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. Each year, the sea level rises by about half an inch. Though this may not sound like much, it is a big deal considering the islands are only a few feet above sea level, which puts them at risk of flooding and sea swells. 

It is well agreeable that the people of Kiribati account for little to nothing in terms of green house emissions but are forced to face the direct consequences of global warming. And with an average age of 22, Kiribati's future generations are at risk of potentially lethal sea level rise.

Life-threatening Sea Level Rise in Kiribati

The people of Kiribati are under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. Each year, the sea level rises by about half an inch. Though this may not sound like much, it is a big deal considering the islands are only a few feet above sea level, which puts them at risk of flooding and sea swells. It is well agreeable that the people of Kiribati account for little to nothing in terms of green house emissions but are forced to face the direct consequences of global warming. And with an average age of 22, Kiribati's future generations are at risk of potentially lethal sea level rise.

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  • A young boy explains the classwork to the rest of the students at the table on the solar powered floating boat school.

Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has developed solar-powered floating schools which park at the mainland to pick-up students. Each boat-classroom accommodates about 30 -35 students and come equipped with solar panels that power an internet-linked laptop, library and electronic resources, providing basic education for children under grade 5. Metal beams allow for column-free spaces, and the boats have flexible wooden floors, high ceilings and waterproof roofs outfitted with solar panels. These multilayered roofs can withstand heavy monsoon rains. The walls of the boat incline to the exterior that holds the curved roof, giving the boat a sculptural form. Viewed from the riverbank, the community members see the school boat as a ‘river turtle’.A young boy explains the classwork to the rest of the students at the table on the solar powered floating boat school.

Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has developed solar-powered floating schools which park at the mainland to pick-up students. Each boat-classroom accommodates about 30 -35 students and come equipped with solar panels that power an internet-linked laptop, library and electronic resources, providing basic education for children under grade 5. Metal beams allow for column-free spaces, and the boats have flexible wooden floors, high ceilings and waterproof roofs outfitted with solar panels. These multilayered roofs can withstand heavy monsoon rains. The walls of the boat incline to the exterior that holds the curved roof, giving the boat a sculptural form. Viewed from the riverbank, the community members see the school boat as a ‘river turtle’.

    Floating Boat Schools in Bangladesh

    Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha has developed solar-powered floating schools which park at the mainland to pick-up students. Each boat-classroom accommodates about 30 -35 students and come equipped with solar panels that power an internet-linked laptop, library and electronic resources, providing basic education for children under grade 5. Metal beams allow for column-free spaces, and the boats have flexible wooden floors, high ceilings and waterproof roofs outfitted with solar panels. These multilayered roofs can withstand heavy monsoon rains. The walls of the boat incline to the exterior that holds the curved roof, giving the boat a sculptural form. Viewed from the riverbank, the community members see the school boat as a ‘river turtle’.

  • (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Saroj Shrestra cleans a cut wound on a teenage boy's face after he got himself in a gang fight in the city. Many young teenagers in Kathmandu leave their homes to get away from their dysfunctional families. A lot of the kids end up taking drugs to numb the emotional pain, as well as find old food in the garbage to keep themselves alive. Saroj Shrestra used to be one of these kids. When he was 8 years old, he himself was left on the streets of Kathmandu, and at the age of 15, was taken in by an organisation called 'Child Watabaren'; who have helped him catch up with his education and trained him to become a paramedic. He now works with a mobile paramedic clinic team and plans to pursue a degree in Public Health.(EDITORS NOTE: Image contains graphic content.) Saroj Shrestra cleans a cut wound on a teenage boy's face after he got himself in a gang fight in the city. Many young teenagers in Kathmandu leave their homes to get away from their dysfunctional families. A lot of the kids end up taking drugs to numb the emotional pain, as well as find old food in the garbage to keep themselves alive. Saroj Shrestra used to be one of these kids. When he was 8 years old, he himself was left on the streets of Kathmandu, and at the age of 15, was taken in by an organisation called 'Child Watabaren'; who have helped him catch up with his education and trained him to become a paramedic. He now works with a mobile paramedic clinic team and plans to pursue a degree in Public Health.

    A Journey on the Mobile Clinic in Kathmandu

    Many young teenagers in Kathmandu leave their homes to get away from their dysfunctional families. A lot of the kids end up taking drugs to numb the emotional pain, as well as find old food in the garbage to keep themselves alive. Saroj Shrestra used to be one of these kids. When he was 8 years old, he himself was left on the streets of Kathmandu, and at the age of 15, was taken in by an organisation called 'Child Watabaren'; who have helped him catch up with his education and trained him to become a paramedic. He now works with a mobile paramedic clinic team and plans to pursue a degree in Public Health.

  • Illegal migrant workers on a fishing boat in Phuket, Thailand.

Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Thailand. But in the shadow of mass tourism, there is a different reality. Reporters have found serious grievances among migrant workers in hotels used by the tourists. Trafficking and modern slavery are part of everyday life for those who pay the highest price to be smuggled into the country. 

Htoo Aung says that seven other Burmese and he were led by smugglers through the jungle for eight days. They slept in the open air for short periods during the day. Under the cover of darkness, they took a long detour into the thorny terrain to bypass roadblocks controlled by the Tatmadaw, the Burmese junta's feared military force. From Htoo Aungs small village in the state of Mon in one of the world's least developed countries, the group slowly moved southwards. 

“I was terrified. We were passed by a soldier patrol just meters from the bushes where we were hiding. But they did not see us.” Says Htoo Aung

Many of the migrant workers who came over from Myanmar have made it to Thailand illegally. They saw little chance in Burma for a life of proper employment and so many of them made the choice to contact a broker that could help them get across the border illegally to come and work in Thailand as hotel staff or fishermen. Most of these workers had to risk their lives being smuggled through thick terrains of jungle and once they got to Thailand, they were instantly in debt as most don’t have enough to pay the brokers for the smuggle. 

According to a report by the International Labor Organization, migrant workers generate up to the equivalent of almost $15 million per year to the Thai economy. But these figures were recorded in 2007; since then the estimated number of migrant workers in the country has doubled - from 1.8 million to almost 4.Illegal migrant workers on a fishing boat in Phuket, Thailand.

Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Thailand. But in the shadow of mass tourism, there is a different reality. Reporters have found serious grievances among migrant workers in hotels used by the tourists. Trafficking and modern slavery are part of everyday life for those who pay the highest price to be smuggled into the country. 

Htoo Aung says that seven other Burmese and he were led by smugglers through the jungle for eight days. They slept in the open air for short periods during the day. Under the cover of darkness, they took a long detour into the thorny terrain to bypass roadblocks controlled by the Tatmadaw, the Burmese junta's feared military force. From Htoo Aungs small village in the state of Mon in one of the world's least developed countries, the group slowly moved southwards. 

“I was terrified. We were passed by a soldier patrol just meters from the bushes where we were hiding. But they did not see us.” Says Htoo Aung

Many of the migrant workers who came over from Myanmar have made it to Thailand illegally. They saw little chance in Burma for a life of proper employment and so many of them made the choice to contact a broker that could help them get across the border illegally to come and work in Thailand as hotel staff or fishermen. Most of these workers had to risk their lives being smuggled through thick terrains of jungle and once they got to Thailand, they were instantly in debt as most don’t have enough to pay the brokers for the smuggle. 

According to a report by the International Labor Organization, migrant workers generate up to the equivalent of almost $15 million per year to the Thai economy. But these figures were recorded in 2007; since then the estimated number of migrant workers in the country has doubled - from 1.8 million to almost 4.

    Migrant Workers in Phuket

    Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists come to Thailand. But in the shadow of mass tourism, there is a different reality. Reporters have found serious grievances among migrant workers in hotels used by the tourists. Trafficking and modern slavery are part of everyday life for those who pay the highest price to be smuggled into the country. Htoo Aung says that seven other Burmese and he were led by smugglers through the jungle for eight days. They slept in the open air for short periods during the day. Under the cover of darkness, they took a long detour into the thorny terrain to bypass roadblocks controlled by the Tatmadaw, the Burmese junta's feared military force. From Htoo Aungs small village in the state of Mon in one of the world's least developed countries, the group slowly moved southwards. “I was terrified. We were passed by a soldier patrol just meters from the bushes where we were hiding. But they did not see us.” Says Htoo Aung

  • A Muslim man and his son are stopped by military personnel at a roadblock in the vicinity of MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) territory on the second largest and southernmost island of the Philippines.

The war in Mindanao is finally over after the government and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) guerrillas have finally signed a peace settlement. The newly created autonomous Muslim region of Bangsamoro is about to be drawn on the map.A Muslim man and his son are stopped by military personnel at a roadblock in the vicinity of MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) territory on the second largest and southernmost island of the Philippines.

The war in Mindanao is finally over after the government and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) guerrillas have finally signed a peace settlement. The newly created autonomous Muslim region of Bangsamoro is about to be drawn on the map.

    An End to War in Mindanao

    The war in Mindanao is finally over after the government and MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) guerrillas have finally signed a peace settlement. The newly created autonomous Muslim region of Bangsamoro is about to be drawn on the map.

  • En last bil lastar av sten blandat med kol i från gruvorna som arbetare sorterar för hand i en av kolgruvorna i Jharia. Laborers are digging up coal using excavators at the Jharia coal mine.

Jharia in India's eastern Jharkand state is literally in flames. This is due to the open cast coal mining that takes place in the area. For more than 90 years, the Jharian coal mines have been alight with coal mining villages of around seven hundred thousand people settling in. Most of the mining is done with open cast as the price to mine is relatively lower to produce the profits. However, open cast mining does have its disadvantages including the release of toxic chemicals into our atmosphere. 

Everywhere you look, there will be coal to mine. And so villagers in Jharia often go out with their own shovels to mine whatever coal there is in the ground to support their families after selling the coal at the market center. The open pits of coal on the other hand, often catch fire due to careless cigarette bud tipping or due to lightning strikes in the area and will burn for years to come; spewing toxic and hazardous chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere. About 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide gets pumped into the atmosphere  and could even be considered as the 4th most polluting area of India. Life however, is something that most will fight for, and if destroying the environment means feeding their families; workers will continue to run outside with their shovels and dig up all the coal they can find to survive.En last bil lastar av sten blandat med kol i från gruvorna som arbetare sorterar för hand i en av kolgruvorna i Jharia. Laborers are digging up coal using excavators at the Jharia coal mine.

Jharia in India's eastern Jharkand state is literally in flames. This is due to the open cast coal mining that takes place in the area. For more than 90 years, the Jharian coal mines have been alight with coal mining villages of around seven hundred thousand people settling in. Most of the mining is done with open cast as the price to mine is relatively lower to produce the profits. However, open cast mining does have its disadvantages including the release of toxic chemicals into our atmosphere. 

