Episode Guides

Critically acclaimed series on the lives of people in some of the fastest-changing areas of the world

About the Show

Critically acclaimed series on the lives of people in some of the fastest-changing areas of the world

  • Unreported World

    The Kids of Murder High

    Reporter Ade Adepitan and director Nick Blakemore travel to Honduras to meet the inspirational head teacher who's battling to give his pupils the best chance of survival in one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

    San Pedro Sula has the highest murder rate in the world. Two notorious gangs - Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 - are fighting for control of the city. The only way out for many families is to attempt the dangerous route into the US.

    In the four months before Unreported World's visit, 2500 unaccompanied children from the city were arrested crossing illegally into the United States.

    Adepitan and Blakemore are in Chamelecón, at the centre of the gang battle. They are there to meet Hector, an extraordinary head teacher trying to convince local kids that education is the way to a better future, rather than risking their lives with the people smugglers.

  • Unreported World: India's Electric Dreams

    India's Electric Dreams

    Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Hugo Ward travel to India where the government's drive to help the country's development through widespread electrification is pitting villagers who want the benefits of electricity against campaigners who are worried about the environmental impact of vast open-cast mines on the forests that provide a livelihood and food for tribal communities.

  • Siberia's Next Supermodels

    Reporter Marcel Theroux and director Billy Dosanjh meet some of the thousands of young Russian models hoping for a career in fashion.

    Demand from the Far East is driving the search for new models and the Unreported World team follow the trail, from scouting in shopping malls in Siberia to attending casting calls in China, where the work and conditions are a lot harder than the models had hoped, and models can end up in debt to their agencies.

  • The Invisible People

    Unreported World visits Lebanon to reveal the plight of some of the most vulnerable refugees fleeing the war in Syria: disabled people, many of whom are children.

    Talking to the children, their families and the organisations trying to help them, producer David Fuller and new reporter Giles Duley, a photographer who lost his legs and an arm to a landmine in Afghanistan, reveal how the refugees and the Lebanese government are struggling to cope as the crisis worsens.

  • Vietnam's Dog-Snatchers

    Unreported World investigates how dog thieves are stealing thousands of pet dogs from family homes in Vietnam to meet the demand for dog meat.

    The crime wave has provoked outrage across the country and led to the mob killing of scores of dog thieves.

    Reporter Nelufar Hedayat and director Daniel Bogado reveal disturbing evidence of how dogs are stolen, transported and slaughtered in an illegal trade that has shocked the nation.

  • Surviving Ebola

    Unreported World provides a unique view of what life is like for the health workers battling Ebola in Sierra Leone and the families affected by the virus.

    As the only television crew to spend two weeks embedded in field hospitals and quarantine units, reporter Shaunagh Connaire and director Wael Dabbous were in Sierra Leone at a critical phase when there was still a chance to contain the virus.

    In the time they were there though it was clear the battle to contain it was being lost.

    This Ebola outbreak has claimed nearly 2000 lives. The World Health Organization warns the virus could ultimately infect more than 20,000 people. Without the bravery and determination of those battling the virus, the figures would be far higher.

  • Africa's Drugs Scandal

    Cancer now kills more people in the developing world than malaria, HIV/ Aids and tuberculosis combined. Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Daniel Bogado travel to Senegal to reveal how patients across the continent are being deprived of the single most important drug for relieving the pain of cancer - morphine - despite governments having the funds to purchase supplies.

    Senegal is one of Africa's most stable democracies, with the second largest economy in West Africa. As the country develops, and people live longer lives, cancer rates are surging. It's a problem across the developing world.

    The children's cancer unit in Dantec Hospital in Dakar is the only unit of its kind in the country and it's fighting a growing health crisis.

    Professor Claude Moreira tells Guru-Murthy that the hospital can treat many types of cancer, with success rates close to those of the West. But, he explains, one drug absolutely critical to caring for his patients is very difficult to get hold of.

