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Marta Kasztelan

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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About Marta
Marta is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker covering Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. She has been based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, since 2012 but her work often takes her to neighbouring countries and to Poland, where she was born and lived until 2001.

Her work has been published in The Guardian, where she is a contributor, Al Jazeera, Newsweek, Vice, Southeast Asia Globe, Voice of America and South China Morning Post, among many others.

Marta’s investigations took her into the heart of one of Poland’s most notorious far right groups; saw her hang out with employees of a multinational company linked to a banned sect promoting polygamy in Malaysia, where she also exposed the practice of female genital mutilation; led her to highlight the plight of Nigerian football players trafficked to Cambodia.

When not working as a journalist, she produces and shoots videos for private clients and non-profit organizations. Some of her clients include: the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia (UN OHCHR), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), SNV Development Organization, People in Need, RightBrain Foundation and Momentum.Travel.

A human rights lawyer by education, Marta worked as a legal advisor and researcher for non-governmental organizations in the UK, India and Cambodia, before turning to journalism. She specialises in women’s rights and corporate-related human rights abuses.

She is a member of Ruom, a Cambodia-based collective of journalists passionate about social reportage and is the co-founder of Turren, a video production company making pretty awesome videos.

Marta is bilingual, fluent in English and Polish, with very strong French and German. She is available for freelance assignments worldwide.
Languages
German English French
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Services
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
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Skills
Business Finance Politics
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Portfolio

Is Cambodia’s thirst for sand putting communities and the Mekong at risk?

04 Apr 2024  |  eco-business.com
The article discusses the environmental and social impacts of the ING City land reclamation project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The project involves filling lakes with sand to create land for development, which has led to the destruction of wetlands, increased flood risks, and the displacement of local farming and fishing communities. Despite the economic slowdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, construction has continued, exacerbating the demand for sand and threatening the Mekong River ecosystem. The article highlights concerns over unsustainable sand mining rates, which exceed the river's replenishment rates, and the potential for increased bank instability and erosion. The Ministry of Mines and Energy claims that sand mining is sustainable and beneficial for economic development, while experts and human rights groups warn of the severe consequences of these activities.

Bartek ‘doesn’t have a problem’ and isn’t ‘sick’. He has Asperger’s and is on a mission to challenge stereotypes.

04 Apr 2024  |  aljazeera.com
Bartek Jakubowski, a 28-year-old from Warsaw with Asperger's syndrome, is challenging the negative stereotypes associated with autism. Diagnosed with autism at two and later with Asperger's at 16, Bartek is frustrated with media portrayal of the condition as a disease. He worked at a supported employment enterprise but felt out of place. His life improved after joining 'Zycie jest fajne', a cafe that employs individuals on the autism spectrum. Here, he found a sense of belonging and peer support. Inspired to change public perception, Bartek created a documentary, '‘A’ like a human being', which won the Grand Prix at the National Film Review for Persons on the Spectrum of Autism. He aims to show that people with Asperger's can communicate effectively and lead fulfilling lives.

Will Poland’s New Government Legalize Abortion?

12 Feb 2024  |  foreignpolicy.com
Poland's strict abortion law, tightened in 2020, may face changes after the opposition coalition won the parliamentary election, ending the eight-year rule of the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS). The centrist Civic Coalition and the Left pledged to legalize abortion within the first 100 days, but the conservative Third Way in the coalition wants a referendum. President Andrzej Duda and the PiS-stacked constitutional court could block amendments. Activists and rights groups are protesting the government's inaction. Public opinion has shifted towards supporting abortion rights, with recent polls showing nearly 60% in favor. The Civic Coalition and the Left have proposed bills to guarantee abortion access and decriminalize assistance, but face challenges from the Third Way and Duda's veto power. The government is exploring softer measures, such as providing hospital guidelines and making the morning-after pill available over the counter.

How dams in China are destroying livelihoods downstream in Cambodia

11 Jun 2023  |  scmp.com
The article tells the story of Tha Sara, a Cambodian widow who became a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia to pay off debts after her husband's death. It details her hardships abroad and the unchanged situation upon her return. The piece also explores the broader context of Cambodian villagers, particularly women, seeking work overseas due to economic pressures and the decline of local fish populations. The environmental aspect is highlighted by the degradation of the Stung Treng flooded forest, a Ramsar site, due to illegal fishing and the impact of hydroelectric dams on the Mekong River. The article includes insights from experts and organizations on the ecological damage and its implications for local communities. It concludes with Tha Sara's aspirations to work in Malaysia for a better future.