Everywhere you look, there will be coal to mine. And so villagers in Jharia often go out with their own shovels to mine whatever coal there is in the ground to support their families after selling the coal at the market center. The open pits of coal on the other hand, often catch fire due to careless cigarette bud tipping or due to lightning strikes in the area and will burn for years to come; spewing toxic and hazardous chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere. About 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide gets pumped into the atmosphere  and could even be considered as the 4th most polluting area of India. Life however, is something that most will fight for, and if destroying the environment means feeding their families; workers will continue to run outside with their shovels and dig up all the coal they can find to survive.

    Toxic Coal Mines in India

    Jharia in India's eastern Jharkand state is literally in flames. This is due to the open cast coal mining that takes place in the area. For more than 90 years, the Jharian coal mines have been alight with coal mining villages of around seven hundred thousand people settling in. Most of the mining is done with open cast as the price to mine is relatively lower to produce the profits. However, open cast mining does have its disadvantages including the release of toxic chemicals into our atmosphere. Everywhere you look, there will be coal to mine. And so villagers in Jharia often go out with their own shovels to mine whatever coal there is in the ground to support their families after selling the coal at the market center. The open pits of coal on the other hand, often catch fire due to careless cigarette bud tipping or due to lightning strikes in the area and will burn for years to come; spewing toxic and hazardous chemicals into the Earth's atmosphere. About 1.4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide gets pumped into the atmosphere and could even be considered as the 4th most polluting area of India. Life however, is something that most will fight for, and if destroying the environment means feeding their families; workers will continue to run outside with their shovels and dig up all the coal they can find to survive.

  • A worker from a leather tannery wearing cowhide on his head in Dhaka. 

Hazaribagh, meaning "a thousand gardens" is quite the ironic name to be giving a town that is filled with nothing but pollution and toxic waste. Men with bare feet push rickshaws up and down the polluted streets, carrying loads of leather that has been tanned for profit. There is skin on every corner of the narrow alleys as well as hazardous chemicals and oils running through the gutters of the city. Around 90% of the factory workers in Hazaribagh won't live to the age of 50. 

The chemicals that run through the gutters don't only affect the people who work around the factories but the people of Dhaka as a whole. The chemicals flow through the housing districts and right into the Dhaka river. The toxins then proceed down the river and into the rice paddy fields as well as the prawn farms downstream. 

When putting aside the dangerous chemical waste pollution however, the leather industry here is booming. Europe is much in demand for the leathers from the tanneries in Dhaka as they turn for quite a cheap price. Even after considering the consequences of these factories, Bangladesh is desperately in need to feed their poor country as it is and so let these industries boom. 

Inside the factories were sacks of chemicals that were laid in the murky waters of the factory floor. There were cement tanks in all corners of the room as well as piles and piles of leather scattered all around the room which was not much bigger than the average living room in Western Europe. There is very little ventilation in the factories and workers are fully exposed to the toxic chemicals and breathe the dirty air every single day of their work life. A lot of the workforce are in their early 20's with some that are also in their late teenage years.  Unfortunately, there is no other way for them as this is a high growing luxury economy that is well in demand by richer nations on our planet.A worker from a leather tannery wearing cowhide on his head in Dhaka. 

Hazaribagh, meaning "a thousand gardens" is quite the ironic name to be giving a town that is filled with nothing but pollution and toxic waste. Men with bare feet push rickshaws up and down the polluted streets, carrying loads of leather that has been tanned for profit. There is skin on every corner of the narrow alleys as well as hazardous chemicals and oils running through the gutters of the city. Around 90% of the factory workers in Hazaribagh won't live to the age of 50. 

The chemicals that run through the gutters don't only affect the people who work around the factories but the people of Dhaka as a whole. The chemicals flow through the housing districts and right into the Dhaka river. The toxins then proceed down the river and into the rice paddy fields as well as the prawn farms downstream. 

When putting aside the dangerous chemical waste pollution however, the leather industry here is booming. Europe is much in demand for the leathers from the tanneries in Dhaka as they turn for quite a cheap price. Even after considering the consequences of these factories, Bangladesh is desperately in need to feed their poor country as it is and so let these industries boom. 

Inside the factories were sacks of chemicals that were laid in the murky waters of the factory floor. There were cement tanks in all corners of the room as well as piles and piles of leather scattered all around the room which was not much bigger than the average living room in Western Europe. There is very little ventilation in the factories and workers are fully exposed to the toxic chemicals and breathe the dirty air every single day of their work life. A lot of the workforce are in their early 20's with some that are also in their late teenage years.  Unfortunately, there is no other way for them as this is a high growing luxury economy that is well in demand by richer nations on our planet.

    Life on a Leather Tannery in Dhaka

    Hazaribagh ranks as the world's most polluted area in terms of plastic pollution and is home to all the leather waste from Dhaka's leather tanneries where laborers work under dangerous conditions without regulations or protective equipment.

  • Young boys are taught to be professional tailors inside the educational and rehabilitation center called "Bal Ashram", which was created by Kailash Satyarthi who won (along with Pakistani Malala Yousafzai) the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his many years of work against child labor. The center is home to about 70 children. Many come from the poor state of Bihar in the north-eastern part of India. 

The kids are concentrated when the teacher explains the writing exercise. There are no actual classrooms for the children – they just sit on the ground with a temporary roof to protect themselves against the strong sun. In a small village called Bilwadi in the state of Rajasthan, children from Nomadic families at ages between 6 and 14 years are taught mathematics as well as reading and writing in Hindi. Child marriage from the age of about 4 and the caring of family livestock is a common chore for children in rural areas of Rajasthan. The young are trafficked and exposed to different kinds of child labor; a form of modern slavery that is not uncommon in India though forbidden by law. It is difficult to estimate an exact number of children subjected to child labor as many births in India go unregistered however it is agreed at about 50 – 60 million children. It is definitely a fact though that India has the highest amount of child labor.

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) worked since 1980 to combat child labor and have freed about 83,000 children from slave-like conditions and helped to unite them with their families or have helped them in other ways. The BBA have projects in hundreds of Indian villages with Adesh Sharma working as the field coordinator for 16 years who seems to know the most important tools to the organization’s success. However, all is not merry for the BBA’s work. There have been cases of assault and even murder of the organization’s employees. Many factory hotel and restaurant owners who want cheap labor in the form of children have threatened Adesh and his associates. Due to corruption, there have been cases where the local police have gotten involved. Adesh has received many death threats over the phone but still continues to be positive about the prevention of child labor in future. Kailash Satyarthi, the winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize even said that India’s new government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should put more focus on preventing child labor. On the other hand, there are still many problems including the following up on the families whose children have been returned after being sold.Young boys are taught to be professional tailors inside the educational and rehabilitation center called "Bal Ashram", which was created by Kailash Satyarthi who won (along with Pakistani Malala Yousafzai) the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his many years of work against child labor. The center is home to about 70 children. Many come from the poor state of Bihar in the north-eastern part of India. 

The kids are concentrated when the teacher explains the writing exercise. There are no actual classrooms for the children – they just sit on the ground with a temporary roof to protect themselves against the strong sun. In a small village called Bilwadi in the state of Rajasthan, children from Nomadic families at ages between 6 and 14 years are taught mathematics as well as reading and writing in Hindi. Child marriage from the age of about 4 and the caring of family livestock is a common chore for children in rural areas of Rajasthan. The young are trafficked and exposed to different kinds of child labor; a form of modern slavery that is not uncommon in India though forbidden by law. It is difficult to estimate an exact number of children subjected to child labor as many births in India go unregistered however it is agreed at about 50 – 60 million children. It is definitely a fact though that India has the highest amount of child labor.

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) worked since 1980 to combat child labor and have freed about 83,000 children from slave-like conditions and helped to unite them with their families or have helped them in other ways. The BBA have projects in hundreds of Indian villages with Adesh Sharma working as the field coordinator for 16 years who seems to know the most important tools to the organization’s success. However, all is not merry for the BBA’s work. There have been cases of assault and even murder of the organization’s employees. Many factory hotel and restaurant owners who want cheap labor in the form of children have threatened Adesh and his associates. Due to corruption, there have been cases where the local police have gotten involved. Adesh has received many death threats over the phone but still continues to be positive about the prevention of child labor in future. Kailash Satyarthi, the winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize even said that India’s new government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should put more focus on preventing child labor. On the other hand, there are still many problems including the following up on the families whose children have been returned after being sold.

    Combating Child Labor in India

    The kids are concentrated when the teacher explains the writing exercise. There are no actual classrooms for the children – they just sit on the ground with a temporary roof to protect themselves against the strong sun. In a small village called Bilwadi in the state of Rajasthan, children from Nomadic families at ages between 6 and 14 years are taught mathematics as well as reading and writing in Hindi. Child marriage from the age of about 4 and the caring of family livestock is a common chore for children in rural areas of Rajasthan. The young are trafficked and exposed to different kinds of child labor; a form of modern slavery that is not uncommon in India though forbidden by law. It is difficult to estimate an exact number of children subjected to child labor as many births in India go unregistered however it is agreed at about 50 – 60 million children. It is definitely a fact though that India has the highest amount of child labor.

  • A father and his son look out over the sea at the Banda Aceh coastline. It was here that the giant tsunami in 2004 withdrew. 

The tsunami of December 2004 was as deadly as the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki together; but at the same time paved the way for peace in Indonesia. Inspired by Swedish social democracy, Aceh is now trying to build a functional society over the rubble left by the tsunami, however, the trauma left by the wave can still be seen 10 years later in many aspects of life. Many of those who survived the devastation were given compensation in the form of houses and aid from international organisations. However, there are still some families left in the former IDP refugee camps who have settled in permanently due to the promising of aid that never came. The tsunami did however, indirectly bring about peace and a new government as it ended the movement that started in 1976 to free Aceh, called the GAM rebellion against the central government in Jakarta. In the peace negotiations that followed the tsunami, Aceh was given regional autonomy, the first region in Indonesian allowed to set up local political parties and impose local laws. It remains forbidden to hoist GAM’s former flag. Aceh is also believed to be one of the first regions in Indonesia to convert to Islam and have also introduced Sharia law and corporal punishment for multiple offenses.A father and his son look out over the sea at the Banda Aceh coastline. It was here that the giant tsunami in 2004 withdrew. 

The tsunami of December 2004 was as deadly as the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki together; but at the same time paved the way for peace in Indonesia. Inspired by Swedish social democracy, Aceh is now trying to build a functional society over the rubble left by the tsunami, however, the trauma left by the wave can still be seen 10 years later in many aspects of life. Many of those who survived the devastation were given compensation in the form of houses and aid from international organisations. However, there are still some families left in the former IDP refugee camps who have settled in permanently due to the promising of aid that never came. The tsunami did however, indirectly bring about peace and a new government as it ended the movement that started in 1976 to free Aceh, called the GAM rebellion against the central government in Jakarta. In the peace negotiations that followed the tsunami, Aceh was given regional autonomy, the first region in Indonesian allowed to set up local political parties and impose local laws. It remains forbidden to hoist GAM’s former flag. Aceh is also believed to be one of the first regions in Indonesia to convert to Islam and have also introduced Sharia law and corporal punishment for multiple offenses.

