Assignment Asia

Forced to Fight: Children On Myanmar's Battlefields

A conflict between government forces and various ethnic groups has raged in Myanmar since independence in 1948. The long-running civil war has not only displaced more than half a million people, but also forced the country's young into the front lines. Reporter Barnaby Lo travels to Myanmar's impoverished countryside, where young villagers tell stories of being abducted and coerced to work as soldiers either by the military or insurgents.

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Development

Asia has some of the world's most pressing problems, including poverty and disease. But despite the odds, progress is being made in some parts of the region. Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio remains endemic. The Pakistani government has launched an aggressive vaccination drive, but workers on the ground face security threats, and sometimes, an unwelcoming public. Reporter Danial Khan meets the health workers who confront dangers and challenges in their mission to eradicate polio in Pakistan.

Emergency

Without a state-run emergency service in their country, volunteers have taken on the task of responding to accidents and other emergencies in the Thai capital, Bangkok. They patrol the streets of the bustling city every night, rushing anywhere anyone needs rescue. Reporter Martin Lowe spent one busy but ultimately tragic night with Bangkok's volunteer rescuers.

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.

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.

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.