EXILES TO NOWHERE

The map of the Asian Continent shows us an alarming race to the bottom for hundreds of millions of people. From the ragged maritime borders of The Andaman Sea to the precipitous corners of the high Himalaya. From the inner belly of Tondo Slum in the heart of Manila to the wrong side of the tracks in Hanoi there is only one constant to speak of: Inequality knows no borders.

PROLOGUE

ASIA’S rapid economic growth in the past two decades has largely been depicted as a global turning point. An unprecedented economic success story. Yet this is a wholly one-dimensional perspective. According to Oxfam, UNDP and many of the world’s leading economists Asia’s much vaunted economic growth is misleading. It is, in fact, taking place along-side stark inequality and rising levels of poverty – leaving societies most marginalized little more than Exiles to Nowhere. In short: The minority rich are getting richer. The majority poor are getting poorer.

The flip side of the freshly-minted Asian Coin is a devastating narrative of neglect and denial and it is perpetrated by most of us who live here as we go about our daily life. In time-lapse it is hopelessness and loss in the blink of an eye. Our furtive, diverted gaze, moving away from the outstretched hand of a homeless grandmother standing still in a fast moving crowd in downtown Manila. On our way to the comfort of our beds we instinctively choose not to follow the path of the street child skipping through downtown Jakarta’s traffic at dusk.

At the stop sign in Mumbai we watch the monsoon rain clean away the smeared handprint of a young mother – her child’s cheek pressed against the window of our taxi. This is the stark reality of the world around us as we too often choose not to see it.

In Asia’s booming cities the divide between rich and poor is all-pervasive. Overlooking the steaming waste-strewn lagoon in Tondo Slum, Central Manila, are the gleaming towers of Makati Business District where men in suits stride purposefully into multi-national banks to discuss deals to carve up multi-billion dollar gas concessions.

There appears, in many respects, to be a self-fulfilling prophecy generated by economic growth. As countries like Vietnam industrialise, rural areas are often left behind. Families hoping for better opportunities migrate to the city in search of work. Without their networks of relatives and neighbours they become more vulnerable, and often struggle to care for their children in the new environment.
The rapid growth of cities across Asia has been blamed for widening income disparity. Millions of people, mainly the rural poor with limited skills and education, will continue to swell urban populations in the coming decades. Heralding the era of the 30 million plus megacities.

In 2015 the region is already home to more than 4 billion people and some of the fastest growing cities in the world. By 2020, 13 of the world’s 25 largest urban sprawls, most of them situated in coastal areas, will be in Asia. Climate change will likely exacerbate existing pressures on key resources associated with growth, urbanization and industrialization.

The food security effects could be equally severe, as pollution from coastal urbanization imperils fish stocks and the distance between the city core and its food sources increases significantly. Likewise, many Asian cities are running out of water, a problem that will only increase as populations swell, and as urbanization covers rainfall catchment areas, pushing cities further from their water sources.

The growing size and complexity of Asian cities already strains the infrastructure of governance, police, district administrators, courts, hospitals, schools, and maintenance services. In the modern megacity government presence will, in all reality, be extremely limited allowing the emergence safe havens for criminal networks or non-state armed groups, or creating a vacuum filled by local youth, who do not lack for grievances arising from their new urban circumstances or from their home villages.

The bottom line? Most of the world’s future urbanization will happen here in Asia and across The Indian Ocean in Africa – basically amongst the worlds least developed areas and, by definition, the poorest equipped to handle it. Our fast-track way of life is creating a toxic recipe for inequality, conflict, crises in health, education and governance, and food, energy and water scarcity.

Yet despite its scale inequality in many parts of Asia inequality isn’t always this conspicuous. Travelling amongst the Moken on the maritime Burmese-Thai border the world they occupy appears, on the surface at least, a paradise of plenty.  In the Surin Islands, the closest Thailand’s Moken have to a permanent settlement, home is a curved white beach below a steep incline of virgin forest. The outlook is little more than a turquoise ocean. In the surf children float on scavenged driftwood and container ship flotsam. In the rocky shallows men hunt for sea urchins. But it is a lost paradise. Marginalised and cast out from mainstream society, cut off from their historical land and sea rights, the Moken are prevented from flourishing. They, like the urban poor, are prisoners to their environment, not the beneficiaries of it. To understand this complex Asia of the future we must look at what lies beneath the surface in the present. We must travel to the ragged corners of the map.