    Aceh 10 years after the tsunami

    The tsunami of December 2004 was as deadly as the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki together; but at the same time paved the way for peace in Indonesia. Inspired by Swedish social democracy, Aceh is now trying to build a functional society over the rubble left by the tsunami, however, the trauma left by the wave can still be seen 10 years later in many aspects of life.

  • Mohammad Farkan shows how the traffickers forced him to sit during his captivity in the jungle. 

The Muslim Rohingya ethnic group is traditionally from the state of Arakan in western Burma. After a populist Buddhist party had a majority of supporters, violence erupted in 2012 between Muslims and Buddhists. Hundreds of Muslims were killed and 125,000 were forced into refugee camps. Rohingyas have testified the local police who have actively participated in the violence. The allegations are supported by reports from organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In late March, several organizations have been established to offer aid to Muslims who have been attacked by Buddhist protestors. A few weeks earlier, the Burmese government MSF was forbidden to operate over the state. The reason given was that the organizations offering aid discriminated against Buddhist by prioritizing the behaved Muslims. Before the violence occurred, about one million Rohingya and three million Buddhists lived in Arakan.Mohammad Farkan shows how the traffickers forced him to sit during his captivity in the jungle. 

The Muslim Rohingya ethnic group is traditionally from the state of Arakan in western Burma. After a populist Buddhist party had a majority of supporters, violence erupted in 2012 between Muslims and Buddhists. Hundreds of Muslims were killed and 125,000 were forced into refugee camps. Rohingyas have testified the local police who have actively participated in the violence. The allegations are supported by reports from organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In late March, several organizations have been established to offer aid to Muslims who have been attacked by Buddhist protestors. A few weeks earlier, the Burmese government MSF was forbidden to operate over the state. The reason given was that the organizations offering aid discriminated against Buddhist by prioritizing the behaved Muslims. Before the violence occurred, about one million Rohingya and three million Buddhists lived in Arakan.

    Victims of Human Trafficking

    The Muslim Rohingya ethnic group is traditionally from the state of Arakan in western Burma. After a populist Buddhist party had a majority of supporters, violence erupted in 2012 between Muslims and Buddhists. Hundreds of Muslims were killed and 125,000 were forced into refugee camps. Rohingyas have testified the local police who have actively participated in the violence. The allegations are supported by reports from organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In late March, several organizations have been established to offer aid to Muslims who have been attacked by Buddhist protestors. A few weeks earlier, the Burmese government MSF was forbidden to operate over the state. The reason given was that the organizations offering aid discriminated against Buddhist by prioritizing the behaved Muslims. Before the violence occurred, about one million Rohingya and three million Buddhists lived in Arakan.

  • Doctors have mobilized and show their support  for Prabowo.Doctors have mobilized and show their support  for Prabowo.

    Indonesia's Pre-Election Campaign

  • The pirate Henry Brea and his partner set sail on their 'speed boat' in the dusk of the Straits of Malacca. Many of their attacks were conducted during the night under the cover of darkness. 

585 people were taken hostage, six crew members were killed and 32 more were left injured from pirate attacks in 2012. The reported piracy in 2012 accumulated up to 297 seizures compared to about 439 in 2011. Part of the decline is due to effective combat against Somalian pirates. On a global basis, it is reported that cargo, bulk, container vessels and oil tankers are most at risk from pirate attacks, however, there have been cases targeted against fisherman and fishing boats. 

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow passage of the Indian Ocean located between the island of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The Strait's bordering countries are: Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is around 800 km long at the narrowest parts only 2.5 km wide. Currently the world's busiest waters with approximately 60,000 ships passing per year. The transfers that happen through the Straits account for up to a quarter of total world trade making it of high importance to Germany, Russia and the USA. 

In International Maritime Bureau (IMB) was established in 1981 as a special division within the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for the prevention and monitoring of all types of maritime crime, fraud, smuggling, hijacking and more. As part of the escalation in piracy, the IMB created a special section called the Piracy Reporting Centre in 1992 with headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The organization serves as a direct link between the crew members in distress and crime prevention authorities. Alerts and updates are coordinated and transmitted via satellite to the vessel that is in range of any attacks.The pirate Henry Brea and his partner set sail on their 'speed boat' in the dusk of the Straits of Malacca. Many of their attacks were conducted during the night under the cover of darkness. 

585 people were taken hostage, six crew members were killed and 32 more were left injured from pirate attacks in 2012. The reported piracy in 2012 accumulated up to 297 seizures compared to about 439 in 2011. Part of the decline is due to effective combat against Somalian pirates. On a global basis, it is reported that cargo, bulk, container vessels and oil tankers are most at risk from pirate attacks, however, there have been cases targeted against fisherman and fishing boats. 

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow passage of the Indian Ocean located between the island of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The Strait's bordering countries are: Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is around 800 km long at the narrowest parts only 2.5 km wide. Currently the world's busiest waters with approximately 60,000 ships passing per year. The transfers that happen through the Straits account for up to a quarter of total world trade making it of high importance to Germany, Russia and the USA. 

In International Maritime Bureau (IMB) was established in 1981 as a special division within the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for the prevention and monitoring of all types of maritime crime, fraud, smuggling, hijacking and more. As part of the escalation in piracy, the IMB created a special section called the Piracy Reporting Centre in 1992 with headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The organization serves as a direct link between the crew members in distress and crime prevention authorities. Alerts and updates are coordinated and transmitted via satellite to the vessel that is in range of any attacks.

    Pirates from the Strait of Malacca

    585 people were taken hostage, six crew members were killed and 32 more were left injured from pirate attacks in 2012. The reported piracy in 2012 accumulated up to 297 seizures compared to about 439 in 2011. Part of the decline is due to effective combat against Somalian pirates. On a global basis, it is reported that cargo, bulk, container vessels and oil tankers are most at risk from pirate attacks, however, there have been cases targeted against fisherman and fishing boats.

  • An 8 year old ex-Kamlari (child slave) at a home for the rescued Kamlaris from host families that are unable to return to their real families. 

The Kamaiya/Kamlari issue is a form of slavery where families sell their daughters as child-slaves in exchange for loans. Ongoing issues on these human rights have been battled against for many years. As exorbitant debts were charged, many families were forced into generations slavery to to pay off these debts. It was only till many protests led to its banning in the year 2000 and the banning of Kamlari system in 2006 that saw an end to the ongoing dispute; over the last decade, 12,000 Kamlaris were freed and it is estimated that there are 500-1000 still alive in captivity as the Kamlari system still operates secretly.An 8 year old ex-Kamlari (child slave) at a home for the rescued Kamlaris from host families that are unable to return to their real families. 

The Kamaiya/Kamlari issue is a form of slavery where families sell their daughters as child-slaves in exchange for loans. Ongoing issues on these human rights have been battled against for many years. As exorbitant debts were charged, many families were forced into generations slavery to to pay off these debts. It was only till many protests led to its banning in the year 2000 and the banning of Kamlari system in 2006 that saw an end to the ongoing dispute; over the last decade, 12,000 Kamlaris were freed and it is estimated that there are 500-1000 still alive in captivity as the Kamlari system still operates secretly.

    Modern Slavery in Nepal

    The Kamaiya/Kamlari issue is a form of slavery system where families sell their daughters as child-slaves in exchange for loans. Ongoing issues on these human rights have been battled against for many years. As exorbitant debts were charged, many families were forced into generations slavery to to pay off these debts. It was only till many protests led to its banning in the year 2000 and the banning of Kamlari system in 2006 that saw an end to the ongoing dispute; over the last decade, 12,000 Kamlaris were freed and it is estimated that there are 500-1000 still alive in captivity as the Kamlari system still operates secretly.

  • A foreign challenger lands a flying knee kick to the face of a convict during a boxing match at a Khlong Pai prison; these prison fights allow the opportunity for convicts to reduce their sentences by winning their matches. 

Thai prisoners, many of them hardened by years of incarceration, were pitted against free foreign fighters in both Muay Thai and traditional boxing bouts. Both sides were competing for a little cash, but the Thai prisoners were also fighting for their lives, literally.
Prisoners who win a championship and thereby bring glory to the prison have a realistic shot at having their sentences commuted. The organizer said this goes for any prisoner regardless of the magnitude of their crime, but he was also quick to point out that prisoners are judged from a holistic perspective that incorporates their behavior outside of the ring. That said, it doesn’t diminish the gravity of what’s at stake. - Coconuts BangkokA foreign challenger lands a flying knee kick to the face of a convict during a boxing match at a Khlong Pai prison; these prison fights allow the opportunity for convicts to reduce their sentences by winning their matches. 

Thai prisoners, many of them hardened by years of incarceration, were pitted against free foreign fighters in both Muay Thai and traditional boxing bouts. Both sides were competing for a little cash, but the Thai prisoners were also fighting for their lives, literally.
Prisoners who win a championship and thereby bring glory to the prison have a realistic shot at having their sentences commuted. The organizer said this goes for any prisoner regardless of the magnitude of their crime, but he was also quick to point out that prisoners are judged from a holistic perspective that incorporates their behavior outside of the ring. That said, it doesn’t diminish the gravity of what’s at stake. - Coconuts Bangkok

    Prison Fights in Thailand

    Thai prisoners, many of them hardened by years of incarceration, were pitted against free foreign fighters in both Muay Thai and traditional boxing bouts. Both sides were competing for a little cash, but the Thai prisoners were also fighting for their lives, literally. Prisoners who win a championship and thereby bring glory to the prison have a realistic shot at having their sentences commuted. The organizer said this goes for any prisoner regardless of the magnitude of their crime, but he was also quick to point out that prisoners are judged from a holistic perspective that incorporates their behavior outside of the ring. That said, it doesn’t diminish the gravity of what’s at stake. - Coconuts Bangkok

  • Manda Devi Mishra shows a framed photograph of her son who lost his life to the dangerous working environments of Qatar.

Oil money and migrant workers are exactly what is required to build the infrastructure and stadiums of Qatar as they plan to host the World Cup in 2022. The migrant workers who travel to the Persian Gulf hope to find better jobs and a future for themselves, however, the common case is that they end up working in slave-like conditions on dangerous workplaces – Amnesty wrote in a report. After having the highest GDP per capita, Qatar is going to invest a staggering 775 billion on the stadiums that will hold the World Cup in 2022. This has led to an influx of migrant workers moving to the middle-east for jobs. Nepal alone delivers 1500 people a day to work in the Gulf with the main spot of attention being Qatar. 
There are more than half a million migrant workers in Qatar performing practical work on construction sites with Nepalese people being the largest group as their wage demands are generally lower. Words of high wages and good conditions are often untrue leaving many workers stuck in the middle-east against their will. Many others return home with a large debt - others don’t return home at all. “He was only 35 years old” says Manda Devi Mishra as she buries her face in the palms of her hands. Manda Devi Mishra was notified 10 months after an accident had killed her son Subodha Mishra in his Qatari workplace. Details are still unclear as the employer will not communicate directly with the family. What she has been told is that an accident involving a track backing into him was the cause of death. Manda comes from a village called Bhramapura, a sleepy farming town in the southeastern parts of Nepal. Located in the in the lowlands close to the Indian border, it is one of the poorest places in Nepal. Many migrant workers originate from these locations but what makes Bhramapura special are the brick walls and higher literacy rates than its neighboring villages. These are the results of young pioneers who moved to the Persian Gulf some twenty years ago and brought money home in their pockets; many people have been following in these footsteps ever since.Manda Devi Mishra shows a framed photograph of her son who lost his life to the dangerous working environments of Qatar.

