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Jamdani Sari 14
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
13 Jun 2015

A model shows off a Bangladeshi traditional Jamdani Sari in Dhaka on 13 June 2015 when the Intellectual Property Association of Bangladesh (IPAB) celebrated the Jamdani Sari being recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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Jamdani Sari 15
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
13 Jun 2015

A model shows off a Bangladeshi traditional Jamdani Sari in Dhaka on 13 June 2015 when the Intellectual Property Association of Bangladesh (IPAB) celebrated the Jamdani Sari being recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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Jamdani Sari 16
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
13 Jun 2015

A model shows off a Bangladeshi traditional Jamdani Sari in Dhaka on 13 June 2015 when the Intellectual Property Association of Bangladesh (IPAB) celebrated the Jamdani Sari being recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

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Chitmahal Enclave 23
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Locals praying to God at a mosque in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. The chitmahal claims that the enclave dwellers consists of members from both Hindu and Muslim community where the Muslims are the majority.

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Chitmahal Enclave 22
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A baby girl gets fed by her mother and elder sister at Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Life in the enclaves is really tough as most of the daily resources are to be brought from either India or Bangladesh where they are mostly threatened because of having no nationality.

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Chitmahal Enclave 21
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A room filled with live-stocks goats and lambs inside a house in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. The cattle's are considered to play a vital role in the enclaves for a living, similar to any other village in India or Bangladesh but here they often get stolen by people from the neighboring mainland villages as the local cops paid no attention to the complains made by the enclave people as they had no nationality, but know as the hope for nationality is no longer a dream to them the locals say that the cops are giving importance to them now.

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Chitmahal Enclave 20
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Joynal Abedin, a local young guy, walks out of his house in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. In the enclaves houses are mostly built with aluminum sheets as they fear that the neighboring villages might attack them by burning their houses to grasp the land as it has happened many a times in the past.

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Chitmahal Enclave 19
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Three men fishing at the river after which the enclave got its name Mashaldanga, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Fishing in chitmahal remains as one of the major professions of the residents and also serves their daily meal needs.

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Chitmahal Enclave 18
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Children outside their houses in the afternoon playing at Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Health issues and malnutrition are a big problem for the children in the chitmahals as there are no health facilities.

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Chitmahal Enclave 16
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Jihad Hussain, a 5 year old boy with his father Shahjahan Seikh and mother Asma Bibi out side a mosque at Mashaldanga, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Jihad Hussain is one of the most famous personalities in the chitmahals due to extensive local media coverage as his parents faced a lot of problems during his birth because of the lack of identity and nationality.

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Chitmahal Enclave 15
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Jihad Hussain, a 5 year old boy with his father Shahjahan Seikh and mother Asma Bibi out side a mosque at Mashaldanga, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Jihad Hussain is one of the most famous personalities in the chitmahals due to extensive local media coverage as his parents faced a lot of problems during his birth because of the lack of identity and nationality.

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Chitmahal Enclave 14
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A family in Mashaldanga Chitt preparing for their daughters wedding. Marriages are a big problem as because of less number of women in the chitts and no nationality proves led to a lot of rejections of grooms who tried to marry women from across the Indian Mainland.

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Chitmahal Enclave 13
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Rufiya, a 12 year old bride on her wedding day in Mashaldanga Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Child marriages are pretty normal in the Chitmahals.

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Chitmahal Enclave 12
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Children at a stationary shop in Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. The future of the children in the chitmahals remains uncertain because of the lack of schools in chitmahal, there are only a few pathshalas (village moderated schools without any board). As a result of this the parents of the chitmahals often send their children to better schools in the Indian mainland with the help of fake parental documents made in exchange of money in order to admit their children and to provide them a better future.