Laos farmers’ livelihoods hang by a thread as Chinese developer drains marsh

24 Apr 2023  |  maravipost.com
The article by Marta Kasztelan focuses on the story of Tha Sara, a Cambodian widow who worked as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia to pay off debts and support her children after her husband's death. It highlights the economic hardships faced by villagers in northeastern Cambodia due to declining fish populations and the lure of overseas work. The piece also discusses the environmental degradation of the Stung Treng flooded forest, a Ramsar site, due to hydroelectric dams on the Mekong River. The dams, particularly in China and Laos, disrupt the natural flood cycle, leading to tree deaths and loss of biodiversity. The article touches on the broader pattern of abuse and exploitation of Cambodian domestic workers abroad despite bilateral agreements. Tha Sara's story is a personal reflection of the larger issues of economic necessity driving labor migration and the environmental crisis impacting local livelihoods.

With moments to escape Russia’s war, this is what Ukrainians took

22 Feb 2023  |  aljazeera.com
The article recounts the experiences of Ukrainians who were forced to flee their country following the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022. It highlights the onset of the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II, with millions of Ukrainians, predominantly women and children, seeking refuge in various countries while men are required to stay and fight. The personal stories of five individuals, Kateryna, Jarda, Roman, Julia, and Maria, are shared, each having fled to a different country, including the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, United States, Romania, and Poland. The narrative focuses on the objects they carried with them and their journeys to safety.

Upstream dams are drowning Cambodia’s protected flooded forest

15 Jan 2023  |  thethirdpole.net
The article discusses the environmental degradation of the flooded forest in the Mekong River in northeast Cambodia, which has been a vital ecosystem for local communities, wildlife, and fish species. Kong Chanthy, head of community fisheries and ecotourism, recalls the forest's past abundance, but notes that up to 80% of it has died, affecting local fisheries and tourism. The decline is attributed to unseasonably high water levels caused by upstream dams in Laos and China. Professor Ian Baird of the University of Wisconsin-Madison confirms the forest's dire state, linking it to the cumulative impact of multiple dams. The Mekong River Commission acknowledges the potential impact of dam water release on river flow. The article also touches on the socio-economic consequences for local communities, with many seeking work elsewhere due to the collapse of traditional livelihoods. The piece includes insights from local officials and villagers, and mentions the support of the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Journalism Fund in its reporting.

‘I was screaming for help’: sold as brides in China, few Cambodian women escape their fate

21 Aug 2022  |  scmp.com
The article discusses the plight of Cambodian women like Kunthea, who, due to economic hardships exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, are lured by traffickers with promises of high-paying jobs in China. Instead, they find themselves sold into forced marriages with Chinese men. This situation is fueled by China's historical one-child policy, which has led to a significant gender imbalance and a high demand for brides. The article details the harrowing experiences of these women, including Kunthea's own story of being trafficked and eventually sold to a man in Jiangxi province. Despite the challenges, Kunthea managed to escape and return to Cambodia, where she reunited with her children and now works for a Chinese dam company. The article also touches on the broader issues of human trafficking, the legal challenges victims face, and the efforts by individuals and organizations to help these women.

Right of replies

08 Aug 2022  |  unearthed.greenpeace.org
The article discusses the responses from various fashion companies regarding allegations of improper disposal of garment waste in Cambodia. NEXT acknowledges a potential breach of its disposal policy by suppliers in Cambodia and requests further details to investigate. Diesel's parent company OTB emphasizes its supply chain monitoring and adherence to a specific Code of Conduct, noting that Diesel is not currently producing garments in Cambodia. Clarks states that it has strict waste management systems and is investigating the source of the alleged waste disposal issue. Michael Kors expresses its commitment to ethical practices and intends to investigate the allegations with its Cambodian suppliers. Authentic Brands Group, which acquired Reebok from Adidas, is also investigating claims of Reebok products being incinerated in Cambodia, suspecting counterfeit products or third-party sources. All companies stress their commitment to environmental responsibility and ethical supply chain management.