Oil money and migrant workers are exactly what is required to build the infrastructure and stadiums of Qatar as they plan to host the World Cup in 2022. The migrant workers who travel to the Persian Gulf hope to find better jobs and a future for themselves, however, the common case is that they end up working in slave-like conditions on dangerous workplaces – Amnesty wrote in a report. After having the highest GDP per capita, Qatar is going to invest a staggering 775 billion on the stadiums that will hold the World Cup in 2022. This has led to an influx of migrant workers moving to the middle-east for jobs. Nepal alone delivers 1500 people a day to work in the Gulf with the main spot of attention being Qatar. 
There are more than half a million migrant workers in Qatar performing practical work on construction sites with Nepalese people being the largest group as their wage demands are generally lower. Words of high wages and good conditions are often untrue leaving many workers stuck in the middle-east against their will. Many others return home with a large debt - others don’t return home at all. “He was only 35 years old” says Manda Devi Mishra as she buries her face in the palms of her hands. Manda Devi Mishra was notified 10 months after an accident had killed her son Subodha Mishra in his Qatari workplace. Details are still unclear as the employer will not communicate directly with the family. What she has been told is that an accident involving a track backing into him was the cause of death. Manda comes from a village called Bhramapura, a sleepy farming town in the southeastern parts of Nepal. Located in the in the lowlands close to the Indian border, it is one of the poorest places in Nepal. Many migrant workers originate from these locations but what makes Bhramapura special are the brick walls and higher literacy rates than its neighboring villages. These are the results of young pioneers who moved to the Persian Gulf some twenty years ago and brought money home in their pockets; many people have been following in these footsteps ever since.

    Middle-Eastern Migrant Worker Conditions Exposed

    Oil money and migrant workers are exactly what is required to build the infrastructure and stadiums of Qatar as they plan to host the World Cup in 2022. The migrant workers who travel to the Persian Gulf hope to find better jobs and a future for themselves, however, the common case is that they end up working in slave-like conditions on dangerous workplaces – Amnesty wrote in a report. After having the highest GDP per capita, Qatar is going to invest a staggering 775 billion on the stadiums that will hold the World Cup in 2022. This has led to an influx of migrant workers moving to the middle-east for jobs. Nepal alone delivers 1500 people a day to work in the Gulf with the main spot of attention being Qatar.

  • Rather than advertising billboards, North Korea's streets are filled with combat propaganda with texts expressing that "with determination and the right spirit, we can conquer the universe, let's get on with the transition phase to build an economic superpower!".

60 years after the Korean War, it is clear that not much has changed in North Korea. The country still remains under heavy censorship, with only a small portion of the population living the life of what we call "middle class". The people of North Korea are forced into believing that working for the greater good of the state is the formal way of presenting their national determination. The city of Pyongyang is outdated, with only a handful of cars driven by those who are a bit more fortunate. Propaganda rates are high, with many billboards displaying missiles and world domination regimes. North Korea remains a strictly isolated country where people do not have the privileges that we take for granted.Rather than advertising billboards, North Korea's streets are filled with combat propaganda with texts expressing that "with determination and the right spirit, we can conquer the universe, let's get on with the transition phase to build an economic superpower!".

60 years after the Korean War, it is clear that not much has changed in North Korea. The country still remains under heavy censorship, with only a small portion of the population living the life of what we call "middle class". The people of North Korea are forced into believing that working for the greater good of the state is the formal way of presenting their national determination. The city of Pyongyang is outdated, with only a handful of cars driven by those who are a bit more fortunate. Propaganda rates are high, with many billboards displaying missiles and world domination regimes. North Korea remains a strictly isolated country where people do not have the privileges that we take for granted.

    North Korea Today

    “There are no problems in North Korea”. After a group trip to North Korea, it is clear that not much has changed since the Korean War. A small portion of the population belongs to a middle class, but all live under heavy surveillance.

  • A mega freighter being disassembled during the evening by laborers who work on Chittagong beach.

Where do the mega freighters and super tankers of the world go when they are deemed to be taken out of service? Sadly, the answer to this question would be the muddy beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here, workers risk their lives on a daily basis when disassembling the discarded super tankers by hand – bit by bit, metal sheet after metal sheet. The long stretch of coastline is literally covered with ships that are brought in from Singapore. This is the merchant fleet’s cemetery, where 86 000 ton oil tankers sit bow to bow with smaller vessels. They are all in various stages of decay and the smell of burnt metal and gas are heavy in the air. It takes somewhere between half a year and eight months to turn a giant of the sea into a heap of scrap.A mega freighter being disassembled during the evening by laborers who work on Chittagong beach.

Where do the mega freighters and super tankers of the world go when they are deemed to be taken out of service? Sadly, the answer to this question would be the muddy beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here, workers risk their lives on a daily basis when disassembling the discarded super tankers by hand – bit by bit, metal sheet after metal sheet. The long stretch of coastline is literally covered with ships that are brought in from Singapore. This is the merchant fleet’s cemetery, where 86 000 ton oil tankers sit bow to bow with smaller vessels. They are all in various stages of decay and the smell of burnt metal and gas are heavy in the air. It takes somewhere between half a year and eight months to turn a giant of the sea into a heap of scrap.

    The Cemetery of Ships in Bangladesh

    Where do the mega freighters and super tankers of the world go when they are deemed to be taken out of service? Sadly, the answer to this question would be the muddy beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here, workers risk their lives on a daily basis when disassembling the discarded super tankers by hand – bit by bit, metal sheet after metal sheet. The long stretch of coastline is literally covered with ships that are brought in from Singapore. This is the merchant fleet’s cemetery, where 86 000 ton oil tankers sit bow to bow with smaller vessels. They are all in various stages of decay and the smell of burnt metal and gas are heavy in the air. It takes somewhere between half a year and eight months to turn a giant of the sea into a heap of scrap.

  • A so-called "ninja" (named after the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' due to the green shaped tubs that the Mongolians use to manually sieve gold) in the Sharyngol district of Mongolia, is lowered into a small hole about 10 feet deep where he will crawl around the underground passages to mine for gold.

Mongolia today is known for its large deposits of copper, coal, gold and earth elements required to build circuit boards for today's computational technology, buried right under the country's soil. The government not only encourages people to mine for wealth but has also created plans of their own to further develop the country's mining industry and general infrastructure by allowing more privatization in Mongolian companies. In 2012, Mongolia scored the highest percentage mark for rapid growth at a staggering 17% compared to 11% in 2013. However, the general economic situation in Mongolia isn't so stable; with an inflation rate of 10% per year, damages will eventually be done to the country's rapid economic growth. The country is also vulnerable to many natural disasters including desertification as the Gobi desert continues to advance year by year. Overuse of land has also caused a lot of erosion, which leaves Mongolia at risk for future events that will affect the country's economic growth.A so-called "ninja" (named after the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' due to the green shaped tubs that the Mongolians use to manually sieve gold) in the Sharyngol district of Mongolia, is lowered into a small hole about 10 feet deep where he will crawl around the underground passages to mine for gold.

Mongolia today is known for its large deposits of copper, coal, gold and earth elements required to build circuit boards for today's computational technology, buried right under the country's soil. The government not only encourages people to mine for wealth but has also created plans of their own to further develop the country's mining industry and general infrastructure by allowing more privatization in Mongolian companies. In 2012, Mongolia scored the highest percentage mark for rapid growth at a staggering 17% compared to 11% in 2013. However, the general economic situation in Mongolia isn't so stable; with an inflation rate of 10% per year, damages will eventually be done to the country's rapid economic growth. The country is also vulnerable to many natural disasters including desertification as the Gobi desert continues to advance year by year. Overuse of land has also caused a lot of erosion, which leaves Mongolia at risk for future events that will affect the country's economic growth.

    Mongolia's Mining Wealth

    Mongolia today is known for its large deposits of copper, coal, gold and earth elements required to build circuit boards for today's computational technology, buried right under the country's soil. The government not only encourages people to mine for wealth but has also created plans of their own to further develop the country's mining industry and general infrastructure by allowing more privatization in Mongolian companies. In 2012, Mongolia scored the highest percentage mark for rapid growth at a staggering 17% compared to 11% in 2013. However, the general economic situation in Mongolia isn't so stable; with an inflation rate of 10% per year, damages will eventually be done to the country's rapid economic growth. The country is also vulnerable to many natural disasters including desertification as the Gobi desert continues to advance year by year. Overuse of land has also caused a lot of erosion, which leaves Mongolia at risk for future events that will affect the country's economic growth.

  • A Burmese man and woman help each other unload watermelons from a truck at the fruit market in Phuket; they only make up for two of the 1.23 million undocumented migrant workers in Thailand.

Recently, there has been an increasing number of Burmese immigrants moving to Thailand in the hopes of getting better employment. It is estimated that more than two million Burmese people live in Thailand, of which 300,000 live in Phuket. It is unknown how many illegal immigrants there are, however relations between Myanmar and Thailand has strengthened recently, which makes it easier for a Burmese immigrant to acquire a work permit. On the other hand, problems that the Burmese immigrants face include heavy costs on work permits and complicated systems that put many of the immigrants in the hands of agents and human traffickers leaving the immigrant in skyrocketing debt.A Burmese man and woman help each other unload watermelons from a truck at the fruit market in Phuket; they only make up for two of the 1.23 million undocumented migrant workers in Thailand.

Recently, there has been an increasing number of Burmese immigrants moving to Thailand in the hopes of getting better employment. It is estimated that more than two million Burmese people live in Thailand, of which 300,000 live in Phuket. It is unknown how many illegal immigrants there are, however relations between Myanmar and Thailand has strengthened recently, which makes it easier for a Burmese immigrant to acquire a work permit. On the other hand, problems that the Burmese immigrants face include heavy costs on work permits and complicated systems that put many of the immigrants in the hands of agents and human traffickers leaving the immigrant in skyrocketing debt.

    The Migrant Workers of Phuket

    Recently, there has been an increasing number of Burmese immigrants moving to Thailand in the hopes of getting better employment. It is estimated that more than two million Burmese people live in Thailand, of which 300,000 live in Phuket. It is unknown how many illegal immigrants there are, however relations between Myanmar and Thailand has strengthened recently, which makes it easier for a Burmese immigrant to acquire a work permit. On the other hand, problems that the Burmese immigrants face include heavy costs on work permits and complicated systems that put many of the immigrants in the hands of agents and human traffickers leaving the immigrant in skyrocketing debt.