BEARING THE HEALTH BURDEN

Dateline: Kathmandu. Nepal:
27.7000° N, 85.3333° E

A FREEZING fog is closing in fast from the Ganesh Himal. Along the Araniko Highway amputees work the late evening traffic, wiping greasy stumps against car windscreens as they motion towards empty stomachs.
At chaotic junctions, teeming with cigarette and sim card hawkers, street children curl into each other as Dalit families dig into the crumbled foundation of bridges to fend off the cold. Winter is coming and the painful hacking coughs of infants at pavement level promises a long struggle ahead. Flitting nimbly in and out of the longs lines of white Maruti taxis impoverished women bare the loads of development.

Their faces a grimace they lug baskets of bricks held by tumplines - straps across their foreheads. Even in the nations capital women do much of the heavy lifting – it is menial laborers who also bare most of the nations health burden. Nepal faces another prolonged era of political and economic uncertainty.

A decade long Maoist insurgency may have ended in 2006, but the nations leaders have since been unable to agree on a constitution. Despite vast hydropower potential, electricity is in such short supply that lights are extinguished for up to 14 hours each day.

For the country’s majority poor the Kingdom is getting colder and darker. In societal terms Nepal is standing still at the heart of one of the most dynamic regions on earth.
In many respects the kingdom in 2015 is plagued by legacies of the past: a pervasive caste system, bonded labor, girl trafficking, the treatment of "dalits" (untouchables), child labor, marriage of teenage girls (although illegal), and one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.

In the heavens above Asia growth has been negligible. Manufacturing has declined so much it now represents a fraction of the national economy. In rural areas most belong to subsistence farming families; they eat what they grow, and daily life is difficult. Today Nepal is the poorest country in South Asia and the seventeenth poorest in the world.

A staggering 78 percent of the population lives on less than US$2 a day. At the very bottom of the food chain are Nepal’s beleaguered Dalit communities, the lowest of the 100 caste groups in The Kingdom. As of 2015 Dalit communities have the lowest human development rankings in the country. Incredibly and estimated fifty percent live below the poverty line compared with a national average of 31 percent, according to the World Bank. For infant Dalit children living rough on the streets of Kathmandu a simple cold can quickly turn fatal.

With limited access to healthcare: hypothermia, pneumonia and bronchitis are ever-present. Dalit pressure groups have reported a growth in lack of access to health care due to information, physical, and financial barriers, discrimination, and the lack of social capital.

Since a large number of poor, ethnic minorities and people from ‘lower castes’ live in far-flung areas, this makes public healthcare even less accessible, even if social barriers were to be removed. Geographical remoteness constitutes one of the most significant problems. It is the poor living in geographically remote areas that most need public healthcare to reach them but owing to deficiencies in information, infrastructure, human resource and monitoring, they are least likely to receive such medical attention. For instance, only a third of households in the mountainous areas live at a distance of less than 30 minutes to the nearest health post.

The commensurate picture for healthcare is equally bleak; nearly 48 percent of all children in Nepal are underweight and half under the age of five are stunted. One in 80 women will die in pregnancy or childbirth and one in 19 children will die before the age of five. There is also a vast regional gap in healthcare indicators, especially life expectancy – 74 years in Kathmandu versus 44 years in the remote mountainous district of Mugu. A more damning statistic? Per capita expenditure in Nepal was just US$29 in 2010, which is far below the US$60 figure recommended by the WHO.

Given that a quarter of Nepalese live below the national poverty line, there is a real risk that catastrophic health care costs will continue to ensnare families in their poverty traps. Compounding the issue there are only 2.9 health workers (doctors, nurses, and midwives) per 10,000 people in Nepal, far below the WHO threshold of 23 health workers needed to achieve the health-related MDGs.

 

ADRIFT IN THE LONELY SEA

Dateline: The Similan Islands:
8.6525° N, 97.6408° E.

THE dying throes of the monsoon closes in as the clouds lower and the humidity rises. Around us a long row of stilt huts, carved from a splintered pall-grey wood, shudder and sway as they curl precariously around a thin white powder beach.

Out towards the broken coral fringes of the reef small dugout canoes slap painfully against the swell.
Oblivious to the collapsing sky local children roll in the surf – floating nimbly above razor sharp oysters beds. A flotilla of Styrofoam has found its way into jagged coves of The Similan Islands from a shipwreck in the nearby Mergui Archipelago. A plastic algal bloom to artificially brighten the private horizon of The Moken people.
Sea Gypsies, known as Moken in modern-day Thailand, have plied the waters of The Andaman Sea for a millennia. A nomadic people, their language has never been committed to paper. As a consequence they have evolved with few temporal markers. Of their history there is barely a line in the sand.