Specialist care

18 Apr 2022  |  balkaninsight.com
The World Health Organization has highlighted the urgent mental health needs of refugees in Poland, with half a million requiring support and 30,000 suffering from severe mental health issues. Victoria Boiko's daughter, a refugee, is in need of long-term therapy after the trauma of the Russian invasion. Poland's healthcare system is under strain, with a pre-existing shortage of child psychiatrists exacerbated by the influx of over 2 million refugees. The Ministry of Health reported that 72 Ukrainian nationals have been hospitalized for mental and behavioral disorders. Volunteers and civil society are crucial in providing mental health services, with hotlines and counseling offered. Ukrainian psychologist Yana Dzhadan, now in Warsaw, is treating child refugees, many of whom are experiencing trauma and have never had mental health treatment before.

Online fraud: how Chinese nationals forced to run internet scams in Cambodia earn millions for their captors, sometimes paying with their lives

30 Jan 2022  |  scmp.com
The article details the harrowing experiences of Chinese nationals, including teenagers, who were trafficked to Cambodia and forced into cyber slavery, perpetuating online scams targeting Chinese nationals. Guo Ying, a pseudonym for a young woman, was lured with the promise of a typing job and ended up imprisoned in a casino complex in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where she was coerced into scamming users on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. Despite earning more than she did in China, her salary was often docked for minor infractions. After a failed suicide attempt, Guo managed to escape and contact a Chinese volunteer group aiding trafficking victims. The article also discusses the broader context of the online scamming industry in Sihanoukville, which has grown alongside the city's transformation into a hub for Chinese investment and gambling. It highlights the challenges faced by victims and the efforts of volunteers and organizations to help them, amidst a backdrop of corruption and weak law enforcement in Cambodia.

Her Name Is Untac: UN Peacekeepers’ Forgotten Children in Cambodia – New Naratif

26 Oct 2021  |  newnaratif.com
The article tells the story of Sor Zamel, a Cambodian woman searching for her Ghanaian father, a former UN peacekeeper. It delves into the legacy of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), highlighting the issue of 'peace babies' - children born to local women and UN peacekeepers. The piece discusses the broader context of UN peacekeeping missions, including allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, and the challenges faced by children seeking their peacekeeper fathers. It also touches on the UN's efforts to address paternity claims and the landmark ruling in Haiti where a court ordered a peacekeeper to pay child support. The article concludes with Zamel's decision to stop searching for her father due to personal hardships and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN Peacekeepers’ Forgotten Children in Cambodia

26 Oct 2021  |  newnaratif.com
The article discusses the long-term social and personal impacts on the children fathered by United Nations peacekeepers in Cambodia following the end of the war thirty years ago. These children, now adults, have been dealing with issues such as poverty, discrimination, and family strains due to their abandonment by the peacekeepers who were their fathers. The article highlights the forgotten legacy of the peacekeeping mission and the ongoing struggles faced by these individuals.

Is Cambodia’s thirst for sand putting communities at risk?

30 Jul 2021  |  thethirdpole.net
The article discusses the environmental and social impact of the ING City land-reclamation project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Sophea Soung, a local farmer, faces the loss of her livelihood as her farming area on Tompoun Lake is being filled with sand for the development. The project, which includes luxury residences and other amenities, is part of a construction boom in the city that has led to the filling of numerous lakes. This has increased demand for sand, resulting in extensive dredging from the Mekong and Bassac rivers. The article highlights concerns about the sustainability of sand mining, its contribution to erosion and flooding, and the lack of adequate compensation for affected residents. It also touches on the broader environmental risks, such as the destruction of wetlands that serve as natural flood barriers and wastewater treatment systems. The Cambodian government asserts that the project is necessary for economic development and that sand mining is sustainable, a claim disputed by environmental experts.

