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

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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.

Myanmar workers at risk of exploitation during mass deportations from Thailand

By: Logan Connor - Posted on: August 2, 2016 | Current Affairs

Following a registration drive for undocumented Myanmar workers in Thailand, the Thai government has expelled up to 10,000 immigrants. The deportation process, says a migrant workers’ rights activist, often plays host to human rights violations

Over the past ten days, Thai authorities have arrested and deported up to 10,000 migrant Myanmar workers, who are at risk of exploitation as they are repatriated to their home country.

The mass deportations follow a registration drive for undocumented Myanmar workers that saw about 800,000 migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia register before it ended on 29 July.

Andy Hall, a British lawyer and migrant workers’ rights activist, said mass deportations of illegal immigrants were commonplace following long registration drives.

“It’s a symbolic gesture to crack down on people who didn’t register during the last registration period,” he said.

Myanmar and Cambodian fishermen in Thailand
Migrant fishermen from Myanmar and Cambodia unload fish from a Thai fishing boat at a jetty in Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, 19 January 2016. Photo: EPA/ Rungroj Yongrit

He added that, because of a “breakdown in the rule of law” in Thailand, deported workers were often at severe risk of exploitation.

“Very often, workers are not just deported,” said Hall. “Very often workers are arrested, they’re extorted, they’re exploited and then they’re let free.”

Due to conflict within Myanmar, workers crossing the border often fall into the hands of ethnic groups, where they are then extorted and, in some cases, physically abused. “In other cases [they are] kept in underground cells or kept in enclosed areas,” Hall said, “where they have to force to get their families or their friends to pay money to get them free.”

According to Radio Free Asia, deported migrants must pay fines when leaving the country ranging from $29 to $49. If they cannot pay the fee, they must pay off the debt by working on farms owned by Thai border guards.

Arak Phrommanee, director-general of Thailand’s employment department, said earlier this month that the Thai government would begin pursuing illegally employed workers as soon as the registration period ended.

“The registration drive is designed to ensure more efficient management of migrant workers. It will help employers too,” he said. Arak warned that employers who take on undocumented migrant workers would be fined nearly $3,000 per illegal staff member.

During a trip to Thailand last month, Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi signed a memorandum of understanding reducing the ‘work-break period’ from three years to 30 days. Previously, registered Myanmar workers could stay in Thailand for a combined four years, but then had to return to home for a three-year break.

The Bangkok Post reported that the three-year period often discouraged workers from returning to Myanmar, instead opting to remain illegally in Thailand, where they can earn higher wages.

According to Myanmar’s government, four million of its citizens living as migrant workers in Thailand, with only half of them legally registered. Thailand puts the figure much lower, at about 1.4 million.