At the heart of Asia, the world’s most dynamic continent the Moken know little of profit and the limits of time. There is a life shaped by the daily struggle for survival.As The Strait of Malacca, between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, has boomed the Moken have drifted along its coastline like satellites off a distant moon: bystanders to growth.

Today South East Asia's 11 countries have a combined gross domestic product of $1.9 trillion; a population of almost 600 million people; and an average per-capita income nearly equal to China's. Over the past decade, the countries The Moken Universe borders have averaged a growth rate of more than five percent per year.

In fact if South East Asia were one country, it would be the world's ninth-largest economy. For The Moken economic growth has meant increased marginalization. They are digital in an analog world. A metaphor for the divide that shapes the maritime fringes of the Asian Continent. Theirs is a world left behind and they are far from alone.

In a culture that possesses no such words as “my,” “I want,” or “take,” modernity has already proven to be detrimental to their survival. The declaration of the Surin Islands, on which the Moken live, as a national park in 1981 has been restricting them from using the trees on these islands to build their traditional boats and houses.

Restrictions on fishing and foraging have also been imposed despite the fact that their traditional way of life does not require any over-harvesting of natural resources. Along the coast in tourist mecca’s like Phuket centuries old Moken land-rights have also dissolved in the monsoon rains – deeds taken over by foreign hotel chains and wealthy Thai’s.

Unable to make a living in their villages, illiterate and possessing very little skills deemed economically valuable by the mainstream society, working age Moken are forced by circumstance to take up dangerous menial jobs. Hired by Thai fishing boats often for their perceived skills to do deep diving, they are often sent unequipped at deadly depths to plant explosives on the seabed or to collect sea cucumbers.
In doing so, many Moken men risk decompression sickness and many have died from it. In neighbouring Myanmar, the Moken culture is also being threatened by the government’s forced resettlement and environmental degradation caused by over-logging and explosive fishing by companies working in the region. The dramatic decline of the Moken population in the Mergui Archipelago, which borders Myanmar to the north, presents a serious concern.

Within a decade, The Mergui’s Moken population has gone down from 12,000 people to only 2,000. To many the hardships confronting this fragile ethnic community is an archetypal case of how inconsiderate development may serve to ruin an entire culture.

But their story, although compelling, is far from unique. Across Asia millions of stateless people face the same extreme poverty situation. Hidden in the back corners of the continent is a scattered population: a civilization of ghosts.

Forgotten or neglected by governments, ignored by census takers like Myanmar’s Rohingya, Thailand’s Karen. Many of these stateless people are among the worlds poorest; all are the most disenfranchised.
Without citizenship, they often have no right to schooling, health care or property ownership. Nor may they vote or travel outside their countries — even, in some cases, outside the towns where they live. Economically, they are poor because their rights to work are limited. Politically they are invisible without the right to vote.

Socially and culturally, the stateless people are discriminated against to access fundamental rights, such as bank accounts and the right to medical care. They are stateless for many reasons — migration, refugee flight, racial or ethnic exclusion, quirks of history — but taken together, these noncitizens, according to one recent UN report, “are among the most vulnerable segments of humanity.”

In the new fast moving Asia that leaves no prisoners the stateless have few avenues for redressing abuses, and little access to resources that could help them build better lives. They have few advocates, because human rights groups tend to focus on the types of abuses they suffer from including trafficking, exploitation and discrimination rather than the root of those condition: Their statelessness.

Lost in The Shadows

Dateline: Hanoi. Vietnam
21.0333° N, 105.8500° E

THE bright plastic tarpaulins stir on the outskirts of Hanoi’s dimly lit Long Bien Market – flapping in the breeze as hundreds of generators splutter and wheeze to life. Business begins at 1am here – the Vietnamese obsession with the freshest ingredients means the best produce is bought within hours of arriving in the city.

For Vietnam’s hidden homeless, taking shelter from the rain and cold under the metal skeletons of stalls, it is time to move on. The low rumble of farm trucks heralds the start of a long night.
In the sickly yellow light women traders trudge dejectedly to work – clutching Non-La’s – traditional conical hats – to their heads in the wind. For each night shift, seeing them through until dawn, they will earn little more than $7 before sleeping on the bus back home.