  • Supporters of the NLD party cheer for Aung San Suu Kyi's arrival at the Mandalay airport where she will begin her NLD election campaign of 2012.Supporters of the NLD party cheer for Aung San Suu Kyi's arrival at the Mandalay airport where she will begin her NLD election campaign of 2012.

    Aung San Suu Kyi

    Photographs of Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD election tour in Mandalay 2012.

  • Young Thai girls in bikinis and cosplay uniforms stand outside the brothels of Pattaya city to lure in tourists and customers.

With its reputation as one of the epicenters of Thailand's sex industry, Pattaya represents a unique challenge for the tourist industry. While the city remains a popular destination, drawing throngs of travelers throughout the year, some people are keen to clean up the seaside resort's image and to improve the situation for thousands of sex workers. But with much of the town's erstwhile coastal charm obliterated by high rise buildings and Go Go bars, is it too late for Pattaya to be saved?Young Thai girls in bikinis and cosplay uniforms stand outside the brothels of Pattaya city to lure in tourists and customers.

With its reputation as one of the epicenters of Thailand's sex industry, Pattaya represents a unique challenge for the tourist industry. While the city remains a popular destination, drawing throngs of travelers throughout the year, some people are keen to clean up the seaside resort's image and to improve the situation for thousands of sex workers. But with much of the town's erstwhile coastal charm obliterated by high rise buildings and Go Go bars, is it too late for Pattaya to be saved?

    Pattaya's Dirty Image

    With its reputation as one of the epicenters of Thailand's sex industry, Pattaya represents a unique challenge for the tourist industry. While the city remains a popular destination, drawing throngs of travelers throughout the year, some people are keen to clean up the seaside resort's image and to improve the situation for thousands of sex workers. But with much of the town's erstwhile coastal charm obliterated by high rise buildings and Go Go bars, is it too late for Pattaya to be saved?

  • An elderly man carrying a shovel as he walks away from the scrapyard on the beach where mega ships that are out of service are being disassemble for their metal.

Where do the mega freighters and super tankers of the world go when they are deemed to be taken out of service? Sadly, the answer to this question would be the muddy beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here, workers risk their lives on a daily basis when disassembling the discarded super tankers by hand – bit by bit, metal sheet after metal sheet. The long stretch of coastline is literally covered with ships that are brought in from Singapore. This is the merchant fleet’s cemetery, where 86 000 ton oil tankers sit bow to bow with smaller vessels. They are all in various stages of decay and the smell of burnt metal and gas are heavy in the air. It takes somewhere between half a year and eight months to turn a giant of the sea into a heap of scrap.An elderly man carrying a shovel as he walks away from the scrapyard on the beach where mega ships that are out of service are being disassemble for their metal.

Where do the mega freighters and super tankers of the world go when they are deemed to be taken out of service? Sadly, the answer to this question would be the muddy beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here, workers risk their lives on a daily basis when disassembling the discarded super tankers by hand – bit by bit, metal sheet after metal sheet. The long stretch of coastline is literally covered with ships that are brought in from Singapore. This is the merchant fleet’s cemetery, where 86 000 ton oil tankers sit bow to bow with smaller vessels. They are all in various stages of decay and the smell of burnt metal and gas are heavy in the air. It takes somewhere between half a year and eight months to turn a giant of the sea into a heap of scrap.

    The Shipyards of Chittagong Beach

    Where do the mega freighters and super tankers of the world go when they are deemed to be taken out of service? Sadly, the answer to this question would be the muddy beaches of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Here, workers risk their lives on a daily basis when disassembling the discarded super tankers by hand – bit by bit, metal sheet after metal sheet. The long stretch of coastline is literally covered with ships that are brought in from Singapore. This is the merchant fleet’s cemetery, where 86 000 ton oil tankers sit bow to bow with smaller vessels. They are all in various stages of decay and the smell of burnt metal and gas are heavy in the air. It takes somewhere between half a year and eight months to turn a giant of the sea into a heap of scrap.

  • A clinic in Mumbai called "Surrogacy India"  have rented a room in a ghetto for three surrogate mothers to carry the embryos for the clinic's clients; the three mothers don't recieve much help from the clinic and rely mostly on each other. 

Eggs from Europeans, semen from wealthy Westerners and embryos planted in desperate women's bodies. The Indian baby factories have become a growing multi-billion dollar industry.A clinic in Mumbai called "Surrogacy India"  have rented a room in a ghetto for three surrogate mothers to carry the embryos for the clinic's clients; the three mothers don't recieve much help from the clinic and rely mostly on each other. 

Eggs from Europeans, semen from wealthy Westerners and embryos planted in desperate women's bodies. The Indian baby factories have become a growing multi-billion dollar industry.

    Indian Wombs for Rent

    Eggs from Europeans, semen from wealthy Westerners and embryos planted in desperate women's bodies. The Indian baby factories have become a growing multi-billion dollar industry.

  • First pregnant at 15 - Vanessa now aged 19 has 3 children and one more on its way; through prostitution, she is able to support her children in Cagayan de Oro.  

Abortion in the Philippines is illegal under the constitution and the Catholic Church has opposed attempts to liberalize abortion laws and continues to pit itself against the use of contraceptives. Consequently many women in this impoverished country, especially young women and prostitutes, are pressurized into getting illegal and often dangerous abortions at unlicensed clinics and from ‘backstreet doctors’.First pregnant at 15 - Vanessa now aged 19 has 3 children and one more on its way; through prostitution, she is able to support her children in Cagayan de Oro.  

Abortion in the Philippines is illegal under the constitution and the Catholic Church has opposed attempts to liberalize abortion laws and continues to pit itself against the use of contraceptives. Consequently many women in this impoverished country, especially young women and prostitutes, are pressurized into getting illegal and often dangerous abortions at unlicensed clinics and from ‘backstreet doctors’.

    Teenage pregnancy in the Philippines

    Abortion in the Philippines is illegal under the constitution and the Catholic Church has opposed attempts to liberalize abortion laws and continues to pit itself against the use of contraceptives. Consequently many women in this impoverished country, especially young women and prostitutes, are pressurized into getting illegal and often dangerous abortions at unlicensed clinics and from ‘backstreet doctors’.

  • A Thai monk holds a 100 year old piece of ivory belonging to a local temple in Surin - the ivory will be used for medallion manufacturing.

The desire for ivory is on the rise again in emerging Asian markets. This ever increasing demand for “white gold” is threatening to erase the entire elephant population in Africa. Although Thailand's government likes to be seen to be protecting elephants under the law, especially Thailand’s indigenous pachyderms, critics allege that illegal trading in ivory continues unabated whilst the government turns a blind eye.A Thai monk holds a 100 year old piece of ivory belonging to a local temple in Surin - the ivory will be used for medallion manufacturing.

The desire for ivory is on the rise again in emerging Asian markets. This ever increasing demand for “white gold” is threatening to erase the entire elephant population in Africa. Although Thailand's government likes to be seen to be protecting elephants under the law, especially Thailand’s indigenous pachyderms, critics allege that illegal trading in ivory continues unabated whilst the government turns a blind eye.

    Ivory trade threatens elephants

    The desire for ivory is on the rise again in emerging Asian markets. This ever increasing demand for “white gold” is threatening to erase the entire elephant population in Africa. Although Thailand's government likes to be seen to be protecting elephants under the law, especially Thailand’s indigenous pachyderms, critics allege that illegal trading in ivory continues unabated whilst the government turns a blind eye.

  • 14 year old Shan accounts for the river that runs through Dosan. "In this part of the river, the water is very clean. There are still plenty of fish around and because our eco-system is still intact, there is not too much flooding." "But you have to look out for those crocodiles that roam up to the river banks at times" says Ali. 

A village of green revolution, Dosan produces biofuels such as palm oil in the aim of becoming Indonesia's Green Gold. The global demand for palm oil in recent years has increased which ultimately led to a greater amount of deforestation to provide space for plantations. In the village of Dosan, Sumatra, locals have found methods to increase the production of palm oil whilst preserving the rainforest. Dosan provides a great example of success which may well impact the ways in which other plantations operate.14 year old Shan accounts for the river that runs through Dosan. "In this part of the river, the water is very clean. There are still plenty of fish around and because our eco-system is still intact, there is not too much flooding." "But you have to look out for those crocodiles that roam up to the river banks at times" says Ali. 

A village of green revolution, Dosan produces biofuels such as palm oil in the aim of becoming Indonesia's Green Gold. The global demand for palm oil in recent years has increased which ultimately led to a greater amount of deforestation to provide space for plantations. In the village of Dosan, Sumatra, locals have found methods to increase the production of palm oil whilst preserving the rainforest. Dosan provides a great example of success which may well impact the ways in which other plantations operate.

    Eco-friendly palm oil in Sumatra

    A village of green revolution, Dosan produces biofuels such as palm oil in the aim of becoming Indonesia's Green Gold. The global demand for palm oil in recent years has increased which ultimately led to a greater amount of deforestation to provide space for plantations. In the village of Dosan, Sumatra, locals have found methods to increase the production of palm oil whilst preserving the rainforest. Dosan provides a great example of success which may well impact the ways in which other plantations operate.

  • A Rohingya refugee looks from one of the openings of a tent in the IDP camps.

Sittwe now has over 125,000 people who are isolated after violence on Muslims had flared up against the Rohingya ethic group located in Western Burma. In the shadow of Burma's democratic development is an ongoing humanitarian disaster.

According to the United Nations, the Rohingya are the most persecuted people in the world. They are scattered across countries including Bangladesh, Malaysia with the majority living in Burma.

The violence escalated after three Rohingya men raped and murdered a Buddhist woman leading to the death of 10 muslim men on June 3rd 2012. Two of the men responsible for the victim's murder were sentenced to death whilst the third committed suicide.A Rohingya refugee looks from one of the openings of a tent in the IDP camps.

Sittwe now has over 125,000 people who are isolated after violence on Muslims had flared up against the Rohingya ethic group located in Western Burma. In the shadow of Burma's democratic development is an ongoing humanitarian disaster.

According to the United Nations, the Rohingya are the most persecuted people in the world. They are scattered across countries including Bangladesh, Malaysia with the majority living in Burma.

The violence escalated after three Rohingya men raped and murdered a Buddhist woman leading to the death of 10 muslim men on June 3rd 2012. Two of the men responsible for the victim's murder were sentenced to death whilst the third committed suicide.

    Rohingya refugees in Burma

    The tragic plight of the Rohingyas, described by the UN as one of the planet’s most persecuted peoples, has been all but eclipsed by optimistic coverage of Burma’s democratic reforms. A Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Burma, the Rohingyas have fallen victim to an intense wave of ethnic violence. Their homes and villages either destroyed or unsafe to return to, some 125,000 Rohingya refugees now eke out a desperate living in makeshift camps in Sittwe, Western Burma.