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Chitmahal Enclave 11
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A woman cutting vegetables for cooking lunch while his son plays beside her at Masaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

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Chitmahal Enclave 10
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Mina Khatun, a 10 year old girl studying at home with the help of a fire lamp as there is no electricity in the enclaves at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

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Chitmahal Enclave 09
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

An 8 year old boy drives a farming cart in the rain while two of his friends play in the surroundings at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

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Chitmahal Enclave 08
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A group of youngsters fishing beside a road in the rain with traditional methods at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Farming and laboring in building construction are the major occupation of the young. The scarcity of jobs leads to changing of states and the youngsters often go to the Indian capital New Delhi in search of laboring opportunities mostly in building constructions. Many a times they have had trouble in traveling to the Indian capital as well, because of the identity checking procedures inside the trains by the railway officers.

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Chitmahal Enclave 07
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Cell phone batteries getting recharged at a pumping station due to no electricity at home in Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

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Chitmahal Enclave 06
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

A group of children recharging their cell phones at a pumping station due to no electricity at home in Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

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Chitmahal Enclave 02
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
12 Jun 2015

Two women walk freely with joy and smile at their faces in the rain at Mashaldanga Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. The fear of having no nationality no longer bothers them as they are relieved from the identity crisis which they had for so long due to the initiatives taken by both the countries India and Bangladesh to solve the matter.

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Chitmahal Enclave 01
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

A group of women at Korola Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India, standing with their unclear shadows falling on the ground after a heavy rainfall, as for the last four decades they were neither accepted by Bangladesh nor India. Life was tough for them with no identity proves and no nationality.

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Chitmahal Enclave 17
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

A group of women who have had miscarriages in the past, at Korola Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India. Women in the enclaves have often had miscarriages due to the lack of health facilities, they usually go to the nearby Indian mainland hospitals/clinics for their health issues but most of the time they used to get rejected by the hospital officials as they had no identity prove, in India for a child birth the parents should have their national identity in order to create a birth certificate of their child which was not possible as a result the success rate in child birth occurred late in in a huge number of families.

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Chitmahal Enclave 05
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

Women huddle at Korola Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. With the initiative taken by the government authorities of both the countries India and Bangladesh to physically exchange the chitts has made the people very happy and hopeful, the Bangladeshi enclave people in India have decided to stay at India and become Indian citizens as they think that the Indian land is better for cultivation for them as it might be more fertile and also they say that they have made relatives in India as a result of a long stay.

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Chitmahal Enclave 04
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

Women huddle at Korola Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. With the initiative taken by the government authorities of both the countries India and Bangladesh to physically exchange the chitts has made the people very happy and hopeful, the Bangladeshi enclave people in India have decided to stay at India and become Indian citizens as they think that the Indian land is better for cultivation for them as it might be more fertile and also they say that they have made relatives in India as a result of a long stay.

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Chitmahal Enclave 03
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

Women huddle at Korola Chitt a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal,India. With the initiative taken by the government authorities of both the countries India and Bangladesh to physically exchange the chitts has made the people very happy and hopeful, the Bangladeshi enclave people in India have decided to stay at India and become Indian citizens as they think that the Indian land is better for cultivation for them as it might be more fertile and also they say that they have made relatives in India as a result of a long stay.

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Chitmahal Enclave 24
Coochbihar
By Sujanya Das
11 Jun 2015

A group of children celebrate by waving the national flag of India at Korola Chitt, a Bangladeshi enclave in the south Coochbihar district of West Bengal, India.

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Child Labour in Our World
Beirut
By b.yaacoub
11 Jun 2015

It may sound like old news to some, but one of the scary realities of our world is that some of the biggest problems facing humanity occur without explosions, protests, or big news headlines. Often, those who suffer the most suffer in silence, far away from the eyes of news cameras and the international community.

Child Labour is one of those problems that passes largely unnoticed. All over the world, across cultural, social, and religious divides, child labour persists. Sometimes it occurs as the simple act of a well-intended parent taking their child to work in the farm fields by their side. Other times, it is malicious factory owners using children as cheap labour in their factory, where they are abused and underpaid.