    Morphine is a basic mainstay for the treatment of pain. However, in Senegal, many politicians are afraid medical stocks could be stolen and sold to drug addicts as heroin.

    So the authorities allow only a very small amount of morphine into the country each year: far less than is needed to deal with the growing number of cancer victims; let alone all of the other medical conditions that need pain-relief medication.

    Four-year-old Abdurahmane has retinal cancer. He's been in the hospital for three months, receiving chemotherapy, which has shrunk the tumour in his eye.

    He is being treated with morphine. When stocks are low, the hospital pharmacy gives children priority, but even in this specialist unit they sometimes run out.

    Getting access to morphine outside the capital is virtually impossible. The team travels to the main hospital in Senegal's second city, Touba. Mactar, who's 25, has been diagnosed with advanced liver cancer. He's in great pain but has only been given tramadol, which is stronger than paracetemol but much weaker than morphine

    Mactar's case is typical. Without morphine, cancer patients spend their last days in agony. There are tens of thousands of people in Senegal who need relief for severe pain. But the government only orders enough morphine to treat a few hundred patients a year.

    Annette Seck Ndiaye, the head of the government agency that regulates the supply of the country's morphine, tells Guru-Murthy: 'There is no problem. The problem is having that information. It's not only about saying that we need more, because the use of morphine must be justified.'

    But the problem is that to estimate the amount of morphine the country needs, the National Pharmacy looks at the number of prescriptions written by doctors. And most doctors in Senegal don't write morphine prescriptions, because they know it isn't available.

    The scandalous shortage of morphine in Senegal is being repeated across the developing world and affects millions. Without the political will to change, vulnerable people remain deprived of humane treatment and an end to life free of pain.

  • Jamaica's Underground Gays

    In an eye-opening episode, reporter Ade Adepitan and director Andrew Carter travel to Kingston to investigate the growth of homophobic attacks in Jamaica and to meet the gay and transgender group who've ended up living in a storm drain, where they suffer shocking violence, attacks and insults because of their sexuality.

    Jamaica has a reputation for intolerance of homosexuality. Male gay sex is punishable by 10 years' hard labour and violent hostility is entrenched in the island's culture.

    Unreported World meets one group of gay and transgender people who are now living in a gully, which is usually designed to carry floodwater and rubbish from the city.

    It's hot, crowded, infested and filthy. But it's the only place these 25 people can call home.

    There are no facilities: cooking and washing-up are done in the gutter. Water comes from a broken pipe under a road bridge. And it's not in a poor part of town, but in the middle of New Kingston, the capital's business district.

    Most homosexuals in Jamaica work hard to hide their sexuality. Those who are openly 'out' are in the firing line.

    Krissy, who's 21, was born male but believes her true gender is female. She says she didn't feel safe expressing this at home, so she's lived on the streets on and off since she was 12. Apart from her sister, she hasn't seen most of her family for years.

    Krissy tells Adepitan that together with other homeless gay and transgender friends, she initially lived in a squat. But, under pressure from the neighbours, the site's owner chased the group away and levelled the place.

    They went from squat to squat, being moved on each time by police or landlords, and eventually ended up at the gully.

    Many of those living in the gully didn't finish school, and without an address it's difficult to get a job.

    Sachaberry, who has been homeless for two years, says the only way she can make a living is by selling her body. But it's a dangerous business. She tells Adepitan that one night she went to meet a client and was ambushed by a gang. She suffered multiple stabbings and only just survived.

    It's not only outside the gully that the group faces violent attacks. Adepitan and Carter are filming as thousands of people leaving the final of the national athletics championships at the nearby stadium pass by the gully. Shouting insults and death threats, some of them start throwing stones and rocks at the group.

    Eventually a police riot squad turns up to disperse the crowd, but bizarrely one officer claims that it is the group of gay men and women who have been stoning the crowd.

    Adepitan talks to the Deputy Superintendent of police. He says he hasn't got anything against homosexuals, he treats everybody equally, but he hopes 'the rain water will fill the gully and wash them away.'

