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Child Labour in Our World
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
11 Jun 2015

It may sound like old news to some, but one of the scary realities of our world is that some of the biggest problems facing humanity occur without explosions, protests, or big news headlines. Often, those who suffer the most suffer in silence, far away from the eyes of news cameras and the international community.

Child Labour is one of those problems that passes largely unnoticed. All over the world, across cultural, social, and religious divides, child labour persists. Sometimes it occurs as the simple act of a well-intended parent taking their child to work in the farm fields by their side. Other times, it is malicious factory owners using children as cheap labour in their factory, where they are abused and underpaid.

What makes the issue more complicated is that child labour can occur in front of our eyes, without us noticing. Sometimes understanding child labour is understanding what is not visible to us. It is understanding that a working child is not attending school, that a working child is malnourished, and that a working child is physically and psychologically abused. The difference between a child helping their mother in the family shop and child exploitation could be the simple question of whether or not the child’s work is preventing them from attending school. The line can sometimes be fine and other times glaring.

At Transterra Media, our contributors have documented child labour around the world for years, from the brick factories of Bangladesh, to the garbage piles of Cambodia, and the car repair shops of Syria. Our contributors have shed a small amount of light on a massive issue that the world is still trying to address.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 01
Mae Sai, Thailand
By Stephane Grasso
10 Jun 2015

Child begging at the Thai-Burmese border city or Mae Sai.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 15
Mae Sai, Thailand
By Stephane Grasso
10 Jun 2015

Beggar children taking a break at the Thai-Burmese border of Mae Sai.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 16
Mae Sai, Thailand
By Stephane Grasso
10 Jun 2015

Boys begging through the chain-linked fence separating Burma from Thailand in the thai border city of Mae Sai.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 17
Mae Sai, Thailand
By Stephane Grasso
10 Jun 2015

Burmese children begging at the Thai-Burmese border city of Mae Sai.

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Thai Migration Meeting
Bangkok
By GonzaloAbad
29 May 2015

Mr. Robertson, Deputy Director Asia of Human Right Watch, speak with us about first impressions of "Thailand Migration Meeting" and migration.
Bangkok, 29 May 2015

The Royal Thai Government is organizing the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok. The Special Meeting is an urgent call for the region to comprehensively work together to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration in recent times. 

The meeting will provide a forum to exchange information and views in addressing the unprecedented increase of irregular migration by sea. Senior officials responsibility for the issue from 17 countries in the region most affected by irregular migration by sea are expected to participate in the meeting, namely, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand. In addition, the United States of America and Switzerland will participate as observers. Three international organizations, namely the UNHCR, UNODC, and IOM will also join the event.

The key topics of discussion will include:
1. Finding urgent solutions for the 7,000 irregular migrants estimated to be remaining in the Indian Ocean;
2. Finding long-term solutions to the problem of irregular migration in the Indian Ocean, particularly those related to human trafficking;
3. Addressing the challenges in countries of origin. 


Key objectives of the meeting are:
1. Promote international cooperation in solving the problem, and engage key affected countries of origin, transit, and destination, considering that Thailand is a country of transit;
2. Emphasize the principle of international burden sharing;
3. Engage constructively with countries of origin and in the region.

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Giant Rats Prepare to Demine Cambodia...
Sim Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
26 Apr 2015

Cambodia is still one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world. Over 64,000 landmine and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) casualties have been recorded in Cambodia since 1979. With over 25,000 amputees Cambodia has the highest ratio of mine amputees per capita in the world.

A recent Baseline Survey of 124 districts revealed that 1,914,818 m2 of land surface is contaminated by landmines and ERW. In addition, at least 26 million explosive submunitions were dropped on Cambodia during the Vietnam War, mostly in Eastern and North-Eastern areas bordering the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam. The bombing is estimated to have left between 1.9 million and 5.8 million cluster munitions remnants.