Poland’s Disparate Pandemic Protesters Consider Next Move

21 Jul 2020  |  Balkan Insight
Residents of Szczecin, Poland, including small-business owner Ewelina Lesiak and anaesthetist Rafal Krysztopik, protested against the government's pandemic response, highlighting issues such as border closures and delayed financial aid. The recent presidential election, narrowly won by incumbent Andrzej Duda, underscored the deepening polarization in Polish society. The Law and Justice party's nationalist agenda and handling of the pandemic have faced criticism, while various protest movements have emerged, reflecting broader societal grievances. The long-term political impact remains uncertain, but there is a growing mobilization among discontented citizens.

In Poland, Abortion Access Worsens Amid Pandemic

01 May 2020  |  foreignpolicy.com
The article discusses the challenges faced by Polish women seeking abortions during the COVID-19 pandemic, with travel restrictions complicating access to procedures abroad. Abortion Without Borders (AWB) and Abortion Support Network (ASN) are activist groups helping women navigate these difficulties. Poland's strict abortion laws, influenced by the Catholic Church, only allow terminations in cases of fetal abnormality, risk to the mother's health, or rape/incest. Many women order abortion pills online or travel to countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K. for legal abortions. The pandemic has led to increased calls to AWB's helpline and difficulties in accessing contraception in Poland. The Federation for Women and Family Planning (Federa) is concerned about the potential surge in pregnancies and the risks to women who may seek unsafe methods to terminate them.

Instead of following EU-wide efforts to phase out coal, Poland wants to extend the life of Europe’s largest coal plant.

07 Feb 2020  |  aljazeera.com
In Poland, a conflict arises between the push for renewable energy and the extension of the life of the Belchatow power plant, Europe's largest coal plant and CO2 emitter. Retired dairy farmer Stanislaw Skibinski, now a green energy activist, has installed solar panels on his farm near the plant. Despite the EU's renewable energy targets, Poland heavily relies on coal, with plans to open a new lignite mine in Zloczew, which would displace villages and raise environmental concerns. Activists and locals are divided, with some opposing the mine due to its environmental impact, while others support it for economic reasons. Greenpeace and Client Earth have taken legal actions to challenge the mine and demand the reduction of CO2 emissions. The Polish government's stance on coal is under scrutiny as it faces pressure to transition to renewable energy, with the EU offering financial support for such a shift.

Tens of thousands march in Warsaw to celebrate Poland’s Independence Day amid controversy

12 Nov 2019  |  latimes.com
The article discusses the annual Independence Day march in Warsaw, Poland, which has become one of Europe's largest gatherings of ultra-fascists, extreme right-wingers, and nationalists. The march, attended by tens of thousands including families and far-right members, has been criticized for its anti-Semitic undertones and opposition to Jewish property restitution claims. Poland has not acted on the Terezin Declaration to return property confiscated during Nazi and communist times, and there is a proposed bill to criminalize restitution efforts. The Law and Justice party, in power since 2015, opposes restitution of Jewish property. The article also touches on the normalization of anti-Semitic speech in Poland and the public's perception of anti-Semitism in the country.

A legion of Cambodians are trapped as debt slaves in the brick-making industry as skylines and climate change expand.

16 Oct 2018  |  aljazeera.com
The article discusses the plight of Cambodian brick kiln workers, like Chanmony, who are trapped in debt bondage, a form of modern-day slavery. Despite Cambodia's economic growth and construction boom, workers like Chanmony are exploited and unable to enjoy the benefits of the country's development. They are forced to take out loans to cope with the impacts of climate change on their farming livelihoods, leading them to migrate to brick factories in search of work. The study by Royal Holloway University highlights the connection between climate change, urban development, and modern slavery. Workers are subjected to harsh conditions and debt that is often impossible to repay, with some even being sold between factories. The article also touches on the efforts of trade union deputy president Sou Chhloung to help these families escape abusive employers, although the workers remain in debt bondage.

A legion of Cambodians are trapped as debt slaves in the brick-making industry as skylines and climate change expand.

16 Oct 2018  |  aljazeera.com
The article discusses the plight of Cambodian brick kiln workers, particularly focusing on a woman named Chanmony, who represents the many workers trapped in debt bondage within the brick-making industry. Despite Cambodia's economic growth and construction boom, workers like Chanmony are exploited and live in poor conditions, earning meager wages that are mostly used to repay loans. The article highlights a study by the UK's Royal Holloway University, which reveals that this modern-day slavery is prevalent and exacerbated by climate change, as farmers take on debt due to crop failures. The International Labour Organization estimates that 40 million people are trapped in similar conditions globally. The article also touches on the efforts of trade union deputy president Sou Chhloung to help debt-bonded families find better working conditions, despite the high costs involved.