A dwindling number of the vendors here are small-scale day-migrants commuting between Hanoi and their rural homes. Some have been travelling since afternoon. Stuffed in suitcases and wooden slatted baskets some carry aubergines, cucumbers, coriander and limes.

It is little surprise that agriculture remains the main economic activity across Northern Vietnam – a produce chain linking rural poor to urban consumers. But its importance is decreasing as labor demand shifts from traditional to non-farm production, where women, in particular, can find it difficult to find employment.

Today moving to urban areas for work is often a more attractive option than uncompensated farm or domestic work. The reality is rural women remain here count among the most vulnerable groups in Vietnam; where they have restricted access to public education, healthcare and many government subsidies, as a result of the country’s so-called ho khau registration system.

In 2015 Vietnam has become accomplished at hiding poverty in a way not yet mastered by its neighours, but remains one of the few countries in the world where citizens must get government permission to relocate from the area where they are registered.

In Hanoi, migrants can only get permanent residence status when they have lived in the city for three years, obtained government jobs, bought property or moved in with relatives who have permanent residence. The system was introduced in northern Vietnam in the 1950s to restrict internal migration. Expanded after reunification, it has not only failed to restrict migration, but has, in turn, created, in a supposedly classless nation, a group of second-class citizens.

Although in Vietnam the gap in labor force participation and earnings has narrowed considerably, women’s wage remains at about 75 percent of men’s according to UNIDO. A recent UN study across Vietnam showed that when women hold land title in rural Vietnam, their households are more prosperous, poverty is less, and capital investment levels higher than in households where a man holds sole title.

The findings are among the first to provide strong evidence of the economic benefits of women having documented legal rights to use of land. The number of migrants pouring into Vietnam’s cities as the nation rapidly industrializes and modernizes is staggering. The Vietnamese government estimates that in 2011 there were 2 million migrants in Ho Chi Minh City, nearly 30 percent of the population.

Although Vietnam's 26 million migrants have contributed greatly to the nation's economic growth, they struggle to access services in the large cities where they work. The majority of migrants are young and, increasingly, underpaid and exploited women. Migrants represent both Vietnam’s greatest advantages and greatest challenges. Their 14-15-hour work days have helped drive the country from being one of the five poorest countries in the world in 1985 to one boasting an average per capita income of over $1,900 today. But with low incomes, poor benefits, unstable employment, and far from traditional family support systems, migrants are particularly vulnerable. In Ha Noi, the government estimates that only 11 percent of newly resident laborers have work contracts compared with 90 percent of local residents. Ministry of Health statistics show only 30 percent of private companies pay health insurance fees for their workers and 90 percent of new residents from the countryside have no social insurance.

Government approaches to migrant worker issues have often come from the point of view of managing migration flows and social problems rather than supporting a dynamic labor source and providing protection. No one department is glaringly responsible for migrant social policy, which means that their specific challenges frequently fall between the cracks. Foreign and domestic Non-governmental support for migrant workers in Vietnam is increasing, but it is often viewed, as are may campaigning groups, with suspicion both by companies and local governments concerned about potential labor unrest and uncertain about NGOs’ intentions.

FIGHTING UP FROM THE STREETS

Dateline: Tondo Slum. Manila:
14.5833° N, 120.9667° E.

AT dawn the boxer wipes sweat from his brow as he passes through the silent shadows. Hunched shoulders wreathed in the haze from thousands of cooking fires his feet crunch along narrow alleyways built with mud, garbage and strips of plastic bags as he crosses Tondo – a vast floating city of orange rusted corrugated iron roofs in the heart of Manila.
As he pushes on, deeper into the belly of the slum, the tight lanes come alive as he passes a long line of grandmothers on the wireframe fringes of a market. With grim determination they decapitate greasy piles of writhing silver fish. As each knife pierces the guts of the mackerel oil trickles of blood run down the wrists and elbows of their executioners. By 6.30am the first children will emerge from the twisted shacks. Their bright pink and green rucksacks bringing splashes of colour to the drab lanes.

Manila is a youthful city. Not all of its children go to school. Any journey across the cities poorest districts is a troubled window into the lives of street children, who commonly work as beggars, peddlers, waste pickers and scavengers.

Like the amateur boxers plying the gym circuit they too must fight to survive on these mean streets. It seemed fitting that a child born in the Philippines in 2014 was formally welcomed as one of the world’s symbolic “seven billionth” babies.