Belgian NGO Apopo, who have been training African giant poached rats in Tanzania, Angolo and Mozambique to detect explosives and tuberculosis, they recently invited me to document their training process as 3 mine detection rat (MDR) handlers drafted from Africa, taught a CMAC demining platoon how to locate landmines and UXO using African giant poached rats. After 6 months training the platoon will be fully operational and demining with the MDR's on one of the most densely mined swathes of land on earth. Cambodia is still one of the most landmine-affected countries in the world. Over 64,000 landmine and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) casualties have been recorded in Cambodia since 1979. With over 25,000 amputees Cambodia has the highest ratio of mine amputees per capita in the world. A recent Baseline Survey of 124 districts revealed that 1,914,818 m2 of land surface is contaminated by landmines and ERW. In addition, at least 26 million explosive submunitions were dropped on Cambodia during the Vietnam War, mostly in Eastern and North-Eastern areas bordering the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam. The bombing is estimated to have left between 1.9 million and 5.8 million cluster munitions remnants.   Belgian NGO Apopo, who have been training African giant poached rats in Tanzania, Angolo and Mozambique to detect explosives and tuberculosis, invited me to document their training process as 3 mine detection rat (MDR) handlers drafted from Africa, taught a CMAC demining platoon how to locate landmines and UXO using African giant poached rats. After 6 months training the platoon will be fully operational and demining with the MDR's on one of the most densely mined swathes of land on earth.

The demining project between CMAC and Apopo will be targeting 6 Northwestern districts close to the infamous “K5 belt”.

The K5 is one of the densest concentrations of mines on the planet and causes a significant proportion of Cambodia’s mine casualties. The K5 runs along the entire 750km length of the Cambodia-Thai border. In partnership with CMAC, land is released (through demining and survey) for casualty reduction, agriculture, resettlement and other infrastructure development (roads, wells, ponds and schools).

The release of land allows poor, rural people access to land which was previously contaminated so that they can now safely grow their rice and other crops to feed their families. In addition Mine Risk Education is delivered in communities aimed at reducing the risk of injury and death from mines and other ERW.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Mine Detecting Rats 09
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

So Malen, 24, has been working clearing land mines and (UXO) unexploded ordnance from Svey Rieng Province, Cambodia for the last five years. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 10
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

One MDR can search up to 200 square meters in 20 minutes; this would take a technician with a metal detector 1-4 days depending on levels of scrap metal contamination. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 11
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

Marcous is a giant African poached mine detection rat. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 12
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

Apopo staff monitor a member of the CMAC demining platoon as he trains with a mine detection rat.(MDR). CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 13
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

The Cambodia Mine/UXO Victim Information System reported at least 64,314 landmine and unexploded ordnance casualties from 1979 to the end of 2013. Of these, 19,684 people were killed and 44,630 injured. Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 14
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

A land owner signs paperwork supplied by CMAC allowing him to safely reclaim his estate after they successfully cleared the area of all forms of explosives and remnants of war. Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 15
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

A land owner walks on his land for the first time since the K5 plan began on the 19th July 1984. In practice the K5 fence / belt consisted of a roughly 700 kilometre long, 500 metre wide stretch of land along the border with Thailand, where anti tank and antipersonnel mines were planted to a density of about 3,000 mines per kilometre of frontage. Moments before he signed paperwork supplied by CMAC allowing him to safely reclaim his estate after they successfully cleared the area of all forms of explosives and remnants of war. Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 16
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

A fragmentation pit in the CMAC camp on a remote mine field in northeastern Cambodia. Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 17
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

Lawrence Kombani forty year old father of three has been training African giant poached rats or MDR's (Mine detection rats) to locate land mines and UXO for the past fifteen years. He has left his family in Tanzania after being transferred on a three month program to Cambodia to teach the CMAC DU4 team handling techniques and prepare them for live munitions. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 18
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
25 Apr 2015

Apopo team manager Lordes discusses the problem of anti tank and anti personnel mines that still kill and maim Cambodia's people on a monthly basis. Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Sum Dany 01
Phnom Penh
By Ana Salvá
20 Apr 2015

Sum Dany is part of a three-woman team developing a first-of-its-kind mobile application to raise awareness and report cases of domestic abuse in Cambodia.