Love Child: Behind the Rise in Cambodia’s Teen Pregnancy Rates

16 Jan 2018  |  deeply.thenewhumanitarian.org
Cambodia has experienced a significant increase in teen pregnancies, particularly in the northern regions, with rates more than doubling in Preah Vihear province and tripling in Rattanakiri and Kratie provinces. Theary Pov, a 15-year-old girl from Chamroreun village, represents a common case where teenagers marry for love and face early pregnancy. Despite the legal marriage age being 18, or 16 with parental consent, many underage unions are socially accepted. Factors contributing to this trend include increased mobility, relaxed social norms, and the use of mobile phones for communication. Sexual and reproductive health education is lacking, and topics related to it are often taboo. The Ministry of Education is developing a sex education curriculum, but it won't be implemented until 2019. Gender inequality and cultural expectations, such as those from the traditional Chbab Srey poem, pressure girls into early marriage and childbearing. The article highlights the stories of young girls who regret their early marriages and the life choices they made as teenagers.

Cambodia's YouTube provocateur: 'Is a woman's value measured by virginity?'

09 Sep 2017  |  theguardian.com
Catherine V Harry, a Cambodian vlogger, has gained significant attention with over 1 million views on her Facebook video channel, A Dose of Cath, where she discusses topics such as feminism, sexual and reproductive health, and other culturally sensitive issues. Her direct approach to subjects like virginity, menstruation, and abortion challenges the traditional Cambodian taboos and has sparked both support and criticism. Kounila Keo, of PR firm Redhill, acknowledges Catherine's unique content in the Cambodian vlogging scene. Despite the backlash, Catherine continues to advocate for open discussions, supported by her family, friends, and fans like medical student Muyly Lim. Sek Sokhom from the Reproductive Health Association of Cambodia highlights the importance of such discussions in the face of rising teen pregnancies and violence against women. Catherine credits Facebook as a crucial platform for Cambodian youth to engage in these conversations anonymously.

Cambodia’s mothers behind bars

10 Jan 2017  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the plight of Bopha, a pseudonym for a Cambodian mother who was arrested for drug trafficking due to economic desperation. Despite her nonviolent crime, she faced pre-trial detention and was separated from her family, highlighting a systemic issue in Cambodia's justice system. The local rights watchdog Licadho's report 'Mothers Behind Bars' reveals that many female prisoners are detained pre-trial for nonviolent offenses, contrary to local laws. This Life Cambodia's director, Bill Gorter, emphasizes the detrimental impact on children and families when a parent is incarcerated. The article also mentions the ministry of justice's efforts to address the issue, including amnesties and a special committee, but critics argue that judges fail to consider personal circumstances. Bopha's story illustrates the ongoing challenges and uncertainties faced by women and their families in the Cambodian criminal justice system.

Cambodia’s construction boom has attracted a female workforce, who earn less than men and carry an additional burden.

10 Jan 2017  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the rise of female construction workers in Cambodia's booming construction industry. Women, who now make up about 35 percent of the construction workforce, are migrating from rural areas to Phnom Penh to support their families, often working alongside their husbands as unskilled laborers. Despite their significant presence, these women face job insecurity, lack of contracts, and inadequate workplace protections. They are also paid less than men for similar work. The article highlights the story of Chhou Ouch, a new female construction worker, and Chhorn Chunta, who has been in the industry for two years but still earns less than her male counterparts. The article also touches on the additional domestic responsibilities that female workers bear. The Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs provided limited responses to inquiries about the situation of female construction workers.

Tong Hann, a tour guide of 12 years, prefers the peace and quiet of “lost temples” as opposed to the more popular sights of Angkor Wat – the key tourist destination of Cambodia. I produced this video for Mementum.travel.

This is a “non-NGO NGO video”, which highlights the crippling effects of drought on Cambodians. I produced it for People in Need Cambodia as part of a video series on climate change.

