Assignment Asia

Assignment Asia is a unique weekly magazine program. It features reports, interviews and first-person accounts to highlight issues and reflect the vibrant and diverse cultures that make up the vast continent of Asia. Assignment Asia is driven by strong characters. Through their personal stories, we uncover social issues that affect a wide population in one of the most vibrant areas of the world. Assignment Asia is visually stunning, using some of the most creative visual storytellers from across the region. Most importantly, Assignment Asia is about storytelling. Not just reporting facts.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Courage

The first episode of this series of "Assignment Asia" profiles people who if nothing else display courage in their everyday life/tells stories about courage, from the gleaming skyscrapers of Shanghai to the farmlands of the Lao countryside. First we go to the gleaming skyscrapers of Shanghai to discover a people whose lives are less than "gleaming." For Shanghai depends for its growth on the cheap labor of migrant workers. Reporter Han Bin takes high above the city to meet the workers who endure lives away from their loved ones to earn a living away from the poverty in their hometowns.

  • 2019-04-22T04:00:00-07:00
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Operation: Drug War

Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office and declared a war on drugs, hundreds of people have been killed in that "war." Authorities say most of the victims were killed by unknown assailants or have died in firefights with local police. Reporter Barnaby Lo takes viewers inside the brutal drug war in the Philippines, which has raised international concern over human rights violations and extrajudicial killings.

Inside Zaatari

As the civil war in their country rages on, the future remains uncertain for some 80,000 Syrians in Jordan's Zaatari camp, one of the world's largest refugee settlements. An informal economy thrives as people try to bring normalcy to their lives, but it remains a heavily guarded camp where their movements are limited. Reporter Stephanie Freid shows viewers a slice of life at Zaatari camp, where refugees struggle to move on with their lives while bearing the trauma of war. This film won the 2017 Silver World Prize of the New York Festival International Television Awards.

Advocates

This episode of Assignment Asia puts the spotlight on advocates, people who play key roles in addressing some of the region's most pressing challenges. The threat of radicalism looms large in Indonesia, where authorities say thousands of young people had been recruited by extremist groups as of 2016. But in East Java, an Islamic boarding school has joined the fight against extremism using the Muslim concept of jihad. Reporter Silkina Ahluwalia meets one man who started a program called "jihadpreneur," which teaches its students to wage jihad not through violence but by doing business.

Festivals

From the mountains of northern Pakistan to rodeo arenas in the central Philippines, this edition features festivals in Asia that are gaining popularity. With a history of terrorism and instability, Pakistan's northern region used to be an unlikely place for festivities. Today, however, an equestrian festival is attracting thousands of tourists ever year and exposing the region's natural beauty. Reporter Danial Khan traveled to Shandur, the so-called "roof of the world", to witness how polo is not only boosting tourism but also helping the region shed its troubled past.

Drifting and Dancing In Strife - Torn Iraq

In a country plagued by conflict and poverty, it's difficult - if not impossible - for sports and the arts to thrive. But in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, some are escaping their dire situation by pursuing their passion right in the midst of strife. Reporter Stephanie Freid tells the story of Iraqi drifters and fans who spend their Fridays in Baghdad's empty parking lots to experience the thrill of the motorsport and momentarily forget the violence that too frequently rocks the city.

Coping with a Changing Climate

The poorest countries in the world are also the most vulnerable to climate change. But some developing countries are already taking steps to confront it and mitigate its impact. In Bangladesh, climate refugees - people displaced from their communities by natural disasters - have poured into the capital Dhaka, crowding its already congested slums. Yet far from merely suffering, the country is working to become more resilient. Reporter Rian Maelzer travels to areas in Bangladesh that experience some of the worst effects of climate change.