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Sum Dany 02
Phnom Penh
By Ana Salvá
20 Apr 2015

Sum Dany and Phat Sreytouch talk at a conference dedicated to women's rights and social media about their application. The two are part of a three-woman team developing a first-of-its-kind mobile application to raise awareness and report cases of domestic abuse in Cambodia.

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User Testing
Phnom Penh
By Ana Salvá
20 Apr 2015

Phat Sreytouch conducts a user test on an application she and two other women are developing, dedicated to improving the social situation of women in her country.

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Mine Detecting Rats 05
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

Lawrence Kombani, forty year old father of three has been training African giant poached rats or MDR's (Mine detection rats) to locate land mines and UXO for the past fifteen years. He has left his family in Tanzania and moved to Cambodia to teach the CMAC DU4 team handling techniques and prepare them for live munitions. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 06
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

Victoria a African giant poached mine detection rat (MDR), also dubbed a (hero rat) is taken for a walk on her training lead. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 07
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

Apopo team members discuss the dangers of locating and disarming Chinese made AP72 anti personnel land mines that contribute to the estimated four to six million unexploded UXO and mines that still litter the rural landscape throughout Cambodia. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 08
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

CMAC team members learn how to handle mine detection rats. The MDRs sniff out explosive chemicals like TNT in landmines and ignore the scrap metal that metal detectors pick up. This makes them extremely fast landmine detectors. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 01
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

Sean Veana 40 has been a deminer with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre for the past 20 years. When I questioned him regarding his experiences as a mine technician, he told me of 2 colleagues who had recently been injured, one in Kampong Thom Province had lost both his arms, the other man had been left blind when a mine exploded shattering the visor on his protective helmet. Both men received $2000 compensation. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 02
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

Mao Sophea 25 has been working as a deminer in Cambodia with the Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) for the last 5 years, she will soon be a fully operation Mine Detection Rat (MDR) handler and relocated to one of Cambodia's most heavily mined Northwestern districts in Oddar Meanchey Province, close to the infamous “K5 belt”. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 03
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

The Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) estimates that there may be as many as four to six million mines and other pieces of unexploded ordnance in Cambodia. The social consequences of the landmines in Cambodia are extremely serious. A high percentage of the population has been killed by mines, which affects entire families. "ICRC statistics claim that only 25% of mine victims arrive at hospital within 6 hours of being injured with 15% having to travel for more than 3 days before they reach a hospital. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Mine Detecting Rats 04
Siem Reap, Cambodia
By George Nickels
19 Apr 2015

A CMAC team member collects his mine detection rat (MDR) from its cage before going to the minefield. CMAC demining unit 4 headquarters, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

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Animation 04
Tbong Khmum
By Ana Salvá
08 Apr 2015

The mobile app uses simple animations to illustrate situations in the everyday lives of women.

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Animation 01
Tbong Khmum
By Ana Salvá
08 Apr 2015

The mobile app uses simple animations to illustrate situations in the everyday lives of women.

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Animation 02
Tbong Khmum
By Ana Salvá
08 Apr 2015

The mobile app uses simple animations to illustrate situations in the everyday lives of women.

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Animation 03
Tbong Khmum
By Ana Salvá
08 Apr 2015

The mobile app uses simple animations to illustrate situations in the everyday lives of women.

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Children of Migrant Labor in Southeas...
Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Cambodia
By Stephane Grasso
04 Apr 2015

An estimated 214 million persons worldwide are international migrants, along with an estimated 740 million internal migrants. Youth make up a disproportionate share of migrants from developing countries; about one third is between 12 and 25 years old. This includes millions of children under the age of 18. Migrant Children travelling with or with out their family in the South-East Asian region are most vulnerable group risking of child labor and human trafficking. Children attached to migrant worker parents can be found actively working in sectors such as domestic labor, street vending, farming, construction, waste collecting in garbage dumps and begging, often without accompanying adults or family and without safety or protection. Other common forms of child labor found in migrant communities including seafood processing, where children are often found working along side their parents in seafood markets or ship docks where seafood are unloaded, processing plants, and frozen processed food factories.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 11
Paoy Paet, Cambodia
By Stephane Grasso
04 Apr 2015