Living alongside rubbish is not only annoying but it also has serious adverse health effects for those surrounded by it. I produced this video for People in Need Cambodia in order to highlight the plight of communities living in informal settlements in and around Phnom Penh - they are often cut off from all public services, including rubbish disposal, forcing families to live surrounded by "mountains" of garbage.

Pretty radical: a young woman's journey into the heart of Poland's far right. Together with another filmmaker I followed 19-year-old Paulina, who joined Poland’s far-right National Radical Camp. She was quickly selected as a candidate in local elections because she’s ‘a pretty young woman’ who might improve the image of an organisation thought to be full of ‘bald hooligans vandalising the city’. What drew her to join the nationalist group in the first place? Will anything make her question her loyalty to them? This short documentary was commissioned by the Guardian.

Cambodia's garment workers vulnerable to unsafe abortions

13 Jul 2016  |  www.theguardian.com
The article discusses the challenges faced by female garment workers in Cambodia regarding access to safe abortion services. Despite abortion being legal in Cambodia, many workers are unaware of this and do not know where to obtain safe procedures. The article highlights a survey revealing that a significant percentage of garment workers have had abortions, often resorting to unsafe methods due to lack of information. The NGO Care has been working to educate these women about their sexual and reproductive rights, and there has been some progress in raising awareness. However, the scale of the industry means many women remain uninformed. The government's role in facilitating access to safe abortion services is unclear, as officials declined to comment.

Iraqi Refugee Family Finds Success with Cambodia Restaurant

28 Jan 2016  |  voanews.com
The article discusses the unique choice of the Fahram family, originally from Iraq, to settle in Cambodia instead of seeking refuge in neighboring countries or Europe. Hashim Fahram, along with his wife Muna and five sons, has established a restaurant called Taste of Middle East in Phnom Penh. The piece highlights the family's adaptation to a new culture and their efforts to start a new life by running a small business in a foreign country. The story is reported by Marta Kasztelan.

Cambodia’s mothers behind bars

18 Jan 2016  |  www.aljazeera.com
Bopha, a mother of three, was imprisoned in Cambodia for drug trafficking due to poverty. Her imprisonment had severe repercussions on her family, highlighting systemic issues in Cambodia's criminal justice system. Despite guidelines to avoid pre-trial detention for mothers, many women like Bopha are detained, causing family disruptions. Organizations like Licadho and This Life Cambodia advocate for better treatment of female prisoners, while the Ministry of Justice cites recent amnesties as progress. Critics argue that the judicial system fails to consider personal circumstances, leading to unnecessary family separations.

HP and Dell suspend use of interns in Chinese factories

06 Oct 2015  |  theguardian.com
DanWatch, a Danish human rights research group, released an investigation revealing that Chinese students, like Xu Min, are being forced to work on assembly lines for electronics manufacturers such as Wistron Corporation, which produces servers for HP, Dell, and Lenovo. These students work long hours under conditions that violate Chinese labor laws and the International Labour Organisation's convention on forced labor. The report, titled 'Servants of Servers,' highlights that European universities spent £340m on servers, mostly from these brands, in 2014. HP and Dell responded to the allegations by sending auditors to the factories and suspending the use of interns, while Lenovo provided a generic response. The article emphasizes the need for companies to practice due diligence in their supply chains to prevent human rights abuses.

HP and Dell suspend use of interns in Chinese factories

06 Oct 2015  |  the Guardian
DanWatch, a Danish human rights research group, released an investigation revealing that Chinese students, like Xu Min, are being forced to work on assembly lines for electronics manufacturers such as Wistron Corporation, which produces servers for HP, Dell, and Lenovo. These students work long hours under conditions that violate Chinese labor laws and the International Labour Organisation's convention on forced labor. The report, titled 'Servants of Servers,' highlights that European universities spent £340m on servers, mostly from these brands, in 2014. HP and Dell responded to the allegations by sending auditors to the factories and suspending the use of interns, while Lenovo provided a generic response. The article emphasizes the need for companies to practice due diligence in their supply chains to prevent human rights abuses.