    But there is one guardian angel looking out for the gully dwellers. Seventy-six-year-old human rights activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers makes twice-weekly food drops in the park opposite the gully. She also helps out with legal and health problems, and is trying to persuade the authorities to find somewhere suitable for them to live.

  • Neighbours at War

    Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Adam Pletts manage to film on both sides of the lines in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, where Sunni Muslim fighters are besieging an Alawite neighbourhood in a conflict mirroring that happening in Syria.

    Guru-Murthy uncovers a vicious low-level war of sniping, assassinations and kneecappings, and meets commanders and gunmen who revel in killing their neighbours, and whose hate has taken over their lives.

    The Unreported World team visits the house of one of the local Sunni commanders, Abu Ali, who used to run a snooker hall. Together with his 30 fighters, Ali monitors the Alawite houses in Tripoli's Jabal Mohsen enclave, located on the hill above the Bab al Tabbaneh Sunni district of the city.

    Also at the house is one of Abu Ali's henchmen: a man whose speciality is kneecapping those Alawites who have to venture from their neighbourhood into the city centre. He tells Guru-Murthy that he has so far kneecapped around 45 people and is planning to shoot more in the coming days.

    The Alawites regularly return fire into the Sunni district. In the streets around Ali's house, keeping out of sight of the Alawite guns is part of daily life, with sniper curtains hanging across side streets to block the view.

    The team cross to the other side of the frontline, to meet Kamal Sana, a former taxi driver. He and his friends are remembering a neighbour who was shot by a sniper a few days before.

    The windows of Kamal's children's bedroom have been blown in by a mortar landing outside. Kamal's wife, Rola, says that over the last three years living here has become terrifying. But this is their family home and they don't want to leave.

    Kamal tells the team about the automatic weapons he keeps at home and says his fighters use 'anything it takes' but he's not willing to discuss where the weapons come from.

    Kamal's neighbour, Ali Assir, tells Guru-Murthy that he used to be a taxi driver until he was dragged out of his car in Tripoli and shot 13 times, and that, six weeks after he was attacked, gunmen fired at his house, killing his wife.

    Back in the Sunni district, the team meets Abu Ali's wife, Hilal, a Sunni Muslim from Syria, who strongly supports the rebels fighting the Assad regime. Her 11-year-old son Ali says that when he grows up he wants to fire weapons into Jabal Mohsen.

    Hilal tells Guru-Murthy that she hopes Ali will soon be old enough to go to Syria to fight. She doesn't fear him dying in the conflict, saying: 'He's just like any other, just like the others who go there and die.'

    At Abu Ali's headquarters, the gunmen are celebrating. An Alawite working as a hospital receptionist in the city centre has just been shot in the legs, possibly by one of Ali's accomplices. It's dangerous for Alawites to be treated in the city, so he has been taken to a hospital outside Tripoli.

    The Unreported World team track him down, and find him lying alongside another Alawite man who has also just been kneecapped by Sunni gunmen. 'We are all family, all brothers. There's no difference between one person and another. There are many decent people but a very small group is dragging down the whole area,' he says.

  • The Cursed Twins

    Unreported World visits a remote area of Madagascar where the dead make the rules.

    A set of taboos, handed down from long-dead ancestors, controls what you eat, when you work and every aspect of how you behave.

    Reporter Kiki King and director David Fuller visit the town of Mananjary, on the isolated east coast, to reveal how one taboo against twins leads to children being abandoned and mothers becoming outcasts.

    No one is sure how the taboo against twins, and the belief that they bring bad luck, arose, but most stories talk about an ancient battle that caused a tribe to flee their village.

    One mother forgot one of her twins and when the villagers returned to save it, they were all massacred. The tribe's elders then declared it taboo to raise twins.

    Ursula, the mother of twins Giovanni and Venua, says that when they were born her husband told her to abandon them and refused to recognise them legally. Ursula refused to give them up and moved in with her sister and mother.

