Risky adoptions and palm oil tensions

Cambodia is close to resuming controversial intercountry adoption with Italy, Vietnam manufacturing layoffs reach the U.S., Indonesian small palm oil businesses strive for economic survival, communities fight for their urban housing rights in the Philippines.

February 11, 2023
Risky adoptions and palm oil tensions

Hello, Globe readers!

Another week has come to an end, and the Sightlines is coming to you a bit late as last night Globe kicked off the Passing for Protection exhibition displaying Anton L. Delgado’s photos of his on-the-ground environmental reporting. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event. We hope you enjoyed yourself.

Before diving into this week’s features, the Globe team sends our most sincere condolences to all of those affected by the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria last Monday. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. If you’d like to contribute to disaster relief efforts, this guide might be a helpful resource.

Finally, this week we are trying a new format for Sightlines. We’d love to hear your feedback on the new layout and or experience at Passing for Protection if you joined us, so let us know what you think by sending us an email.

Enjoy the stories and have a wonderful weekend!

1 – Italy close to resuming inter-country adoptions from Cambodia

Globe’s Beatrice Siviero

Italy set the pace for resuming inter-country adoption from Cambodia in 2023 despite widespread concerns over a lack of transparency and weak child protection mechanisms after Cambodia’s 2009 ban on the practice over corruption and human-trafficking allegations. 

– “In the current context, it is unthinkable that Cambodia would seek to restart intercountry adoptions, and unconscionable that countries such as Italy would risk infringing on children’s rights by participating in such a reopening,” Naly Pilorge from Cambodian human rights organisation LICADHO said. –

2 – Indonesia’s new palm oil biodiesel programme profits major corporations at the expense of smallholders, says union

Globe’s Leila Goldstein

As the Indonesian government orders biodiesel producers to add more palm oil to fuel, small palm oil producers worry the mandate will give an even bigger edge to major agribusinesses.

– SPKS secretary general Manuseutus Dartos said B35 not only props up palm oil giants, but that the policy is also not profitable for smallholder palm oil farmers. –

3 – Mass layoffs abound amid record economic wins for Vietnam

Globe’s Govi Snell, Nguyen Hao Thanh Thao

Despite an increase in foreign direct investment in 2022, tens of thousands of  Vietnamese garment, footwear and wood workers have lost their jobs as export demand struggles amidst a global economic downturn.

– While the economic statistics showcase Vietnam’s macroeconomic successes, these gains are paired with struggles at the bottom tier of the global supply chain. –

4 – Urban poor’s housing rights hit by Philippines’ redevelopment

Tristan James Biglete

Low-income communities in the Philippines are fighting back for their housing rights as the country’s urban redevelopment projects move forward.

–  “Sometimes there are threats. Someone would say that your home in the resettlement area will disappear if you don’t go to the housing project,” said Fe Seduco, a resident of Sitio San Roque’s Area J. –

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