What makes the issue more complicated is that child labour can occur in front of our eyes, without us noticing. Sometimes understanding child labour is understanding what is not visible to us. It is understanding that a working child is not attending school, that a working child is malnourished, and that a working child is physically and psychologically abused. The difference between a child helping their mother in the family shop and child exploitation could be the simple question of whether or not the child’s work is preventing them from attending school. The line can sometimes be fine and other times glaring.

At Transterra Media, our contributors have documented child labour around the world for years, from the brick factories of Bangladesh, to the garbage piles of Cambodia, and the car repair shops of Syria. Our contributors have shed a small amount of light on a massive issue that the world is still trying to address.

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Aceh: Migrants Find Shelter on Indone...
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
08 Jun 2015

Muslim Rohingya people fleeing persecution in Burma and Bangladeshis escaping poverty in their country have found welcoming shores in Aceh, North Indonesia, after gruesome and dangerous journeys in the sea at the hands of mafias of human trafficking. In early May, thousands of them found themselves at the centre of a regional emergency when Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia refused to accept them.

After Thailand cracked down on human trafficking networks who had been operating in the region for years, the traffickers abandoned the boats, leaving their victims adrift with virtually no food and water. The Rohingya and Bangladeshi have been paying human smugglers for years to take them to Malaysia. Many of these smugglers turned out to be traffickers who held their human cargo hostage in camps along the border between Thailand and Malaysia until their families paid ransoms of thousands of dollars.

On 20 May, Malaysia and Indonesia finally agreed to allow the boats ashore after pushing them back to the sea for two weeks. Before that, at a time when the policy of their governments was to deny entry to the Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants, fishermen form the province of Aceh, in Indonesia, rescued three boats carrying almost 2,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi people, defying the orders from the Indonesian Navy.

The Rohingya, widely regarded in Myanmar as Bangladeshi interlopers despite tracing their ancestry in the country for generations, were stripped of citizenship in 1982 and have lived under apartheid-like conditions ever since. Their situation worsened in 2012, when a wave of sectarian violence between the Rakhine Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority engulfed Rakhine State, leaving dozens of dead. The violence also left 140,000 internally displaced people, mostly Rohingya confined in overcrowded camps lacking the most basic facilities.

With scarce means of livelihood and virtually no access to health care or education, in recent years an increasing number of Rohingya have taken their chances embarking to Malaysia. Economic migrants from Bangladesh have increasingly joined the Rohingya. They are fleeing poverty in one of the most impoverished and overpopulated nations in Asia.

While the Bangladeshi migrants are certain that they will be repatriated at some point, and personnel from their embassy have already visited the camps to verify their identities, the future of the Rohingya is more uncertain. They can’t be sent back to their country and the process to resettle them in third countries might take years.

Nevertheless, the Acehnese population seems to have welcomed those who have arrived to their coast with open arms. Many Acehnese visit them to the camps and their donations are making sure there are no shortages of food, and some are lobbying to shelter the Rohingya refugees indefinitely in Aceh.

“I really wish they will stay permanently in Aceh. I have lobbied the Governor of Aceh on this matter, and will raise it with the head of the Senate,” said Rafly, a famous Acehnese singer and Senator.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Migrants in Indonesia 10
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
08 Jun 2015

Rohingya refugees, Bangladeshi migrants and aid workers pray together at Bayeun camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 8 June 2015.

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Migrants in Indonesia 17
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
07 Jun 2015

Bangladeshi migrant lies on the floor with fever at Kuala Langsa Port Camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 7 June 2015.

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Migrants in Indonesia 08
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
07 Jun 2015

Bangladeshi migrant at Kuala Langsa Port Camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 7 June 2015. Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants are sheltered in separated compounds because there was a fight between both communities when they were stranded at sea in the same boat in which 100 people reportedly died.

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Migrants in Indonesia 11
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
05 Jun 2015

Rohingya woman prays at Kuala Cangkoi camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 5 June 2015.

