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

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • 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.

Human rights / Revealing the Rainbow report sheds light on LGBTIQ rights in Southeast Asia

By: Thomas Brent - Posted on: May 18, 2018 | Best of 2018

A recently published report that aims to highlight the human rights situation of Southeast Asia’s LGBTIQ communities and the people working to defend them has revealed both the challenges that the region faces and its progress

A girl rides a bicycle as she takes part in the sixth Viet Pride parade in Hanoi, Vietnam. Around 500 people took part in a colourful bicycle parade Photo: Luong Thai Linh / EPA-EFE

The report, titled “Revealing the Rainbow”, has shed a light on the steps that many countries are taking to adapt their legal framework to improve protection for the LGBTIQ community – and noted the vast inconsistencies between approaches in the region and areas that still need to be improved.

Céline Martin, the technical advisor for Destination Justice, the social change organisation behind the report, has described the report as a tool to sparking necessary communication: “It is about creating a dialogue. In some countries it will be a little difficult to engage, but I hope [the report] can be a tool to move forward.”

One aim of the report is to encourage Southeast Asian countries to engage more with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a process set up under the United Nations Human Rights Council that assesses human rights in all 193 members states of the UN through peer-to-peer assessment.

Within the last ten years there have been a lot of positive developments for LGBTIQ protection in the region

First launched in 2006, the UPR reviews countries every four to five years. Along with its assessment of human rights, it offers recommendations for how countries can improve.

“We use the UPR because it’s one of the best tools we have, and we also want to encourage all stakeholders to use that tool to really engage and increase social inclusion and equality,” Martin said. “You cannot for sure assess whether the positive developments are due to the UPR, but within the last ten years, there have been a lot of positive developments for LGBTIQ protection in the region.”

Inconsistencies in the region

One key point of the report is the disparity in the region’s support of the LGBTIQ community. Countries such as Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have all adopted laws in recent years providing greater rights and freedom for the LGBTIQ community. In one example, the report noted Vietnam’s recent law legalising gender recognition for transgender people undergoing sex reassignment surgery, which came into effect in January 2017.

Khoa Nguyen, a human rights defender and community leader from Vietnam, was positive about the government’s role in providing greater rights for the LGBTIQ community.

“I have seen a rapid change in our society,” Nguyen stated in the interview featured in the report. “In the past, LGBT people faced many problems and they faced stigma and discrimination… [But now] there are more and more people being confident in their lives and they freely tell anyone about their sexuality.”

“Society welcomes and encourages people to talk about their sexuality,” he added.

The report also takes into account the problems still surrounding the community, particularly in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, where LGBTIQ rights remain a sensitive issue.

According to the report, many LGBTIQ people living in these countries and the region as a whole still face discrimination, censorship, ostracism and violence.

“We constantly hear LGBT people [in Malaysia] being beaten, terrible stories of torture, harassment, intimidation, lack of acceptance by state or non-state actors,” Thilaga Sulathireh, co-founder of grass-roots campaign group Justice for Sisters, said in an interview from the report.

The Revealing the Rainbow report was launched at the Royal University of Phnom Penh on Wednesday evening Photo: Destination Justice

Despite the many challenges facing the LGBTIQ community and its defenders, the report concludes that there is still cause for optimism.

This week Cambodia celebrates gay pride week, marking the 15th year since gay pride has been publicly celebrated in the nation. In Thailand, a law legalising same-sex marriage is in the beginning stages of being drafted.

Ryan Silverio, the regional coordinator for ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, stated his hopes for the future in an interview featured in “Revealing the Rainbow”.

“Nowadays LGBT groups from many countries are taking movement building seriously, rather than patches of activism here and there. There are moves to consolidate forces, not only within the LGBT community, but also with the wider social justice movements,” he said.

“So that gives us hope because at the end of the day, when all these mechanisms falter, when domestic mechanisms falter, you’ve got the local movement who will provide protection on LGBT rights.”

The PDF of the full report can be accessed through Destination Justice’s website