Weighing 5lb 8oz (2.5kg), Danica, which means “morning star”, was the second child for her parents Camille Dalura and Florante Camacho. The United Nations Population Fund, the body behind the campaign, believe raising awareness about reproductive health, women’s rights, poverty and inequality is the number one priority in the archipelago.

As The Philippines, the 12th most heavily populated country in the world, edges towards 100 million people, its beating heart, Manila, grows at a startling pace with a population of close to 12 million souls.
At global forums environmental experts ferociously argue that Manila's growth places Asia’s very poorest in harms way: exposing millions to low-lying coastal areas exposed to sea- level rise, storm surges, cyclones and tsunamis.

In many ways Tondo Slum is Asia in microcosm. The Asia-Pacific region has made progress in reducing slum numbers, but “it is still home to more than 505 million slum-dwellers or over half the world’s slum population. As of today overall national poverty statistics remain bleak: 32 percent of children under age five suffer from moderate to severe stunting due to malnutrition, according to UNICEF, and roughly 60 percent of Filipinos die without ever having seen a healthcare professional. The UN claims an estimated 26.5 percent of Filipinos live on less than $1 a day -- a poverty rate roughly the same level as Haiti's.

Manila in 2015 is a mirror for the region. By 2030, an estimated 5 billion of the world’s 8.1 billion people will live in cities. About 2 billion of them will live in slums, primarily in Africa and Asia, lacking access to clean drinking water and working toilets, surrounded by desperation and crime.

For decades, governments around the world have simply abdicated responsibility for this massive urban influx. One result is that most of the world’s slum dwellers remain cut off from the legal economy, working outside the tax system and with only tenuous rights to the land on which they live.

This is, of course, a simplistic view. Not all slums are equal. Some slum-dwellers, like those in Dharavi, Mumbai, are slowly turning the corner in economic terms. By the United Nation’s definition, their residents are missing at least some of the following: durable walls, a secure lease or title, adequate living space, and access to safe drinking water and toilets. A fifth of slum households across Asia are missing at least three of these basic needs.

Ensuring families live in safe, decent homes helps address poverty. Studies have shown the positive impact that decent housing has on an individual. Overcrowded rooms, dirt floors, bad ventilation and unsanitary living conditions not only lead to poor health but also erode hope of escaping. Having light, a quiet place to work, and crucially stable occupancy with power mean better performance at school and improved income prospects.

Citizens living in adequate homes are more productive, creating thriving communities and generating stronger economies. In Tondo the talk today, as it was a decade ago, is of little else but the cycle of Government corruption and Corporate Greed. Angry glances are cast over the estuary towards the high-rise towers that reflect the sun into the eyes of the poor.

Like many other parts of the Asian continent economic growth in The Philippines has gone through dramatic boom and bust cycles, and the moderate economic expansion of the past five years has had limited impact on the poor.

Here we have a familiar narrative played out across the continent: The growth cycles appear to have only benefited a tiny minority of elite families; meanwhile, a huge segment of citizens remain vulnerable to poverty, malnutrition, and other grim development indicators that belie the country's apparent growth.

As recently as 2012, Forbes Asia announced that the collective wealth of the 40 richest Filipino families grew $13 billion during the 2010-2011 year, to $47.4 billion - an increase of 37.9 percent. Filipino economist Cielito Habito calculated that the increased wealth of those families was equivalent in value to a quite remarkable 76.5 percent of the country's overall increase in GDP at the time. This income disparity was far and away the highest in Asia. Even relative to its regional neighbors, the Philippines' income inequality and unbalanced concentrations of wealth are to put it bluntly - extreme.

INEQUALITY WILL HURT ALL OUR FUTURES

The International Monetary Fund, in a study published late last year, contended that inequality hurts growth in a number of ways. It reduces the education levels of poorer citizens, and saps their health, reducing the potential productivity of a workforce. It can also cause political instability due to anger over income disparities. As we learned during The Arab Spring this leads to a falloff in investment.

ACROSS the 21st century Asian Map the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few is a problem that should pre-occupy us all. Inequality persists because current social, political and economic structures operates in a system where poor people do not have access to opportunities and productive resources that can help lift them out of poverty and enable them to live fully.

Limited access to education and health services and productive resources such as land and capital prevents people, especially women, from escaping intergenerational poverty and discrimination. Approximately 20% to 40% of total inequality in the region can be explained by differences in human capital and skill endowments, which are largely determined by people’s access to education and training.

