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Warscapes: Yemeni Drone Victims Still Waiting for Accountability

On August 29, 2012, in Yemen’s eastern Hadhramaut province, a U.S. drone struck the village of Khashamir.

The strike allegedly killed Waleed bin Ali Jaber, a 26-year-old policeman, and his brother-in-law Salem, a 43-year-old religious leader who delivered a sermon against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) the Friday before his death.

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VICE Munchies: Inside Burma’s First Kentucky Fried Chicken

“KFC is no good,” says a wiry Burmese teenager inside a shared taxi from a Aung Mingalar bus station to downtown Yangon.

“What about McDonald’s?” I ask as the taxi shuttles past roadside noodle shops.

The young man shakes his head silently, admitting that he’s never heard of McDonald’s.

This is no surprise, as Burma is one of the few countries where McDonald’s has yet to enter.

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Setting Female Refugees On The Path To A Better Life

BOGOR, Indonesia — Here in Indonesia’s hillside community of Bogor, back-dropped by Mount Salak and an hour’s drive from the capital Jakarta, a small group of Indonesia’s 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers are stranded in a transit limbo. Most hail from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq.

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GOOD: Reducing Myanmar’s Child Workforce, One Lesson at a Time

HLEGU, Myanmar — Young Myant Min Myint was bent on the ground, watching electrical wires shake with incandescent sparks. Next to him, his father worked deliberately, twisting electrical wires from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. While other children in rural Myanmar attended school, Myant would assist his electrician father around the district. At 12 years of age, Myant was performing menial tasks in exchange for 5,000 kyat (almost $4) per day.

One day, Myant’s father had an accident that required major surgery. Afterward, he was unable to lift heavy objects. Myant’s household had lost its primary breadwinner. So without informing anyone in his family, Myant joined a tea shop as a child laborer.

Approximately 4.4 million children in Myanmar like Myant are currently out of school. Fully 20 percent of Myanmar’s youth ages 10-18 participate in the labor force, according to Kelly Stevenson, country director for Save the Children. Child labor prevails as an accepted social practice in Myanmar, often featuring hazardous, low-wage working conditions in the country’s railroads, tea shops, and other industries.

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Myanmar Just Had An Historic Election. But Will The Military Ever Give Up Power?

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — The National League for Democracy (NLD), an opposition party helmed by famed Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, is the clear frontrunner in historic elections in Myanmar. Sunday’s election was the country’s freest and fairest in a quarter century, and an estimated 80 percent of the country’s 30 million voters took to the polls.

“NLD is representative of the people,” Than Win, 57, said in a tea-shop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The country is home to more than 92,000 refugees from Myanmar, many of whom are looking to the election results for a sign that the country has changed.

“If NLD wins,” he said, “I will return to Myanmar.”

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NBC News: ‘It Will Be Better’: Burmese Refugees Struggle on Road to America

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BOGOR, Indonesia — With damp clothing pressed against his skin, 16-year-old Elyas Chit watched his younger sister Yasmine, 15, empty her stomach into the murky waters. As one of the only children on the boat, Elyas’ head felt dizzy gazing where the sky’s inky darkness met the sea ahead.

“I didn’t think I’d ever make it out of the boat,” Elyas told NBC News.

In August 2013, without their parents, Elyas and Yasmine–accompanied by 14 other members of their extended family and crammed next to a hundred people–took the perilous boat journey from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). With hopes of landing in Australia, nearly 3,000 miles away, many on the boat wound up in Indonesia, a country that is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention upholding the rights of refugees.

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