Analyses, Perspectives and Opinions
RLS Southeast Asia regularly publishes political analyses and working papers on current and relevant topics from the Mekong Region. Together with our partners, we shed light on different opinions and introduce perspectives on pressing social and ecological questions and challenges. The publications are categorized according to topics and countries and can be selected using the links below.
Social Justice, Vietnam
Talking about sexual violence, in general, is always a sensitive and hard-to-say topic. That is especially true in Vietnam. Data about sexual abuse is poor and primarily from qualitative research. The most recent national survey on violence against women reported 13 percent of married women experienced sexual violence from their husbands. A study of 2000 women and girls in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh city in 2015 shows that 87 percent of women and girls suffer from sexual harassment in public places. Starting with an assumption that sexual abuse emerged as a product of socio-cultural and historical progress, we sat down with Dr. Khuat Thu Hong - an expert with 40-year experience in this field, to explore its root causes. The interview also examines the responses of different actors to sexuality-related conflicts and reveals obstacles to the absent widespread of the #Metoo debate in Vietnam.
ASEAN’s Efforts and Limitations on Protecting Migrant Workers’ Rights: In Search of Solutions through the Lens of Regulatory Regionalism
The issue of migrant workers’ rights has been a difficult challenge for ASEAN to address. Many commentators have pointed out the inadequacies of ASEAN’s governance on this issue, such as the lack of legally binding regional instruments which are compatible with international labour standards; the absence of an enforcement mechanism; and the poor protection of migrant labourers’ rights in its member states.
Social Justice, Vietnam
Covid-19 as a Challenge to Vietnam’s Development Strategy: Effects on the Labour Force and Economic Growth
As an effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of Vietnamese workers are finding ways to deal with the difficulty of massive layoffs from manufacturers. The pandemic also reveals flaws in the argument in favour of the national economic strategy based on the advantage of a cheap labour force and outsourcing manufacturing.
Cambodia, Social Justice
Cambodia, with Phnom Penh at the forefront, has one of the fastest rates of urbanization in the world. Sadly, this growth is dominated by speculative, unplanned development that favours wealthy elites to the exclusion of the urban poor. The frenzied pace of construction is leading to a landscape pockmarked by projects in various stages of completion, towers looming over traditional homes, religious sites and colonial-era buildings. The quick pursuit of profit is often too hasty for the developments themselves with many failing to secure funding for completion.
Cambodia, Social Justice
It’s a roadtrip about honest encounters and a progressive personal development story, translated through permanent reflexion of our two protagonists Helen Fares and Willy Iffland – taking a deep dive into the heart of Cambodia’s garment industry.
Political Analysis, Social Justice, Vietnam
As a part of CPTPP and EVFTA, Vietnam shall be bound by the labour protection regulations provided by the above-mentioned chapters. What will be the legal impact of this situation on labour relations in Vietnam?
Political Analysis, Social Justice
Democratically minded and socio-ecologically conscious individuals are currently transfixed by the troubling developments on the right wing of the political spectrum. Nationalist aspirations, racist ideologies and authoritar- ian forms of rule are gaining influence. Neoliberal cap- italism has lost its aura; there suddenly now seem to be alternatives. Numerous emancipatory initiatives and concrete approaches have made other options possible.
The Southeast Asian state of Cambodia remains predominantly rural. Despite industrialization and booming economic growth in recent decades, over 70 percent of its population continues to live and work in the countryside, overwhelmingly as agricultural workers on farms. But how has the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns, which we tend to associate with urban areas, affected the countryside?
Social Justice, Social-ecological transformation
The concept of the “imperial mode of living” points toward the norms of production, distribution and consumption built into the political, economic and cultural structures of everyday life for the populations of the Global North.
Social-ecological transformation, Vietnam
Climate change is causing negative impacts on all countries and their production activities. Mekong River basin is ranked as one of the most vulnerable regions under climate change. To adapt with climate change, Mekong countries have built their national policy strategies and action plans. In addition, some climate change response initiatives have been introduced and implemented at sub-regional level. This short paper reviews climate change impacts and responding policies of the Mekong countries.