    Then her mother got sick and died. She tells King that her family and neighbours blamed the death on the twins: 'Everyone said that her death was her punishment because she didn't respect her culture: the ancestors.'

    King and Fuller also meet Carolin, who is considered especially unlucky as she has given birth to three sets of twins. She says she has had to move house around 30 times, because her neighbours feared the twins.

    Now she lives in a tiny tent and is struggling to feed her family. Living alongside her, in what amounts to a small refugee camp for twins, are six other families who have all had to flee their villages.

    The nearby CATJA orphanage is home to a dozen sets of twins, but none of them are orphans; their parents are alive and living nearby. Over the years, hundreds of twins have passed through the centre, which is funded by a French charity.

    While the team are there, an abandoned newborn twin is brought in. Nobody knows who she belongs to; only the village that she comes from.

    In the village, King and Fuller meet the baby's mother, Cecile, who's back in the fields just a week after giving birth. The baby's father, Adreobert, says they were so afraid of the taboo that they gave up their daughter.

    Adreobert tells King that many younger people want the taboo lifted, but the power lies with the tribal chiefs. They believe that the chiefs can communicate with the ancestors and could ask them to lift the taboo.

    The team travel deeper into the bush to meet the chiefs, one of whom tells King: 'As long as we are still alive we are not going to dilute our ancestral culture... we have a saying: that anyone who keeps twins has no soul.'

    Back at the orphanage, the newly arrived girl has been given a name, Nyavo, which means 'to rise'. It's rare for twins to be adopted locally but Juliet, a teacher from Mananjary, has come forward to adopt the tiny baby.

    Most of the twins who pass through the CATJA centre are adopted by parents in France. The younger tribespeople want the custom to change so that no more twins are forced to leave their home country.

    Juliet hopes that by the time Nyavo is old enough to understand, the twin taboo will belong only to the ancestors.

  • Carjack City

    At least 30 vehicles are carjacked every day in South Africa. The country's cars are routinely fitted with satellite trackers, so that if they're carjacked by thieves an armed response unit can track them.

    Reporter Marcel Theroux and director James Brabazon visit the country's capital, Pretoria, where this type of crime is acute.

    They go on patrol with Andries Hlongwane - who works for a private security firm - as he chases the gunmen and recovers stolen cars.

    It's dangerous work in a private security industry that now accounts for seven per cent of all jobs in South Africa.

    Theroux and Brabazon begin the film in hot pursuit of a carjacked vehicle. Andries and his partner find it abandoned, but they keep their guns drawn: there's a good chance the carjackers are still watching to see if anyone has followed the car's satellite tracker.

    The team wait for police officers to arrive to help out, but suddenly they hear the cries of a woman being robbed across the road. Andries races to help her, his gun drawn, and chases off the robbers.

    A few minutes later a passing driver warns the team he's just driven through a gang of armed carjackers at a junction less than 100 yards away. The police arrive and almost immediately there's a fusillade of shots.

    Just five minutes from the South African parliament, the carjackers have no compunction about firing automatic weapons to make good their escape.

    Next Andries scrambles into action to track down a hijacked delivery van. He finds it abandoned in a poor township. The shocked driver says he's convinced the gunmen were going to murder him.

    The hijackers eventually fled with the equivalent of around £30 in cash and a few loaves of bread. The police turn up to investigate, but locals say it's rare to see the police in this township.

    The lack of police protection in many areas is one reason that explains the 400,000 private security guards in South Africa: more than the whole of the country's police and armed forces combined.

    Andries has a young family and, with a quarter of the population out of work, he risks his life for £1.25 an hour.

    He's concerned that criminals he grew up with, who still live in the same township as him, may target his family, so he makes the difficult decision to move his family into a tiny garden outhouse in a safer suburb.

    The team arranges to meet a gang of carjackers who steal vehicles in the area Andries patrols. They say that they steal to order and export the cars to other African countries.