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Migrants in Indonesia 12
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
05 Jun 2015

A Rohingya girl looks at herself in the mirror after her mother has combed her hair at Kuala Cangkoi camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 5 June 2015.

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Jamdani Weaving: Ancestral Tradition ...
South Rupshi, Bangladesh
By Karim + Jenny
29 May 2015

Text by Jenny Gustafsson and Photos by Karim Mostafa
At first glance, South Rupshi looks like any other village in the Bangladeshi countryside. Tea stalls line the roads, kids play in the mid-day heat. Rickshaw-drivers pedal their decorated bikes. But something sets it out from other villages. Everywhere, bundles of yarn are left to dry in the sun. People on their porches spin threads onto spindles, scarves flow in the wind. South Rupshi is the ancestral home of a proud tradition in Bangladesh: the age-old jamdani weaving.

These days the village weavers are busy. The demand for saris is growing, the handmade fabrics are sold to customers all over Bangladesh and India, and exported abroad. Last year, UNESCO declared jamdani an intangible cultural heritage, stating its importance in Bangladesh as “a symbol of identity, dignity and self-recognition”. But things used to be different. Only a few decades ago, traditional weaving was a forgotten heritage.

Until sari entrepreneur Monira Emdad came and brought it back to memory. “In the early 80’s when traveling in rural Bangladesh, I came across hand-woven saris, more beautiful than I had seen anywhere else. I started bringing them to Dhaka, selling them from a small tin shed,” she says. Her efforts started a jamdani revival, which has meant the craft is now passed down to the next generation – providing an alternative to a rural workforce which otherwise is pushed into low-paying jobs with unsafe conditions. “This is much better for us. We can stay in the village and work nearby our families. And it’s not dangerous, we only use our brains here,” says weaver Mohammad Azim.
FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Thai Migration Meeting
Bangkok
By GonzaloAbad
29 May 2015

Mr. Robertson, Deputy Director Asia of Human Right Watch, speak with us about first impressions of "Thailand Migration Meeting" and migration.
Bangkok, 29 May 2015

The Royal Thai Government is organizing the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok. The Special Meeting is an urgent call for the region to comprehensively work together to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration in recent times. 

The meeting will provide a forum to exchange information and views in addressing the unprecedented increase of irregular migration by sea. Senior officials responsibility for the issue from 17 countries in the region most affected by irregular migration by sea are expected to participate in the meeting, namely, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand. In addition, the United States of America and Switzerland will participate as observers. Three international organizations, namely the UNHCR, UNODC, and IOM will also join the event.

The key topics of discussion will include:
1. Finding urgent solutions for the 7,000 irregular migrants estimated to be remaining in the Indian Ocean;
2. Finding long-term solutions to the problem of irregular migration in the Indian Ocean, particularly those related to human trafficking;
3. Addressing the challenges in countries of origin. 


Key objectives of the meeting are:
1. Promote international cooperation in solving the problem, and engage key affected countries of origin, transit, and destination, considering that Thailand is a country of transit;
2. Emphasize the principle of international burden sharing;
3. Engage constructively with countries of origin and in the region.

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Migrants in Indonesia 18
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
27 May 2015

Bangladeshi migrants at Kuala Langsa Port Camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 27 May 2015.

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Migrants in Indonesia 19
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
27 May 2015

Bangladeshi migrants at Kuala Langsa Port Camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 27 May 2015.

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Migrants in Indonesia 09
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
27 May 2015

Bangladeshi migrants at Kuala Langsa Port Camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 27 May 2015.

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Migrants in Indonesia 05
Aceh, Indonesia
By Carlos Sardiña Galache
26 May 2015

Rohingya refugee at Kuala Cangkoi camp, in Aceh Province, Indonesia, 26 May 2015. This camp shelters 330 Rohingya refugees who arrived to the coasts of Aceh on 10th May. 190 Bangladeshi migrants who travelled in the same boat are now held in an immigration center waiting for their repatriation.