Assignment Asia

Gold Town

In the effort to gain economic well-being, everyone is looking for a place where the streets are paved with gold. But those who find gold may be among the most deprived people on earth. Reporter Barnaby Lo goes to the Philippine mountain community of Paracale to profile the 15 year old boys who risk their lives to "dive" for gold.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Challenging Gender Norms

Steeped in tradition, many Asian cultures have tightly conservative gender norms. But in some places, people are daring to challenge them. In Turkey, male belly dancing is making a comeback after generations of being kept in the background. It's an art usually associated with femininity. But in Istanbul, men are grabbing the spotlight and breaking stereotypes by swaying their bodies. As Reporter Natalie Carney reports, they are also raising the profile of Turkey's marginalized gay community.

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.

Women Empowerment

Women in many parts of Asia remain vulnerable to abuse, but a few bright spots in the fight for empowerment and equality have emerged. In Pakistan, where thousands of women fall victims to violence every year, a law ensuring their protection was passed in early 2016. Reporter Danial Khan spoke with survivors of domestic violence who have risen above their ordeal and are now finding hope in the new law. Despite the reforms and changes sweeping the country, gender inequality persists in Myanmar, and women are particularly vulnerable to different forms of abuse.

Ancient Cultures in a Modern World

Asia is home to some of the world's oldest cultures and ethnic groups. But in modern times many of them are on the verge of fading. In South Korea, female divers called the haenyeo have been scouring the seas for food for more than 1,000 years. Yet today's sea women are ageing, and there's a dearth of new divers. Reporter Jack Barton travels to Jeju Island to meet some of its oldest haenyeo and looked into efforts to stop their tradition from dying. Seafaring tribes long inhabited the waters of Thailand and its neighbors, Myanmar and Malaysia.

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.

  • 2019-02-03T14:30:00-08:00
    Link TV

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.

  • 2019-02-10T14:30:00-08:00
    Link TV

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.

  • 2019-02-17T14:30:00-08:00
    Link TV