    They tell Theroux that they carry guns, baseball bats and knives, and if anyone tries to stop them, they often disable them with two shots to the stomach.

  • Kickboxing Kids

    This powerful episode documents the lives of Thai children as young as seven who fight in the brutal sport of Muay Thai, knocking out their opponents with elbows, knees, feet and fists.

    It can leave the kids brain damaged, but adult gambling on these unpredictable fights is big business, and their families put enormous pressure on the kids to fight and win.

    Reporter Mary-Ann Ochota and director Daniel Bogado follow 11-year-old Nat Thanarak, one of the best child boxers in the north of the country, as he prepares for the biggest match of his career so far, against a 12-year-old champion from another province.

    Nat will get a fee for the fight, but his chance of earning big money comes from gambling. His whole village has raised a stake to bet on him. If Nat wins, he'll get a cut.

    There are more than 30,000 professional child fighters taking part in Muay Thai, which is considered one of the toughest martial arts in the world. Although they sometimes fight for a fee of as little as £4, their winnings can make them breadwinners for their families and local heroes in their villages.

    Nat trains seven days a week, four hours a day, before and after school. As well as getting fit for the fight, he also needs to make the weight for his category.

    To do this, he needs to shed three kilos - 10% of his body weight - in a week. He dresses in a rubber suit designed to help him lose water while he runs eight kilometres in temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius.

    Nat's mother works as a nanny in Bangkok, sending money home when she can, but it's not enough to support the family. Nat's dad doesn't have a job and tells Ochota that if his son wasn't boxing, he would have to find work in Bangkok, leaving Nat to live with their grandparents.

    While Nat trains, the team film some of the fights held every night across Thailand, and see children knocked out and badly concussed.

    Professor Jiraporn Laothamatas, a specialist studying child boxers, says brain scans show kids can suffer similar brain trauma to victims of traffic accidents, which can lead to lower intelligence and dementia.

    Nat meets Son Nongkhai, a boxing businessman who helped arrange the fight and has put up a financial guarantee that Nat will make his target weight.

    Despite Nat training for 12 hours in the rubber suit, without food, he's still over 25kg. Son Nongkhai puts him in the rubber suit in his pickup truck, in the midday sun, with all the windows closed, in the hope he'll sweat it out.

    Nat's opponent, Nong Em, arrives for the big fight. Just as with Nat, Em's whole village have banded together to gamble on him.

    As Nat is still overweight it looks like he'll have to forfeit the match and the money; but, to everyone's surprise, Nong Em is also overweight.

    With so much gambling money at stake, both sides cut a deal to let the match go ahead, and the Unreported World team follow it to its brutal end.

  • Dancing in the Danger Zone

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Marcel Mettelsiefen meet the extraordinary young dancers and musicians at Iraq's only music and ballet school, who are battling to keep their art alive against the rising tide of sectarian violence in Baghdad.

    In the run-up to elections, up to 300 people are being killed in Baghdad every week by car bombs and assassinations.

    But, hidden away from the violence, the school is a refuge of culture and artistic expression, with 162 students from across the city. Ranging from six to seventeen years old, they are chosen for their artistic ability for music and dance.

    The star student is 17-year-old Leezan Salam, who has studied at the school for 10 years and is just two months from graduation. 'When you enter the school you enter a place of hope and peace. Outside you hear the sounds of car bombs and gunfire. Inside the school, everything is beautiful,' she says.

    Pianist Mohammed Ramsey is one of Leezan's best friends and they are both on the brink of the biggest decision of their lives: what to do when they leave the school. Leezan will have to leave Iraq if she wants to continue her ballet. Mohammed's future as a piano player is uncertain.

    Every day the pupils risk their lives by crossing Baghdad to reach the school. Six weeks earlier, Leezan and Mohammed's best friend - musician Ali Nouri - was killed by a bomb on his way to school.

    He used to take Leezan home every day until one day she heard a bomb had gone off. 'I called Ali's phone and a stranger picked it up,' she tells Williams. 'I said "Who is this?" The guy said "If you know this person call his family. Please. Call the family and tell them he's dead."'