  • Wild Sumatran tigers are often in danger because of human conflict; here at Taman Safari, they have been given a tiger sanctuary.

The Sumatran tiger faces extinction from threats such as poaching, illegal logging and a boom in human population growth in the recent decade. A breeding programme seems to be the only hope for the Sumatran tiger's survival.Wild Sumatran tigers are often in danger because of human conflict; here at Taman Safari, they have been given a tiger sanctuary.

The Sumatran tiger faces extinction from threats such as poaching, illegal logging and a boom in human population growth in the recent decade. A breeding programme seems to be the only hope for the Sumatran tiger's survival.

    The Last of the Sumatran Tigers

    The Sumatran tiger faces extinction from threats such as poaching, illegal logging and a boom in human population growth in the recent decade. A breeding programme seems to be the only hope for the Sumatran tiger's survival.

  • In a Muslim neighborhood, the mosque was the only building that survived after waves of violence led against Muslims by Buddhists have destroyed and left many buildings in ruins during the riots of March 2013 in the last Muslim quarter of the city Mektila. The violence escalated after a brawling at a gold shop.

The waves of anti-muslim violence paralyzes Myanmar and threatens the democratisation of the country. Whilst the historic reforms of president Thein Sein are being praised by the outside world many people are in shock. How is it that Buddhists who are well known for their humanism and pacifism, bear responsibility for the most brutal massacres and persecutions?

In this extensive story we meet Burmese Muslims who struggle for their lives in Bangkok, the
Rohingya IDP-camps of Myanmar's Rakhine state and in the cities of Meiktila and Mandalay. They all bear the same questions - why are they being attacked and killed? What has triggered this primitive hate and violence towards the Muslim community in Myanmar? In our search for answers we also meet the notorious monk Wirathu in Mandalay; founder of the widely criticized anti-Muslim movement Campaign 969.In a Muslim neighborhood, the mosque was the only building that survived after waves of violence led against Muslims by Buddhists have destroyed and left many buildings in ruins during the riots of March 2013 in the last Muslim quarter of the city Mektila. The violence escalated after a brawling at a gold shop.

The waves of anti-muslim violence paralyzes Myanmar and threatens the democratisation of the country. Whilst the historic reforms of president Thein Sein are being praised by the outside world many people are in shock. How is it that Buddhists who are well known for their humanism and pacifism, bear responsibility for the most brutal massacres and persecutions?

In this extensive story we meet Burmese Muslims who struggle for their lives in Bangkok, the
Rohingya IDP-camps of Myanmar's Rakhine state and in the cities of Meiktila and Mandalay. They all bear the same questions - why are they being attacked and killed? What has triggered this primitive hate and violence towards the Muslim community in Myanmar? In our search for answers we also meet the notorious monk Wirathu in Mandalay; founder of the widely criticized anti-Muslim movement Campaign 969.

    Burma Muslims face Buddhist Fury

    Waves of anti-muslim violence paralyzes stirred up by nationalist monks threatens to derail democratic reforms in Myanmar. Whilst the historic reforms of president Thein Sein are being praised by the outside world many people are in shock. How is it that Buddhists who are well known for their humanism and pacifism, bear responsibility for the most brutal massacres and persecutions? In this extensive story we meet Burmese Muslims who struggle for their lives in Bangkok, the Rohingya IDP-camps of Myanmar's Rakhine state and in the cities of Meiktila and Mandalay. They all bear the same questions - why are they being attacked and killed? What has triggered this primitive hate and violence towards the Muslim community in Myanmar? In our search for answers we also meet the notorious monk Wirathu in Mandalay; founder of the widely criticized anti-Muslim movement Campaign 969.

  • Sharat Arora poses in his yoga class at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of  Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.Sharat Arora poses in his yoga class at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharmshala. The center was founded by Sharat Arora who was taught by the master Yogacharya BKS Iyengar (the founder of  Iyengar yoga). Iyengar yoga centers are located around the world and have millions of practitioners. Since 1985, the center in Dharmshala has grown and Sharat Arora, wants to pass on the inspiration to people who come here from all over the world. In Dharmshala visitors can participate in 5-day courses, intensive courses, or teacher training courses between April and November.

    Himalayan Yoga School

    Students come from all over the world to train at the Iyengar Yoga Center in Dharamsala. The school’s founder, Sharat Arora was taught by the master himself, B.K.S. Iyengar who started what is probably the most widely practiced form of yoga in Europe and America. Sharat claims that Dharamsala has a special energy, which is perhaps why the Dalai Lama chose this sleepy town on the foothills of the Himalayas for his residence in exile. The center’s five day courses are intensive, with yogi Sharat shouting, cajoling and exhorting his charges into ever more complicated asanas (yoga positions).

  • A newly built residential area in Naypyidaw. In great secrecy, Burma's ruling military junta started to build a city in the middle of a jungle. In 2005 it was proclaimed the new capital, named Naypyidaw. Thousands of government employees were given three days to move there. Now an empty parliament building awaits the first, in twenty years, parliamentary elections in Burma. Officially, it shall make Burma into a civilian-controlled democracy, but it is considered to be rigged to the military's advantage. The thousands of dissidents that like Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in prison or house arrest, are prohibited from standing for election. In the new capital there is no signs of the military loosening its grip on power.A newly built residential area in Naypyidaw. In great secrecy, Burma's ruling military junta started to build a city in the middle of a jungle. In 2005 it was proclaimed the new capital, named Naypyidaw. Thousands of government employees were given three days to move there. Now an empty parliament building awaits the first, in twenty years, parliamentary elections in Burma. Officially, it shall make Burma into a civilian-controlled democracy, but it is considered to be rigged to the military's advantage. The thousands of dissidents that like Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in prison or house arrest, are prohibited from standing for election. In the new capital there is no signs of the military loosening its grip on power.

    Burma's New Capital

    You have probably never heard of it and you’re even less likely to go there, but Burma’s new administrative capital is actually a place called Naypyidaw. The city is located 320 kilometers north of Burma’s historic capital, Rangoon. With its broad boulevards, gleaming administrative buildings and orderly rows of houses, the new capital looks like sanitized urban utopia. Perhaps more than anything, it is a monument to the delusions and paranoia of Burma’s ruling junta. Military personnel are housed in a restricted zone complete with bunkers and tunnels. Most telling of all, Burma’s generals ordered the construction of a new parliament. But as elections draw near, few dare to hope that the empty building may see open democratic politics any time soon. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Martin Schibbye went inside the secret city.

  • Behind bars. Two Swedes arrested for running a cybersex business, have already been in a Filipino prison for more than a year. If convicted for trafficking women, they face lifetime imprisonment – which in this case can stretch up to 30 years. One was a small time hustler in the porn business, the other a former dancer of the Malmo Opera House. The Philippines is one of the only countries in Southeast Asia where cybersex is not illegal.  They allegedly operated an internet pay-per-view scheme, in which clients from around the world would use credit cards to view women perform sexual acts in small bedrooms in their cybersex “den”. Many of the girls who worked at the cybersex studio had been recruited from various red light districts. Two years later, following a police investigation, they were arrested and found themselves locked up in one of the Philippines’s roughest prisons. Bail has been refused. For the Philippine judiciary, the trial is seen as a chance to counter the country’s reputation as a safe heaven for foreign sex-criminals. But the tough part for the prosecutors is to prove that they were actually trafficking girls and were not just selling cybersex.  The prosecutors have also yet to find, let alone arrest the Philippine organizers.Behind bars. Two Swedes arrested for running a cybersex business, have already been in a Filipino prison for more than a year. If convicted for trafficking women, they face lifetime imprisonment – which in this case can stretch up to 30 years. One was a small time hustler in the porn business, the other a former dancer of the Malmo Opera House. The Philippines is one of the only countries in Southeast Asia where cybersex is not illegal.  They allegedly operated an internet pay-per-view scheme, in which clients from around the world would use credit cards to view women perform sexual acts in small bedrooms in their cybersex “den”. Many of the girls who worked at the cybersex studio had been recruited from various red light districts. Two years later, following a police investigation, they were arrested and found themselves locked up in one of the Philippines’s roughest prisons. Bail has been refused. For the Philippine judiciary, the trial is seen as a chance to counter the country’s reputation as a safe heaven for foreign sex-criminals. But the tough part for the prosecutors is to prove that they were actually trafficking girls and were not just selling cybersex.  The prosecutors have also yet to find, let alone arrest the Philippine organizers.

    Swedes get life for cybersex den

    Appeals court in the Philippines rejects appeal - upholds sentences on two Swedes imprisoned for life on charges of human trafficking after they were found to be operating an illegal cybersex den that exploited minors. In handing down the unusually harsh ruling, the judge said, “disrespect for Filipino women and violations of our laws deserve the strongest condemnations from this court.” The convicts, Bo Stefan Sederholm, 31, and Emil Andreas Solerno, 35, were arrested in 2009 after police rescued 17 girls from a building during a raid in Cagayan de Oro City about 795 kilometers south of the capital Manila. Girls were held in small bedrooms and paid the equivalent of around US$ 350 a month to perform sexual acts in front of webcams connected to a pornographic website operating a pay-per-view system. OnAsia photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Martin Schibbye met with the jailed Swedes and investigated their story. A full text is available.

  • The weekly Periodico was hit the hardest. All five employees were among the victims. "I did not know that all my employees went on that disastrous trip", said Ferdinand Solinap, the editor in chief who now makes the entire magazine himself. "Having to wear myself out with PageMaker at night is hell, but there is nobody else who can do it. The newspaper must continue to come out", he said.The weekly Periodico was hit the hardest. All five employees were among the victims. "I did not know that all my employees went on that disastrous trip", said Ferdinand Solinap, the editor in chief who now makes the entire magazine himself. "Having to wear myself out with PageMaker at night is hell, but there is nobody else who can do it. The newspaper must continue to come out", he said.

    Journalism's Killing Fields

    The trial of the Ampatuan clan has begun in the Philippines where political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. On the front lines of this nation’s struggle for press freedom, many local journalists have found themselves literally in the firing line. Last November, 32 journalists were among 57 people massacred by a local political militia in Ampatuan municipality, Mindanao. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Martin Schibbye visited Ampatuan to find out how local journalists are coping in the aftermath of the massacre.

  • A family portrait of the Bhat family. Karin Bhat is a Swedish women who was searching for the meaning of life and found it. Or at least she found the man in her life who was a Muslim. She changed religions, and moved to a place which most journalists would describe as a war zone. Kashmir is a “trouble spot” which the Indian Government claims to be a hotbed of terrorists. Meet the Swede who belies the stereotypical vision of the Muslim woman under the thumb of her husband in a strict Islamic world. Karin Bhat, 35, (formerly Andersson) lives in a house in Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar with her husband Manzoor, and their two sons Hakim aged five, and Shakil, one.A family portrait of the Bhat family. Karin Bhat is a Swedish women who was searching for the meaning of life and found it. Or at least she found the man in her life who was a Muslim. She changed religions, and moved to a place which most journalists would describe as a war zone. Kashmir is a “trouble spot” which the Indian Government claims to be a hotbed of terrorists. Meet the Swede who belies the stereotypical vision of the Muslim woman under the thumb of her husband in a strict Islamic world. Karin Bhat, 35, (formerly Andersson) lives in a house in Kashmir's summer capital, Srinagar with her husband Manzoor, and their two sons Hakim aged five, and Shakil, one.