Girl living in a slum in Paoy Paet, Cambodia, near the Thai border. During the evenings, many children enter the no man's land in between the two checkpoints and beg the passers by.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 12
Paoy Paet, Cambodia
By Stephane Grasso
04 Apr 2015

Young teen working on a construction site in one of Paoy Paet's many slums.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 13
Paoy Paet, Cambodia
By Stephane Grasso
04 Apr 2015

Boy living in a slum in Paoy Paet, Cambodia, near the Thai border. During the evenings, many children enter the no man's land in between the two checkpoints and beg the passers by.

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Child Labor in Southeast Asia 14
Paoy Paet, Cambodia
By Stephane Grasso
04 Apr 2015

Cambodian children begging in the no man's land between the Thai and Cambodian checkpoints of the Paoy Paet border.

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Mobile App Combats Gender Violence in...
Tbong Khmum
By Ana Salvá
31 Mar 2015

Three women have received funding and technological support from the Asia Foundation to develop mobile applications in order to raise awareness of domestic violence in Cambodia and open the door for women who want to report abuses by mobile phone. According to the organization, 93.7% of Cambodians currently have a phone.

Sum Dany’s application is the first under development. "There will be four videos. One will give an explanation of the meaning of violence. Another will explain the risks faced by women and girls. The third will show the laws of violence and victims’ protection that can help them. Finally, the fourth will explain how traditional conduct discriminates against women. Some recommendations will be made. Then there will be a game with questions about gender violence”, she says.

22% of Cambodian women claim to have suffered from physical, sexual or emotional abuse from their husbands. 5% of Cambodian men have participated in at least one gang rape, one of the highest percentages of countries in Asia. Moreover, 38.4% of Cambodian men who committed an act of sexual aggression did not suffer any consequences for doing so.

Some women are discouraged from reporting the facts to the authorities out of fear they will not be believed. They consider going forward to the police a useless means of seeking justice. Worse, it could even worsen the situation by putting them in danger of retaliation, shame and the loss of reputation within their communities.

In cases of rape or abuse, the most common solution is to settle in court or employ the traditional code of conduct taught to girls in school that teaches them to remain silence in view of their husbands’ abuse. “Women in many cases are compensated with money. They are asked to keep quiet or leave home when their husband is angry”, says Dany. This code was removed from school curriculums in 2007 but its influence continues to be taught outside the classroom. 96.2% of Cambodian men and 98.5% of its women still think a woman should obey her husband.

Changing attitudes, whether online or in schools, is one of the basic tasks needed to break the silence imposed by Cambodian society on its women and girls.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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The Courageous Duo Battling to Educat...
Dubai
By Lola García-Ajofrín
27 Mar 2015

“Neither the government of Cambodia nor its families care about blind children”
 
"No – absolutely not." This is what the Cambodian Minister of Education said to Benoit Duchateau-Arminjon in 1993 when he proposed to open the country’s first school for blind children. "If you want, take the money and invest it in normal schools,” he remembers being told.

“No,” other families said to Phalla Neang, a cambodian teacher, when she drove her small motorcycle from house-to-house, asking if there were blind children there. “Some people shut the door in my face,” she recalls. Now she laughs about it. At the time, blindness was considered a curse in Cambodia. But Benoît had promised a blind child, Wanna, that he would go to school. With that promise he convinced Phalla to join his organization, the Krousar Thmey Foundation.

"It was crazy," he admits. "I looked for her and I told her: I know you can help me but I’m only able to pay you $100." And she agreed. Phalla Neang, one of ten finalists under consideration for the “Nobel” of teaching at the 2015 Global Teacher Prize event held in Dubai, became the first teacher of Braille in the history of her country. Wanna, their first student, is now a professor of music.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Cambodian Woman 02
Cambodia
By Ana Salvá
27 Feb 2015

Suy began drinking and beating his wife after the death of his daughter