    As Williams talks to Thena Ibrahim, the School Registrar, they are interrupted by a chilling reminder of the violence outside. Seven car bombs have just been detonated across the city, killing at least 20 people and injuring 70.

    Leezan's mother is ethnically Kurdish and Shia; her father is Sunni. They say they had wanted to move to northern Iraq to escape the sectarian violence. But Leezan didn't want to go as it meant giving up her ballet.

    They reveal another problem. Increasing religious extremism means they don't tell their neighbours that Leezan is studying ballet. 'They say that ballet dancing is another word for seduction and other words I can't say,' says Leezan's mother.

    Her father says: 'I heard one of the officials of the Ministry of Education said he turns his face to the other way when he passes the ballet school.' Her mother adds: 'He thinks the school is a sin so everything about it is prohibited.'

    At his home in a Sunni area, Mohammed tells Williams that Ali was a Shia and was buried in Najaf, one of the holiest Shia sites. It's too dangerous for Mohammed to visit his grave.

    Mohammed's father says that with both Sunni and Shia militia now banning music, Mohammed has to be careful who he tells that he plays piano.

    Wassan, one of the school's ballet teachers, is in the same position. 'I cannot declare that I am a ballet teacher,' she says. 'It is very difficult to leave from work knowing that somebody might come and blow up the school, killing us and claiming that this is prohibited.'

    While many girls are dropping out of the school, Leezan is determined to carry on, but she's realistic about her prospects.

    'Our political leaders aren't cultured enough in the arts. Therefore, surely they won't support us to improve or reach the next level. It's impossible,' she tells Williams.

    Wassan agrees: 'There's no future. It's over for her. She will continue her academic studies normally and that's it. There is no future for her in ballet.'

  • The World's Dirtiest River

    The Indonesian island of Java is home to the planet's most polluted river and a textile industry supplying some of the world's biggest fashion brands.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Hugo Ward expose the extraordinary amount of untreated toxic waste from the textile factories, non-degradable plastics, household rubbish, dead animals and fish and human effluent blanketing the Citarum river, which 35 million people rely on for drinking, cooking and washing.

    The team accompanies former fisherman Herman and his son as they push their boat through rubbish so thick that they can't see the surface of the river. Forty years ago Herman made a good living from fishing.

    Now, with 60 per cent of the fish species wiped out as the river is starved of oxygen and polluted with toxic waste, he is after another catch: plastic for recycling.

    Thirty miles upstream, the river passes through Majalaya: a major industrial area and home to a booming textiles industry. Water from the Citarum pollutes the drinking wells and communal washing areas.

    One man says he has to use a cloth to filter the water as it irritates his skin: 'On Sundays the water is a little bit better, less murky. Other days it turns green, yellow, red and black,' he says.

    Children are clearly suffering from contact with the water, which is contaminated not only with the textile waste, but also human excrement, as the channels serve as both sewer and bathroom. A local doctor says around 60 per cent of local children have skin infections like impetigo as a result.

    And this isn't the only health hazard. The Unreported World team enlists local scientist Dr Sunardi to test samples from the village and the river. All the water sources are contaminated with heavy metals, including the drinking well, which has mercury levels nearly four times the recommended safe level.

    Dr Sunardi says that the villagers who drink the water - especially the children - are at risk of cancer and mental and physical health issues.

    The villagers are well aware of the problems. But more than half of the adults in this region work in textile factories, which are their only source of income. One villager says the factory he works in regularly dumps toxic waste directly into the river at night.

    Indonesia's Association of Textile Manufacturers says its 200 members on the Citarum treat their wastewater, but it accepts that hundreds more textile factories - which don't belong to their organisation - pour untreated waste into the river.

    Indonesia's Deputy Minister for the Environment, Arief Yuwomo, tells Rhodes: 'We have a few strategies in place and we hope we can reduce these problems. If factories are breaching these laws we will take enforcement action against them.'