Rising inequality is a particular concern for the wellbeing of children, who are already the most vulnerable in any situation. They are completely reliant on their parents and governments to help meet their needs as they grow and develop. This means that any rise in price of food will hurt their meals the most; any change in health budgets could see them die from preventable causes; and poor quality schools could keep them in the poverty cycle for life.

Children are also disproportionately impacted by inequalities, with children in the richest households having access to 35 times the resources of children in the poorest households – a gap twice that of the general population. But beneath the facts and figures is a human story about growing up in this rapidly urbanising world.

In many parts of Asia these children are seen, but their real stories go unheard. In a silent, dark and largely unresponsive world. Asia is home to nearly half of the world's population under the age of 18. So in any global assessment of the impact of urbanisation, children and youth will play a huge role in how both Asia and the world changes.

The Asia-Pacific region also has one of the world’s worst gender gaps, with South Asia often ranked second-worst in the world in gender equality measures after sub-Saharan Africa. Close to 100 million women in the region are estimated to be ‘missing’ from the map - having died through discriminatory treatment in access to healthcare or nutrition, neglect, or through not being born at all.

Women also face what appear to be insurmountable barriers engaging with both the economic and political spheres in Asia.  With such significant barriers constraining women’s economic opportunities, it is no surprise that women represent two-thirds of the poor in Asia.

Furthermore, women’s exclusion from political and legal spheres prevents these inequalities being challenged. Women’s burden of unpaid care work, and discriminatory attitudes, clearly impact their economic status. 

But Inequality across Asia is also more deeply problematic in that is widely based on ethnicity and caste. Ethnic and indigenous groups make up a significant portion of Asia’s population, comprising 8 per cent of the population in India, 10 per cent in Vietnam, and 37 per cent in Nepal.

In 2015 Dalit’s face severe marginalisation in many countries, segregation in housing, limited access to basic services and employment, and often work in conditions similar to slavery. Remarkable as the figure might seem more than 260 million people are affected by caste discrimination worldwide, the majority of whom live in South Asia.

There are many things that can be done NOW to reverse the trend of rising inequality. National social protection schemes must ensure wide coverage to quality services; health and education services must be made available in all regions and to all groups of society; and economic growth plans must maximise employment opportunities for the poor. As demonstrated by the MDGs, global agreements can help to motivate the changes in policies and resources required.

The next round of global development goals must move away from aggregate targets and set ambitious objectives to reduce the gaps in progress between rich and poor, boys and girls, rural and urban dwellers, the young, elderly and disabled, and ethnic and religious groups in all societies.

Above all else it is essential to balance Asia’s economic expansion with more inclusive policies. Cut off by poor roads, telecommunications, or government policies that don't allow them to easily borrow or save, Asia's poor and vulnerable are watching the chasm between rich and poor grow ever wider.

That gap in prosperity can aggravate simmering social, economic and political tensions. Asian governments can help stem widening inequality by creating better conditions for the private sector to take the lead on economic expansion, continuing to promote economic diversification, and by spending on social services, education and healthcare, and regional road, sea and air networks that will open more opportunities to more people.

The recent Asian Development Bank study optimistically suggests that we could see Asia producing over half of global GDP by mid- century, and 3 billion Asians would be considered part of the rich world, with capita income levels equal to that of Europe today.

Yet the dreams held of the 'Asian Century' though plausible, are by no means preordained. In 1820, Asia accounted for about 60% of total global output, with China and India together accounting for nearly half of global GDP. This, as history shows only too vividly, was followed by nearly two centuries of economic decline.

About the author

Dan McDougall is a former Sunday Times of London Africa Correspondent and New Delhi-based South Asia Correspondent for The London Observer. He has reported from over 110 countries and conflict zones. A British Foreign Correspondent of the Year, an award he has been nominated for three times, Dan is also a Foreign Press Association of London Writer of the Year and Martha Gellhorn Prize for War Reporting Nominee. He is also a three times winner of the prestigious Amnesty International Award for outstanding Human Rights Journalism and was the first recipient of the One World International Journalist of the Year Prize given to the UK’s most outstanding Foreign Correspondent.

 

Disclaimer

This microsite and its content were commissioned and funded by Oxfam GB (Asia) to portray an independent view of inequality in Asia. However, the views, claims and opinions contained within do not necessarily represent Oxfam’s views, nor should they be perceived reported or claimed as such. For official information on Oxfam’s campaign on Inequality please visit: http://www.oxfam.org/en/campaigns/even-it-up