Region Asia

Duterte of the Philippines

President Duterte is the most controversial figure in the Philippines today, and arguably in the ASEAN region. He is now President of the Philippines, which chairs ASEAN in 2017. What is in store for the Philippines and for the chairmanship of ASEAN? 

Distribution of relief supplies

In Pakistan NGOs face harsh restrictions and human rights activists risk imprisonment and harrasment. It is important that the government recognizes the role of civil society and promotes a culture of cooperation and trust.

Two women at the Gay Pride March in Johannesburg 2013

Civil society organisations can be a vanguard of progress for the LGBTI community. Despite the growing number of laws and policies impeding LGBTI advocacy, activists and organisations successfully challenge these trends.


On 8 November 2015, a new Parliament will be elected after decades of military rule in Myanmar. The elections will decide how the reform process of the past five years will be continued. This dossier will accompany the next months until a new government is formed by offering policy and economic analysis.

The implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015/2016 will have drastic impacts on the socio-economic development and democratization of the ten member countries. This dossier and the lecture series seek to explain current political developments, societal changes and economic trends in the region.

2014 is viewed as one of the most important years since the Afghan transition process began, over a decade ago. Western troops are being drawn down and more importantly, the first presidential and provincial elections autonomously organised within the country, will present a further important step within the political transition process. This dossier provides analyses, profiles, interviews, as well as studies that will shed light on the events of what is an important year for Afghanistan.


Cover: Any Hope for a Kurdish State?

Iraqi and Syrian Kurds have gained increasing international recognition for their efforts in combating ISIS and some observers conclude that the conditions for an independent Kurdistan have never been as favorable as they are now. What are the prospects for a Kurdish nation state?

Forced Pregnancy During The Khmer Rouge Regime

During the last decade, there has been growing awareness of the issue of sexual and gender-based violence during the Democratic Kampuchea (DK) regime.

In Afghanistan civil society organizations, youth groups and networks were founded over the last years to consolidate democracy and endeavor to push forward their participation in politics and society. The Contact Group which is an umbrella these organizations designed a strategic plan about their work in 2016 an 2017.



Nichlagarh, an adivasi village in the forest region of Southern Rajasthan, is caught between the bureaucratic regime of the Forestry Department (FD) of India and progressive legislation that claims to restore the traditional rights of commoners.

Thida Khus is the Executive Director of SILAKA, a Cambodian NGO that has been working since 1997 to increase the participation of women in Cambodia. Thida will be speaking at the Heinrich Böll Foundation about the situation of women in Southeast Asia.


Poverty in Delhi

India has the largest number of homeless and landless persons in the world, as well as the greatest number of urban and rural poor.  Shivani Chaudhry, the Executive Director of Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), argues that the New Urban Agenda must pay more attention to the human right to adequate housing. Interview with Shivani Chaudhry.

Crowd standing in queue to cast their votes during the Assam Assembly Election at Boonda Polling Station.

The recent and resounding electoral victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam, the largest of India’s North-Eastern States, carries particular importance. The journalist Ash Narain Roy, director of the Institute for Social Sciences gives a comprehensive report on the BJP victory in Assam.


Dr. Adil Najam is a leading global expert on issues related to developing country environmental policy, especially climate change. In this interview, that was conducted on November 11, 2013 in conjunction with our lecture series "Understand Pakistan", he speaks about his expectations for the COP19 in Warsaw. He underlines the importance of international agreements and calls for immediate action. He doesn't expect a significant accord to be signed in Warsaw this year - even though he wishes an agreement to be made.



In the summertime in India there are so called monsoon rains lasting over days.

Amitav Ghosh’s new book “The Great Derangement” examines climate change and climate policy from unusual perspectives. It is bound to get much international attention because it asks some fundamental new questions concerning the handling of climate change in literature and activist politics, and because it represents a well-known voice from Asia.

The NGO Natural Justice and its regional partners, with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, jointly assisted a number of communities to develop community protocols in the context of extractive industries. You can download them here.

Perspectives Asia

In this edition of Perspectives Asia, the authors highlight certain aspects of gender relations and offer some very personal insights into the situations of women and men in Asia.

Perspectives Asia

Asia, the world’s most populous continent, has been undergoing a dramatic transformation. Globalization and new technologies are leading millions of people out of poverty. At the same time thousands have to leave their country. A continent on the move.

All Issues


The aim of our projects in Asia is to support the democratisation of the region and promote the recognition of human rights. Our work also focuses on promoting environmental sustainability and social justice.


Nov 08
Iran’s Civil Society after the Nuclear Deal
Nov 16
The CBD and the future of land use and biological diversity
Nov 16
The CBD and the future of land use and biological diversity
Nov 17
Well played - Arab Film Days

Video: Urvashi Butalia on Women's Rights in India


Southasian Perspecitves on the West
with Pankaj Mishra (Historian) and Nadeem Aslam (Writer) on September 12th, 2014