    The government claims it has shut down a factory for illegally dumping chemical waste into the Citarum, but it wouldn't disclose any details of the incident or name the factory.

    Meanwhile, some of the villagers have decided to try to block one of the outlet pipes, which is releasing toxic waste into the river, in the hope that it floods the factory. It's a dangerous operation, but for the villagers it seems like the only way they will get their concerns noticed.

  • Nepal: The Orphan Business

    Unreported World goes undercover in orphanages in Nepal, where they discover that many children have been taken from impoverished parents, and used by orphanage owners to attract donations.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Laura Warner visit Thamel in Kathmandu, where tourists can volunteer in orphanages. There are more than 500 orphanages in the Kathmandu valley. As well as working as volunteers, every year foreigners donate millions of pounds to help orphans.

    One former orphanage worker tells Williams about one institution that claims all the 80 children it looks after are orphans or abandoned. But he claims that when he worked there, 45 of the children told him that they had parents. In some cases he has met the parents.

    He claims that the home's owner is persuading poor, lower-caste families to give up their children with the promise of a good education. The orphanage owner then becomes their legal guardian and attempts to obtain their birth certificates and change their names.

    Having no birth certificates leaves parents unable to reclaim their children.

    One mother who gave up her children tells Williams that the orphanage owner refused to give her children back and she alleges that they escaped only after a brutal beating.

    In a poor neighbourhood in Kathmandu a seven-year-old boy tells them about his treatment at the hands of the orphanage's staff. He claims all the children were beaten on a daily basis with sticks, belts and shoes, simply for talking, and if one child talked they were all beaten.

    Williams meets a former US law enforcer who is investigating this orphanage and others. Alongside testimony from children, she has gathered accounts showing that it receives donations from a range of international donors, including more than £100,000 from one charity alone.

    Posing as a foreign donor, Unreported World director Laura Warner visits the orphanage with a secret camera. She asks the owner about the two children whose mother the team met, and he tells her they are abandoned children that he rescued from the street. He does not mention the existence of their mother.

    A manager in another orphanage agrees to talk to Unreported World as long as his identity is kept secret. He claims that government district officials are signing false papers to make children look like orphans when they are not.

  • The Jungle Midwife

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Wael Dabbous travel with a local midwife into the jungles of the Central African Republic (CAR) where, after heavy fighting, rebels have overthrown the government and medical teams can reach areas that have been inaccessible for years.

    The murderous Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has used the recent chaos to relocate from neighbouring countries and is killing people and kidnapping children.

    Olga Yetikoua is employed by the International Medical Corps and faces a daily struggle to save the lives of mothers and babies in a country that's one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.

    From a clinic base in the remote diamond-mining town of Bria in Eastern CAR, Olga makes arduous journeys into the jungle to help women and babies who would die without her intervention. There is no electricity, no ultrasound and Olga can use only the drugs she can carry on her.

    The film ends as Olga receives an urgent call to treat a woman whose husband has recently been abducted by the LRA. What follows puts all her training and resolution to the test...

  • Egypt's Tomb Raiders

    Unreported World investigates the shocking effects Egypt's political unrest is having on the country's tourism industry and the unique archaeological heritage.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Alex Nott find ancient archaeological sites being plundered by armed looters; people who previously worked as guides trying to survive without money or food and the corpses of horses and camels that used to carry tourists lying in piles in the desert next to the pyramids.

    Egypt's economy has always relied on tourism, but since the army toppled the Muslim Brotherhood in a bloody coup, tourism has collapsed. The Giza Plateau is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it used to have 10,000 tourists visiting every day. Now it's eerily quiet, with the average number of tourists more like 10 a day.

    Emad Abu Zuba and Hima Abdurahman are tourist guides who offer camel rides at Giza. Before the crisis they did a brisk business but they can't remember when they last had a tourist client. Hima hasn't made any money for 14 days in a row and Emad says that people can't afford to feed their animals any more.