    A Swedish Woman Living in a War Zone

    Karin Bhat is no ordinary Swede. She has chosen to defy stereotypes and abandon the tranquility of her homeland. She did so out of love. When Karin, 35, met Manzoor her life changed course; she moved to the northern Indian city of Srinigar to marry him. The transformation was total. Karin, who is blond and blue eyed, changed her name from Andersson to Bhat, converted to Islam and found herself living in a city at the epicenter of a sectarian conflict that regularly flares into bloody confrontation on the streets of this once popular tourist destination. It is here that Karin now raises her two sons Hakim, 5, and Shakil who is just one. Photographer Jonas Gratzer documented Karin’s life in Srinigar. A text by writer John Augustin is also available for this story.

  • One of the female tea pickers holds up tea leaves that will become white tea. The mountains around Darjeeling are naturally gifted with the perfect soil and climate for growing the world's most exclusive tea. Tea leaves, delicately hand picked by Nepalese women at any of the 68 tea plantations, will within 24 hours be heading for a tea store in London, New York or Tokyo. More and more people are opening their eyes to tea as a healthy drink, and in Darjeeling and abroad a new trend is pushing the industry forward. Different varieties of "White" tea have become a hot commodity. In Nathmull's Tea Room this exclusive white tea costs around 125 rupees a cup, approximately one tenth of the 20 Euros that it would cost in a cafe in Europe. One of the female tea pickers holds up tea leaves that will become white tea. The mountains around Darjeeling are naturally gifted with the perfect soil and climate for growing the world's most exclusive tea. Tea leaves, delicately hand picked by Nepalese women at any of the 68 tea plantations, will within 24 hours be heading for a tea store in London, New York or Tokyo. More and more people are opening their eyes to tea as a healthy drink, and in Darjeeling and abroad a new trend is pushing the industry forward. Different varieties of "White" tea have become a hot commodity. In Nathmull's Tea Room this exclusive white tea costs around 125 rupees a cup, approximately one tenth of the 20 Euros that it would cost in a cafe in Europe.

    White Tea - Like White Gold

    Leave out the sugar, honey and milk. Take one teaspoon of Darjeeling’s finest white tea leaves, put them in water heated to 80 degrees for four minutes, pour into a champagne flute, sit back and open all your senses to the finest tea in the world. The mountains around Darjeeling are naturally gifted with the perfect soil and climate for growing the world's most exclusive and often most expensive tea. Delicately hand picked by Nepalese women, within 24 hours the processed tea will be heading for stores in London, New York or Tokyo. Different varieties of "White" tea have become a hot commodity. In Nathmull's Tea Room this exclusive white tea costs around 125 rupees a cup, approximately one tenth of the 20 Euros that it would cost in a cafe in Europe. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer John Augustin went to the source of this blossoming business.

  • A female victim of an acid attack. Her boyfriend doused acid on her out of jealousy. In her hand, it is a picture of her when she was a singer before the tragedy. 

In the recent years, acid attacks become prominent issues in Cambodia. Whether it is a revenge for love or conflict of interest, more perpetrators seem to prefer acid as their choice of weapon. According to the report from Cambodian Acid Survivor Charity or CASC, the number of acid attacks in the first two months of 2010 is almost equal to the total of the previous year. Also, the trait of these incidents seems to change; more men fall as victims. In the path of becoming a key player in Southeast Asia Region, this kind of domestic issue is not at all heathy to Cambodia. A number of campaigns have been raised for tighter laws and harsher punishments for those who commit crimes related to acid. A stricter set of rules in distributing the "liquid" is in the talk. Hopefully once it is in effect, there will be some changes. Only time will tell.A female victim of an acid attack. Her boyfriend doused acid on her out of jealousy. In her hand, it is a picture of her when she was a singer before the tragedy. 

In the recent years, acid attacks become prominent issues in Cambodia. Whether it is a revenge for love or conflict of interest, more perpetrators seem to prefer acid as their choice of weapon. According to the report from Cambodian Acid Survivor Charity or CASC, the number of acid attacks in the first two months of 2010 is almost equal to the total of the previous year. Also, the trait of these incidents seems to change; more men fall as victims. In the path of becoming a key player in Southeast Asia Region, this kind of domestic issue is not at all heathy to Cambodia. A number of campaigns have been raised for tighter laws and harsher punishments for those who commit crimes related to acid. A stricter set of rules in distributing the "liquid" is in the talk. Hopefully once it is in effect, there will be some changes. Only time will tell.

    Acid attacks- Cambodia

    In the recent years, acid attacks have become a prominent issue in Cambodia. Whether they are committed as crimes of the heart or from conflicts of interest, more and more perpetrators seem to prefer acid as their choice of weapon. According to a report by the Cambodian Acid Survivor Charity (or CASC), the number of acid attacks in the first two months of 2010 was almost equal to the total number of attacks in the entire previous year. Also, the trait of these incidents seems to changing; in the past mostly women were attacked; now more men fall as victims. Cambodia is on the path towards becoming a key player in the Southeast Asian region, so this kind of domestic violence is not at all healthy to this impoverished nation. A number of campaigns have been raised for tighter laws and harsher punishments for those who commit crimes related to acid. A stricter set of rules on the laws governing the distributing the "liquid" is being discussed. Hopefully once a new law is in effect, there will be changes. Only time will tell.

  • A male transsexual prostitute selling sex inside a brothel in Mumbai's infamous red light district Kamathipura.  These sex workers service between 20 to 50 customers a day and earn on average 1-2 US Dollars per customer with half going to the brothel owner. The Indian government provides free condoms to brothels, but despite this fact, approximately 50% of the sex workers are HIV positive. Critics and NGO workers claim that the Indian government is hiding the fact that the country is facing an epidemic, and nobody really knows how many people are infected with the virus.A male transsexual prostitute selling sex inside a brothel in Mumbai's infamous red light district Kamathipura.  These sex workers service between 20 to 50 customers a day and earn on average 1-2 US Dollars per customer with half going to the brothel owner. The Indian government provides free condoms to brothels, but despite this fact, approximately 50% of the sex workers are HIV positive. Critics and NGO workers claim that the Indian government is hiding the fact that the country is facing an epidemic, and nobody really knows how many people are infected with the virus.

    AIDS 30 years on in India

    It is now 30 years since the emergence of AIDS, yet the stigma attached to the disease in countries like India remains a major obstacle in the fight to stem the pandemic. Despite official support for the distribution of free condoms and antiretroviral drugs, critics say the Indian government is in denial about the size of the nation’s AIDS problem. Issues relating to sexuality are generally taboo in India, making it difficult to talk openly about one of the main causes of AIDS. Indications on the ground suggest the problem is growing. In Nashik, Maharashra, 18,000 people, some two percent of the city’s million-or-so population, are known to be living with HIV. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Johan Augustin documented the lives of those most at risk and the efforts being made to help the victims.

  • A Gulabi Gang's member is preparing herself for a fight.

The Gulabi gang, or "the pink gang" as in direct translation from Hindi, is a group of women who basically take justice in their own hands. Out of desperation in the government officials' incompetency in dealing with abusive and domestic violence, Sampat Pal Devi forms the Gulabi Gang. Its main purpose is to help promote better living conditions for women around India. After being in operation for more than half a decade, the Gulabi Gang is reported to have more than 20,000 members and has saved thousands of women's lives across the country.A Gulabi Gang's member is preparing herself for a fight.

The Gulabi gang, or "the pink gang" as in direct translation from Hindi, is a group of women who basically take justice in their own hands. Out of desperation in the government officials' incompetency in dealing with abusive and domestic violence, Sampat Pal Devi forms the Gulabi Gang. Its main purpose is to help promote better living conditions for women around India. After being in operation for more than half a decade, the Gulabi Gang is reported to have more than 20,000 members and has saved thousands of women's lives across the country.

    Gulabi Gang

    The Gulabi gang, or "the pink gang" (a direct translation from Hindi), is a group of women who have decided to take justice into their own hands. Out of desperation following government officials' incompetence in dealing with abusive domestic violence, Sampat Pal Devi formed the Gulabi Gang. Its main purpose is to help promote better living conditions for women around India. After being in operation for more than half a decade, the Gulabi Gang is reported to have more than 20,000 members and has saved thousands of women's lives across the country.

  • Phhoung, 36, displays medicine in her home. A few months ago she could not afford medecine to treat HIV/AIDS, she wighted 20 kilos less and was unable to work or take care of her baby. After getting help from NGO workers, she recovered and regained her lost weight. Phhoung, 36, displays medicine in her home. A few months ago she could not afford medecine to treat HIV/AIDS, she wighted 20 kilos less and was unable to work or take care of her baby. After getting help from NGO workers, she recovered and regained her lost weight.

    Cambodia's Invisible Enemy

    Cambodia, one of the poorest nations in Asia, also has one of the most rapidly growing HIV/AIDS epidemics in the region. The HIV epidemic has spread beyond high-risk groups, such as sex workers or injection drug users, to the general population. And a new U.N. study shows that millions of migrants across Southeast Asia are vulnerable to HIV infection as they lack access to AIDS-related services and legal or social protection – not mentioning the growing trade in counterfeit drugs. After years of civil war, Cambodia still has an enemy to fight. But this time, it’s invisible. Photographer Jonas Gratzer reports from the province of Battambang.

  • The 63-year-old Swedish citizen who adopted a child in Cambodia and was sentenced in January 2010 to six and a half years in prison for having sexually abused his adopted son and two other boys. The preliminary investigation revealed that he had previously been convicted in Sweden for child molestation and spent one year in a Swedish prison. Now he has allegedly bribed four Cambodian judges US $11,000 and hopes to soon be a free man. If he goes free, he wants to leave the country, but says he will take responsibility for his adopted son. "It's not his fault what happened, not mine either, but I will not throw him away, he is not a toy, I will ensure that he receives training so that one day we can be together in Thailand." The adopted son now lives with his mother and younger brother in a small room outside the resort of Sihanoukville. The first time the boy met the Swede, he was nine years old. He then received money for his education from the Swede, and they even made several trips abroad together. During the trial, he testified against his 'father' telling the court that he had been sexually abused for years. Today, he has taken back his accusations, "My father has not done anything with me. He was a good father." His 'father' will find out on Friday 13th 2010 whether the bribe he has boasted of having paid will overturn his six and a half year sentence and set him free. His conviction came as a result of investigative work by an NGO, Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) formed in 2003. Cambodia's reputation as being a sex paradise for foreigners along with its lax legal system, has acted as a magnet to pedophiles.The 63-year-old Swedish citizen who adopted a child in Cambodia and was sentenced in January 2010 to six and a half years in prison for having sexually abused his adopted son and two other boys. The preliminary investigation revealed that he had previously been convicted in Sweden for child molestation and spent one year in a Swedish prison. Now he has allegedly bribed four Cambodian judges US $11,000 and hopes to soon be a free man. If he goes free, he wants to leave the country, but says he will take responsibility for his adopted son. "It's not his fault what happened, not mine either, but I will not throw him away, he is not a toy, I will ensure that he receives training so that one day we can be together in Thailand." The adopted son now lives with his mother and younger brother in a small room outside the resort of Sihanoukville. The first time the boy met the Swede, he was nine years old. He then received money for his education from the Swede, and they even made several trips abroad together. During the trial, he testified against his 'father' telling the court that he had been sexually abused for years. Today, he has taken back his accusations, "My father has not done anything with me. He was a good father." His 'father' will find out on Friday 13th 2010 whether the bribe he has boasted of having paid will overturn his six and a half year sentence and set him free. His conviction came as a result of investigative work by an NGO, Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) formed in 2003. Cambodia's reputation as being a sex paradise for foreigners along with its lax legal system, has acted as a magnet to pedophiles.

