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Asia's rapid economic growth in the past two decades has largely been depicted as a global turning point. According to Oxfam, UNDP and many of the world’s leading economists Asia’s much vaunted economic growth is misleading. It is, in fact, taking place along-side stark inequality and rising levels of poverty – leaving society's most marginalized little more than Exiles to Nowhere. In short: The minority rich are getting richer. The majority poor are getting poorer.
The declaration of the Surin Islands, on which the Moken live, as a national park in 1981 has been restricting them from using the trees on these islands to build their traditional boats and houses. Restrictions on fishing and foraging have also been imposed despite the fact that their traditional way of life does not require any over-harvesting of natural resources.
In a culture that possesses no such words as “my,” “I want,” or “take,” modernity has already proven to be detrimental to their survival.
The microsite and its content were commissioned and funded by Oxfam to portray an independent view of inequality in Asia. However, the views, claims and opinions contained within do not necessarily represent Oxfam’s views, nor should they be perceived reported or claimed as such. For official information on Oxfam’s campaign on Inequality please visit our Even it up! page.