The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

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  • Independent, free and member-supported
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  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Failure to enforce jobs quota law shortchanges Cambodia’s disabled

By: David Hutt - Posted on: April 26, 2016 | Cambodia

For almost six years, no government agency or private business has been fined for missing their quota for disabled workers

If there is to be an end to the cycle of poverty that afflicts many Cambodians with disabilities, then most experts agree that stable employment will be one of the prerequisites

Dsiabled Cambodian Soeu Sou, 42, near his house at Veal Thom village, Kampong Speu province. Photo: EPA/Heng Sinith

“Access to decent and full employment will enable persons with disabilities to remain out of poverty and to become contributing members of the family and in the society,” said Pradeep Bagival, UN joint programme coordinator of the Disability Rights Initiative Cambodia (DRIC).

In August 2010, the Cambodian government issued a sub-decree to the Law on Protection and the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stating that at least 2% of the public sector workforce, including schools, hospitals and government departments with more than 50 employees, should be comprised of people with disabilities. This 2% target represents the government’s official estimate for the number of Cambodians with disabilities, although critics contest that this is too low, especially when taking into account the World Health Organisation estimate that the rate of disability in the global population is 15%.

The government sub-decree also set a quota for private businesses with more than 100 employees, who were ordered to ensure that 1% of their staff was made up of disabled workers. Both the public and private sector were expected to fulfil the quota within three years.

Nearly three years on from the deadline, there is currently “no accurate data” on how many people with disabilities are employed in general in Cambodia, according to Bagival. Although, he added, the latest statistics show that of the 194,596 civil servants working in 40 government agencies, 2,460 have disabilities – roughly 1.3%.

Ngin Saorath, executive director of the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organisation, said that he was disappointed that the quota of 2% has not been met, but stressed that it depends on locality. In 2013, he told the Cambodia Daily that, at the time, 1.85% of all public sector employees in Phnom Penh had a disability, but “very few” were working in provincial areas.

“Young, urban people with disabilities have more chance [of finding a job] than rural people,” he told Southeast Asia Globe.

Article 15 of the sub-decree stipulates that fines of 50% of a civil servant’s monthly gross salary would apply at state institutions and 40% of an employee’s minimum monthly salary at private companies that failed to meet their quotas.

According to Bagival, fines should be imposed for every separate instance when a disabled person has not been hired in line with quotas. He added that the fines, however, would not be levied on the institutions at fault but the individuals in charge – the CEO of a company, for example, or the minister who heads a given ministry – who would be expected to pay out of their own pocket.

However, Southeast Asia Globe has found that, to date, not a single fine been paid for failing to meet these quotas.

Fines are supposed to be paid to the Persons with Disabilities Fund, now called the Persons with Disabilities Foundation (PWDF), which is under the control of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation. The government-affiliated PWDF funds services for people with disabilities in areas such as health, rehabilitation and education.

According to a senior development worker within the field, who requested anonymity, the Disability Rights Administration (DRA), which is part of the social affairs ministry, is tasked with imposing fines for non-compliance and the PWDF is charged with collecting them.

“So far, the PWDF has not been able to collect any amount since the implementation of the quota system and the DRA has also not imposed any fines so far,” the development worker said.

This was confirmed by Chuor Rattanak, director of the PWDF, who said in a text message that the foundation has received “zero riels” from fines.

According to the anonymous source, staff members at the DRA have spoken privately about being unaware of how to file a claim against a government body or private business to impose a fine, adding that all of this “makes the quotas pointless” and suggested that it is most likely the fault of a government not willing to take this issue seriously.