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“Hell is real for the Rohingyas in Thailand”

BANGKOK, 28 February 2014 (IRIN) - Abdul Kalam, 53, a Rohingya from Myanmar’s western Rakhine State, arrived in Thailand more than 30 years ago, after escaping forced labour in his home village of Nalywah. “I know I am not safe here. I worry a lot about it. I have seen too many people die in detention or in human trafficking camps,” said Kalam. full report

Stepping up the fight against drug-resistant malaria in SE Asia

PHNOM PENH, 20 February 2014 (IRIN) - Efforts are being scaled up to stem a further spread of drug-resistant malaria in Southeast Asia. “The emergence of resistance… threatens worldwide malaria control and treatment since there is no alternative to this drug if its efficacy decreases further and the resistance spreads outside the region,” wrote the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which is providing some US$150 million for malaria prevention and elimination programmes in the Greater Mekong sub-region within the next two years. full report

Connectivity and emerging infectious diseases in Southeast Asia

BANGKOK, 3 February 2014 (IRIN) - Experts sometimes describe Southeast Asia as a “hotspot” for emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) because several major outbreaks have started in this region. Now, with unprecedented levels of connection between animals and people through urbanization, and of people with other people through increased air travel, scientists say the threat level for new diseases is high. full report

Rethinking Thailand’s war on methamphetamines

BANGKOK, 13 January 2014 (IRIN) - Despite an aggressive crackdown on drugs, Thailand’s fight against methamphetamines is failing, activists say. With supply and demand rising, these highly addictive substances, commonly known as “meth”, are now the drug of choice. full report

Life-saving hepatitis C drug approved, but cost is high

New York, 23 December 2013 (IRIN) - Following approvals in the US and Europe this month of a new drug to treat hepatitis C, activists are pushing for the medication to be made available in poor countries. full report

Summit spotlights Asia’s food and nutrition security

BANGKOK, 25 November 2013 (IRIN) - Representatives of the UN, governments, NGOs and private sector farming are expected to gather in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26 November for a two-day forum on how to fill the Asia-Pacific’s growing food demands and nutrition gaps in a region more devastated by natural disasters than any other worldwide. full report

When rebels retire in Indonesia

ACEH/JIJIEM, 7 October 2013 (IRIN) - Joining a rebellion is not a typical career move. Yet up to 26,000 people in Indonesia spent years working for a separatist rebellion that lasted nearly 30 years in northern Sumatra. Children followed their parents into battlefields and war rooms. Sons went abroad for training. Upon leaving the force, a number received payment. But any similarities with gainful employment end there. full report

Analysis: How to tackle slavery in Asia

BANGKOK, 25 September 2013 (IRIN) - There was a time when slavery was synonymous with shackles, whips, cramped ships and white plantation owners. Today the face of bonded labour and forced migration around the world is a lot more disparate. In Asia, it could be the teenage bride from Myanmar, smuggled across the border by a Chinese wedding broker; the 29-year-old Cambodian whose passport was confiscated and is forced to work on a Thai fishing boat; or a 10-year-old Bangladeshi boy born into bonded labour . full report

Analysis: In search of less a deadly syringe

HANOI, 12 September 2013 (IRIN) - To someone who has never injected illicit drugs, all syringes may look similar, but recent research out of the US shows differences in design can be “dramatic” and may slow the spread of HIV infections. full report

Massive groundwater pumping in Asia may poison millions - study

HANOI, 12 September 2013 (IRIN) - Millions of people in South and Southeast Asia may be at risk of arsenic poisoning as massive pumping of groundwater pushes tainted water closer to uncontaminated aquifers, scientists warned in a new study published in the journal Nature. full report

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