Indonesian Brothel Closures hit HIV prevention

Indonesian Brothel Closures hit HIV preventionIn 2013 Surabaya’s firebrand mayor, Tri Rismaharini, closed two of the city’s six red light districts. In June, she shut down Dolly, one of the largest sex work complexes in Southeast Asia. But while she is running the campaign in the name of public morality, research shows closing brothels puts sex workers at increased risk, and…

Heartening Report on Global Hunger

Heartening Report on Global HungerThe world has made significant progress in combating global hunger, according to the 2014 Global Hunger Index published this week by the International Food Policy Research Institute. The state of hunger in developing countries as a group has improved since 1990, falling by a heartening 39 percent, according to the 2014 index. “Undernourishment fell most…

The ISIS Threat in Indonesia

The ISIS Threat in IndonesiaIndonesia, with the largest Muslim population in Asia, is one of the most vulnerable states in Southeast Asia to possible infiltration from members of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS). Although the capacity of violent extremist groups remains low, this could change with the  eventual return home of an unknown number of Indonesians…

Danger Grows for Environmental Activists

Danger Grows for Environmental ActivistsAmid increasing attacks on people engaged in environmental activism, experts are calling for a global protection regime to defend and support campaigners subjected to harassment and abuse. “We need to come up with an umbrella organization that looks after environmental activists’ rights and is in a position to launch rapid action that assists those in…

‘Jilboobs’ Raise Clerical Hackles in Indonesia

‘Jilboobs’ Raise Clerical Hackles in IndonesiaCould it be that the “jilboob,” a slangy term used by some to describe Indonesian women who pair their modest Muslim headscarfs with tight jeans and sexy blouses, could be on her way out? If the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) has its way, that will be the case. The jilboob, or sometimes “jilbabe,” gets…

Southeast Asia Supplying Jihadists to Middle East?

Southeast Asia Supplying Jihadists to Middle East?Southeast Asian governments with large Muslim populations are concerned that the nascent Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, better known by its initials ISIS, or its Islamic rival the al-Nusrah Front, are recruiting young followers for battle and also raising funds throughout the region. “Basically we have had them going to Syria since late 2012,”…

Jakarta Closes Notorious Stadium Nightclub

Jakarta Closes Notorious Stadium NightclubShocked by the drug overdose death of a 22-year-old policeman, authorities Tuesday swooped down and closed a huge nightclub complex in the heart of Jakarta that had operated for 16 years with impunity despite its location not far from the Presidential Palace. “The permit has been revoked permanently so they cannot operate, forever,” Jakarta tourism…

Why Indonesians Don’t Flee Volcanos

Why Indonesians Don’t Flee VolcanosMillions of Indonesians who live near the country’s more than 130 active volcanoes are constantly having to decide whether to evacuate or not. Supporting “volcano cultures” with up-to-date evidence and strong leaders is one way to save more lives, say experts. “Communities balance the risks from the volcanoes with the benefits from living in such…

Stopping Violence Against the World’s Women

Stopping Violence Against the World’s WomenWith the world celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, two thirds of countries globally now have laws against domestic violence, with several significant transformations in legal frameworks in Asia and the Pacific. This significant shift over the past decade has not only led 15 countries in East Asia and the Pacific to enact domestic…

Australian Gov’t bypasses Jakarta, Builds Ties with Military

Australian Gov’t bypasses Jakarta, Builds Ties with MilitaryDespite continuing rumbles between the Abbott government in Canberra and Indonesia over a variety of issues including boat people and spying, between Canberra and the Indonesian military, things have never been better. It appears there may be a quiet agreement between Australian and Indonesian defense chiefs on undocumented migrants. The Abbott government has managed to…
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