    Convicted Pedophile in Bribe Scandal

    AUG 13TH - COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCE - SWEDE MUST SERVE TIME. A 63 year-old Swedish man convicted of pedophilia claimed that he had paid US $11,000 to four Cambodian judges to overturn his six and a half year sentence and set him free. In January he was convicted of sexually abusing his adopted Cambodian son over a period of several years. He has also been the subject of other police investigations into alleged pedophilia. The Swede’s original conviction was the result of investigative work by an NGO called Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE). Cambodia’s reputation as a sex paradise for foreigners combined with a weak legal system, have acted as a magnet for pedophiles. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Martin Schibbye broke this pedophilia bribe story.

  • A female soldier of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) swings her leg during the martial arts training in the camp.
A female soldier of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) swings her leg during the martial arts training in the camp.

    Nepal’s Maoist Rebels – An Army in Waiting

    After the Maoists came to power in a landslide election victory in 2006, a peace deal was brokered to integrate the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into the Nepalese army, bringing the erstwhile rebels firmly under government control. That deal now looks in jeopardy. A top UN official recently warned that the peace process has stagnated. Both sides have started recruitment drives. On the government side, the former royal army is said to have brought in over 3,000 new soldiers. Meanwhile the Maoists have quietly been increasing PLA numbers by as much as 10,000. The PLA remains a terrorist entity in the eyes of the US government. OnAsia photographer Jonas Gratzer visited a rebel camp where PLA guns are locked away in United Nations containers to which the local commander says he has the key.

  • Abducted. The last thing she sees of Nepal? A young Nepalese girl crosses the border with two suspected traffickers. Maiti Nepal's security guards questioned her and tried to talk her into staying but could do nothing. Maiti Nepal is an organization fighting the sex trade in Nepal and the trafficking of girls and women into India.Abducted. The last thing she sees of Nepal? A young Nepalese girl crosses the border with two suspected traffickers. Maiti Nepal's security guards questioned her and tried to talk her into staying but could do nothing. Maiti Nepal is an organization fighting the sex trade in Nepal and the trafficking of girls and women into India.

    Human Trafficking Thrives in Nepal

    At dusty border crossing points between Nepal and India, buses, cars and bicycle-taxis are stopped and young girls and women are questioned by women from Maiti Nepal. They work for an NGO set up to prevent the human trafficking of the daughters of Nepal who are destined to become sex-slaves in Indian brothels. Every year some 12,000 women are taken across the border, either sold into slavery or conned with promises of jobs. They join over 200,000 Nepalese already working in India’s red light districts. Last year Maiti Nepal managed to save 1,618 girls who got their childhoods back, but most were smuggled through, destined for a life of misery. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Martin Schibbye followed the footsteps of the human traffickers from the mountains in Nepal to the brothels of India.

  • The Ken Chathas family is the only family left on the vast piece of land that is Boeung Kak lake, their house is the only house still standing after all the others were demoshed by land grabbers. The land used to house hundred of families. Land grabbing has become a serious issue in Cambodia in recent years. Thousands of people get evicted from their homes and receive no compensations. Boeung Kak Lake area, which locates in the heart of the country's capital, Phnom Phen, is affected greatly by the issue. The 90-acres lake is transformed into a small desert, in which it causes more than hundreds of families to abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere, Phnom Phen's slum to name one. However, the issue is not limited only in the city. People in the countryside also suffer from the same issue. A large amount of lands are taken away from farmers by international land development companies in an unfaithful way.The Ken Chathas family is the only family left on the vast piece of land that is Boeung Kak lake, their house is the only house still standing after all the others were demoshed by land grabbers. The land used to house hundred of families. Land grabbing has become a serious issue in Cambodia in recent years. Thousands of people get evicted from their homes and receive no compensations. Boeung Kak Lake area, which locates in the heart of the country's capital, Phnom Phen, is affected greatly by the issue. The 90-acres lake is transformed into a small desert, in which it causes more than hundreds of families to abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere, Phnom Phen's slum to name one. However, the issue is not limited only in the city. People in the countryside also suffer from the same issue. A large amount of lands are taken away from farmers by international land development companies in an unfaithful way.

    Land grabbing in Cambodia

    Land grabbing has become a serious issue in Cambodia in recent years. Thousands of people have been evicted from their homes and have received no compensation. The controversial eviction of communities living around the Boeung Kak Lake area in the heart of the capital, Phnom Penh has resulted in protests and the arrest of activists. The 90 acre lake has been filled and transformed into a small desert, and the proposed land titling project and planned development has caused hundreds of families to abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere, most having to move into already overcrowded and squalid slums around the city. However, the land rights issue is not limited to the capital. Against a backdrop of forced evictions, displacement and landlessness and the granting of corrupt land concessions, impoverished farmers are continually being made landless by international development companies.

  • Kaziranga National Park is one of the last refuges for the single horned rhinoceros which have remained endangered since the early 1900s. At that point there were only around 200 animals left, but concerted effort to protect the species has allowed some repopulation which means that this nature reserve now holds two thirds of the Earths remaining 2500 single horned rhinos. The park is also rich in bird life, elephants, deer, jackals and gaur (Indian bison) and even tigers. However in Kaziranga National Park there is a war going on between poachers who are hunting the extremely endangered single-horned rhinos and the Park Rangers. The poachers who kill the rhinos just for the horn, offer armed resistance when they are caught hunting by the Rangers. The Rangers are “licensed to kill” - literally. Tourists can visit the reserve when accompanied by Park Rangers, but anyone else is considered an illegal or a poacher and is shot on sight. There have been cases of summary executions, poachers caught and made to kneel down and shot in the back of the head. Part of the problem is the poverty of the farmers in the nearby villages who are faced with the threat or encroachment by elephants, tigers rhinos and buffaloes who destroy their crops. They often help or even guide the poachers for small payments. Rangers feel that until the local population is committed to conserving the wildlife the violence and killings will continue.Kaziranga National Park is one of the last refuges for the single horned rhinoceros which have remained endangered since the early 1900s. At that point there were only around 200 animals left, but concerted effort to protect the species has allowed some repopulation which means that this nature reserve now holds two thirds of the Earths remaining 2500 single horned rhinos. The park is also rich in bird life, elephants, deer, jackals and gaur (Indian bison) and even tigers. However in Kaziranga National Park there is a war going on between poachers who are hunting the extremely endangered single-horned rhinos and the Park Rangers. The poachers who kill the rhinos just for the horn, offer armed resistance when they are caught hunting by the Rangers. The Rangers are “licensed to kill” - literally. Tourists can visit the reserve when accompanied by Park Rangers, but anyone else is considered an illegal or a poacher and is shot on sight. There have been cases of summary executions, poachers caught and made to kneel down and shot in the back of the head. Part of the problem is the poverty of the farmers in the nearby villages who are faced with the threat or encroachment by elephants, tigers rhinos and buffaloes who destroy their crops. They often help or even guide the poachers for small payments. Rangers feel that until the local population is committed to conserving the wildlife the violence and killings will continue.

    Rhino War Escalates

    Kaziranga National Park is one of the last refuges for the single horned rhinoceros. Almost extinct in the early 1900s, protection of the species and re-population has increased their numbers to 2,500 with most living in this Indian nature reserve. However there is a war going on between poachers (who kill the rhinos just for the horns) and park rangers. And now the rangers are “licensed to kill” - literally. Tourists can visit the reserve when accompanied by the rangers, but anyone else is considered a poacher and is shot on sight. The problem is compounded by the poverty of the farmers in the nearby villages whose crops are often destroyed by wildlife encroaching on their fields. Rangers feel that until the local population is committed to conserving the wildlife the violence and killings will continue. Photographer Jonas Gratzer and writer Martin Schibbye visited the park and the people whose lives continue to be affected by this conservation war.

  • Afshan 16, is a victim of domestic violence and self-immolation. 

Setting oneself on fire is becoming a more common way of practice among Afghan women, as a way whether to express their oppressions and desperations over domestic violences or to escape from them altogether. Although the Afghan government suggests that the number of incidents has been dropping for the past five years, it remains a significant issue. The nature for this kind of self-immolation is fatal. According to the person who is familiar with the cases, "more than 80% of the victims cannot be saved". While the issue of self-immolation is known to the Afghan society, and the inequality between genders and domestic violences are likely to be blamed for, its true driven factors remain highly debatable.Afshan 16, is a victim of domestic violence and self-immolation. 

Setting oneself on fire is becoming a more common way of practice among Afghan women, as a way whether to express their oppressions and desperations over domestic violences or to escape from them altogether. Although the Afghan government suggests that the number of incidents has been dropping for the past five years, it remains a significant issue. The nature for this kind of self-immolation is fatal. According to the person who is familiar with the cases, "more than 80% of the victims cannot be saved". While the issue of self-immolation is known to the Afghan society, and the inequality between genders and domestic violences are likely to be blamed for, its true driven factors remain highly debatable.

    Self-inflicted Afghanistan

  • "Dont run with your weapon like in the movies, how are you going to fire with one hand", shouts the commander as one of the new recruits to the New Peoples Army (NPA) passes him."Dont run with your weapon like in the movies, how are you going to fire with one hand", shouts the commander as one of the new recruits to the New Peoples Army (NPA) passes him.

    War Without End in the Philippines

    Voters will take to the polls on May 10th 2010 in the Philippines. One of the most pressing issues that the new President will face will be the long term problem that has dogged many of his or her predecessors, a guerrilla war without end. The New Peoples Army (NPA) has waged a ‘protracted people’s war’ for over 40 years in which more than 40,000 have died. Last year President Arroyo declared an "all-out war" to destroy the jungle-based armed wing of the outlawed Communist Party but they continue to resist. With fighting intensifying nationwide Photographer Jonas Gratzer and freelance journalist Martin Schibbye took an inside look at the conflict that history forgot.


 

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