Bonded labor in Afghanistan’s brick kilns is one of the most common forms of hazardous labor in the country. More than half of the brick kiln workers surveyed in a recent report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) were children. According to the ILO, the kilns rely on debt bondage: Workers and their families are tied to a kiln by the need to pay off loans taken out for basic necessities, medical expenses, weddings and funerals.

Pakistan: Debt bondage or education?

by IRIN News May 23, 2012

Widespread poverty and ignorance, negative attitudes to the education of girls, and the lack of proper documents for children of Afghan migrants are some of the obstacles to school enrolment in a poor suburb of Peshawar in Pakistan, say local officials....

Pakistan jails doctor who helped to find Bin Laden

by BBC News May 23, 2012

A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama Bin Laden has been jailed for at least 30 years, officials say. Shakil Afridi was charged with treason and tried under the tribal justice system for running a fake vaccination programme to gather information....

Afghanistan: Debt bondage ensnares entire families

by IRIN News May 16, 2012

KABUL, 16 May 2012 (IRIN) - Bonded labour in Afghanistan’s brick kilns is one of the most common forms of hazardous labour in the country. More than half of the brick kiln workers surveyed in a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) were children, with most under 14. Few are ...

South Korean report details alleged atrocities at North Korea’s prison camps

by Chico Harlan Washington Post May 9, 2012

SEOUL — A South Korean government-funded human rights group has released a series of raw firsthand accounts of North Korea’s political prison camps, Seoul’s first comprehensive attempt to catalogue the atrocities that Pyongyang denies take place....

Fallout of Bin Laden raid: Aid groups in Pakistan are suspect

by Declan Walsh New York Times May 2, 2012

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — In the shadows of the American operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the fate of a small-town Pakistani doctor recruited by the C.I.A. to help track the Qaeda leader still looms between the two countries, a sore spot neither can leave untouched....

As China official Bo Xilai rose, his family’s wealth grew

by David Barboza New York Times April 23, 2012

DALIAN, China — Just a few weeks before his dramatic fall from power, Bo Xilai wrote an inscription in calligraphy, praising the Chongqing Water Assets Management Company, and urging support for its operations....

Murder aside, China inquiry puts couple’s wealth on trial

by Andrew Jacobs and Michael Wines New York Times April 12, 2012

BEIJING — What began as a scandal involving the mysterious death of Neil Heywood, the British businessman whose body was found in November in a Chongqing hotel room, appears to be evolving into a broader investigation into the wealth of a politically powerful Chinese couple, Bo Xilai and his wife,...

Across India, nepotism as a way of life

by Manu Joseph New York Times April 11, 2012

NEW DELHI — The Indian upper class, like royalty, is sexually transmitted. Politics, business, mainstream cinema and other occupations where talent is subordinate to lineage are dominated by family cartels, who plant their own over the rest. The Indian elite is a system where there is a 100 percen...

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