India had the highest suicide rate in Asia (CNN) — and that was before COVID-19 hit and removed many social safety nets. Despite the high rates of mental illness, many sufferers don’t get treatment due to high prices and societal stigmas.

A mental health crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 isn’t only troubling for India, in fact, many countries across Asia face a similar dilemma. Despite the need for government programs to help the mentally ill, many Asian countries still don’t have the infrastructure to treat those in need.

In this special issue, written by Raisa Nastukova, a freelance journalist and photographer…


Nine power stories from Asia’s rural women celebrating their strength, innovation and history

This month the world celebrates the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child (11 Oct), as well as Day of Rural Women (15 Oct) — so we’ve brought together stories of a group that seldom makes global headlines — rural women and girls in Asia. Some stories are already getting attention — such as that of the recurring, brutal cases of gender-violence and caste discrimination in India, or the detrimental impact of rural girls’ lack of access to education. …


India-administered Kashmir had long enjoyed a contested form of “special status” within the country, which gave the troubled region some autonomy. This changed in August 2019 as the region lost all its power and came under the direct control of the central government in New Delhi. Since then, Indian security forces deployed to the region have been accused of rampant human rights abuses.

In this special issue, written by Raisa Nastukova, a freelance journalist and photographer, we share the stories of Kashmir that go beyond the security issue and showcase the struggles and challenges facing Kashmiris daily.

Undercovered Kashmir Stories

Kashmir has long…


We at Asia Undercovered try to steer clear of over-covered news like Trump’s latest tweets, but here’s a trending topic that we feel deserves more attention: #BlackLivesMatter.

Over the past few months, a renewed BLM movement has spread around the world, including in Asia, where protesters are not only taking to the streets in solidarity with those in America, but also highlighting ongoing inequalities and discrimination within the region. Some are also highlighting the hypocrisy of leaders who are vocal about #BlackLivesMatter in the United States, but carry on perpetuating ongoing inequality in their own countries.

In this special issue…


Mark Zuckerberg has chosen his side, and if you don’t quit the platform, knowing everything we do now, you’re complicit.

Credit: Book Catalog/Flickr

It’s been four years since Facebook, the world’s most popular social network and owner of Instagram and Whatsapp, completely failed to regulate the intentional use of its platforms to spread disinformation, a key factor in the election of Donald Trump. This was followed by a rash of promises to make Facebook a more open, ethical, and safer social network.

Today, though, as we approach another Presidential election, Facebook has not only failed to reform, but has openly embraced its role…


On June 20, the world commemorated the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict and persecution.

While most attention globally focused on refugees crisis in Europe or Central America, it’s a growing concern in Asia too. The region is estimated to have upwards of 3.5 million refugees, with the majority coming from Afghanistan and Myanmar. This number is likely to rise with more groups threatened by political and religious persecution, from Uyghurs fleeing human rights abuses in China, to Hong Kong activists increasingly in need of protection.


June 8 is World Oceans Day designated in 2009 by the United Nations to celebrate the role of the oceans in our everyday life and inspire action to protect oceans and the sustainable use of marine resources.

With numerous densely populated island and coastal nations, oceans plays a key role in livelihood, culture and politics in Asia. The region is part of the global tide calling for a move away from plastic, rising agitations against environmental and human exploitation of water, and many countries are taking action to tackle pollution,

In this special issue, written by Daniela Muenzel, a freelance…


Ethical alternatives are out there

Amazon workers protest in Shakopee, Minnesota. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

Few companies are benefiting from Covid-19 as much as Amazon. Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man and Amazon is now larger than Walmart, so big that Elizabeth Warren, during her presidential campaign, argued for breaking up Amazon due to the fact that it now controls nearly 50% of all e-commerce sales nationally — a figure that has likely grown in the past few months.

In a world where it is no longer easy or, in many cases, possible to visit your local grocery store or mall, defaulting to Amazon Prime is understandable. In fact, for the most part, consumers…


Today, Asia Undercovered goes in-depth on an undercovered topic from the continent: public health. The reason: the world is focused on COVID-19, but across Asia, many are suffering or losing their lives due to other public health issues, many of which get little attention despite impacting huge segments of the population.

This issue was written by Daniela Muenzel, a freelance writer and communications specialist.

Public health beyond COVID-19

As Indonesia grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, infections from another animal-borne disease have gone on the rise largely unnoticed, likely driven by climate change, with more cases recorded so far this year than for the coronavirus…


As the world gathers for a critically important climate conference in Madrid, Spain, all eyes will be on Asia. It’s beyond climate — the decisions that countries like China, Japan, India, Indonesia, and others make will determine the future of not only global warming, but biodiversity, energy, and water.

In this week’s Asia Undercovered, co-written by Daniela Muenzel, a freelance writer and communications specialist, we share stories of development, environmental, and resource stories across Asia, all of which deserve more attention globally, including at COP25.

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Development’s impact on local people

In Vietnam, cheap labor, resources…

Nithin Coca

Global journalist covering politics, environment, human rights & the social impacts of tech for OneZero, Gizmodo, The Nation and more www.nithincoca.com/writer

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