Cambodian women turn to tech in hope apps can turn tide of gender violence

21 Sep 2015  |  theguardian.com
The article discusses the contrast between technological advancement and stagnant gender equality in Cambodia. Despite the widespread use of smartphones, cultural norms still promote male dominance and violence against women. Dany Sun, a women's rights activist, has developed an educational app called Krousar Koumrou to challenge these attitudes and provide resources for domestic violence survivors. The Asia Foundation and ActionAid Cambodia are also involved in efforts to address violence against women, with apps like Safe Agent 008, which helps women send their GPS location when in danger, and 7 Plus, aimed at protecting food and service sector workers. The article highlights the high rates of violence against women in Cambodia and the need for societal change, while also acknowledging the potential of these new apps to make a difference.

Cambodian women turn to tech in hope apps can turn tide of gender violence

21 Sep 2015  |  the Guardian
The article discusses the contrast between technological advancement and stagnant gender equality in Cambodia. Despite the widespread use of smartphones, cultural norms still promote male dominance and violence against women. Dany Sun, a women's rights activist, has developed an educational app called Krousar Koumrou to challenge these attitudes and provide resources for domestic violence survivors. The Asia Foundation and ActionAid Cambodia are also involved in efforts to address violence against women, with apps like Safe Agent 008, which helps women send their GPS location when in danger, and 7 Plus, aimed at protecting food and service sector workers. The article highlights the high rates of violence against women in Cambodia and the need for societal change, while also acknowledging the potential of these new apps to make a difference.

Polygamy Inc: how Global Ikhwan is becoming a lifestyle choice for many devout Muslims

18 Jul 2015  |  South China Morning Post
Global Ikhwan, a company with roots in the banned Malaysian religious group Al-Arqam, is described as a lifestyle choice for devout Muslims, promoting Islamic business ethics and community obligations. Despite its controversial past, including the Obedient Wives Club and accusations of promoting polygamy, the company has rebranded and focuses on providing services like healthcare and education, often at flexible rates to adhere to Islamic practices. Employees, who number 4,000 globally, often intermarry within the company, which operates in various countries and emphasizes a polygamous lifestyle as a means to a larger Islamic society.

Female Circumcision Is Becoming More Popular in Malaysia

20 Feb 2015  |  vice.com
The article discusses the practice of female circumcision in Malaysia, highlighting the experiences of 19-year-old Syahiera Atika and the broader cultural and religious context. It notes that the majority of Muslim women in Malaysia are circumcised, with a study by Dr. Maznah Dahlui indicating that 93% of Muslim women surveyed had undergone the procedure. The article explains that while public hospitals are banned from performing FGM, private clinics like Global Ikhwan continue to do so. It also mentions the less invasive methods used in Malaysia compared to other countries, but acknowledges that more drastic procedures are also performed. The article includes perspectives from various individuals, including medical professionals who defend the practice and activists from Sisters in Islam who oppose it. The Ministry of Health's move to reclassify the procedure as medical and the international condemnation of FGM are also discussed.

Pretty radical: a young woman's journey into the heart of Poland's far right – video

19 Jan 2015  |  theguardian.com
The article follows the story of 19-year-old Paulina, who becomes involved with the National Radical Camp, a far-right nationalist group in Poland. She is quickly put forward as a candidate in local elections due to her appearance, which contrasts with the typical image of the group's members. The article explores what motivated her to join the nationalist group and whether her experiences and observations within the group might lead her to reconsider her commitment to their cause.

Turning tables: NGOs commend multinational for transparency in Myanmar

14 Jul 2014  |  foodnavigator-asia.com
The article discusses Coca Cola's detailed report on its business practices in Myanmar, which was praised for its transparency regarding human rights and environmental challenges. The report is part of the 'Responsible Business Reporting Requirements' for US companies investing in Myanmar. Vicky Bowman from the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business and Jonathan Kauffman from Earth Rights International (ERI) commended the report for its comprehensive nature and the level of detail provided. However, concerns were raised about certain omissions, such as the specifics of a waste water treatment issue and land rights risks. Belinda Ford of Coca-Cola Myanmar responded by highlighting the report's documentation of due diligence efforts. Kathy Mulvey of Eiris noted the challenges Coca-Cola faces in fully meeting human rights obligations under international standards. The article suggests that while Coca-Cola's transparency is commendable, there is still work to be done to improve its social performance in Myanmar.
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