    He takes the team into the desert near the pyramids to show them the results. They find several piles of up to 50 dead horses lying in the sand. Emad says: 'Today if you saw 1000 horses, maybe next month you'll see 2000 of them. The third month you will see 3000 of them. One horse can feed one family. If you are going to count how many horses that are dead, it means the whole of that family has no money to live now.'

    The collapse of law and order, together with the collapse in tourism, is having a devastating effect on the country's archaeological treasures. The army and police have imposed a midnight curfew in Cairo, leaving the sites out in the desert unguarded.

    At the most famous tourist site in the world, archaeologist Monica Hanna reveals how armed looters are now plundering the network of ancient and unexplored tombs and temples for treasure.

    Every day brings a fresh discovery of looting. At the Pyramids at Darshur, which date back to 2600BC, she finds more evidence. 'This place has never been properly excavated,' she says. 'We have no clear record of what has been lost.'

    The looters are using high-tech sonar and heavy machinery to get at the tombs and the team investigate how they are getting away with it. The team meet a man who admits to looting.

    'I do this because I have no other option,' he says. 'There's no work. I need to support my family.' He also claims that there is co-ordination between looters and the authorities. 'I bribe them to let me dig,' he says.

    As well as greed, religious prejudice is also at work. Early Christian frescos have been defaced at Ansana, and even the pyramids are not safe. Monica tells Hartley that some of the Muslim Brotherhood extremists want to blow up the pyramids and Sphinx: 'They said they are idols and they belong to a very bad civilisation and we have to blow it up,' she says.

    Hartley talks to Tourist Minister Hisham Zazou, who accepts that looters have overrun the tourist sites. 'We are going to ensure that the security levels in these areas will be lifted and heightened and I believe this is a talk that is going between us, the Ministry of Antiquities, together with the Ministry of Interior,' he tells Hartley.

    But it's clear that the looting is still carrying on. At Ansana, where 1700 years ago Coptic Christians cut an incredible network of churches into the rocks, there are clear signs of recent dynamite holes. 'This church may not be here next week,' Monica says. 'We could be the last people to take photographs of the place.'

  • India: Slumkid Reporters

    Reporter Mary-Ann Ochota and director Suzie Samant travel to Delhi to meet the remarkable children who run the only newspaper in India campaigning on the problems that street children face.

    Vijay Kumar, who's 18, is the Chief Reporter for Balaknama, which translates as 'Children's Voice'. He joined the paper after being encouraged to learn to read and write by his mum, and has transformed himself from child delinquent to campaigning journalist.

    Vijay tells Ochota that he wants to give power to children whose stories don't get told and who wouldn't trust reporters from mainstream publications. 'A child talks to us because we've also lived this life,' he says.

    Vijay wants to write about why street kids don't have the same opportunities as everyone else. He's keen to explore the barriers faced by children who don't have official ID, such as being refused admission to schools that could help them escape life on the streets.

    'In the eyes of the government they don't exist,' he says. 'These children are like ghosts.'

    The team attend Vijay's editorial meeting with his reporters: slum children from across Delhi. The story ideas for the next edition come from their personal experience, for example beatings by police or homes being flooded.

    On the other side of the city, in the Sunder Nagari slum, the team meet Shanno, the Editor of Children's Voice. Shanno worked in a garment factory from the age of 11 until she joined the newspaper and has worked her way up to editing it.

    As well as Delhi, Children's Voice covers stories in four other northern cities. In Agra, Ochota and Samant accompany a group of children who've secured a meeting with the city's police to air their concerns.

    The team return to Delhi to join Shanno and Vijay as they finalise the latest edition of the paper. For both of them, it's their final edition as now they are 18 and are moving on.

    As they decide on the layout and order of stories, it's easy to forget how young they are. Instead, their story and their achievements demonstrate that, when they're given a chance, street children like them have a lot to offer to Indian society and the economy.

  • Mexico: The Abandoned

    Reporter Ade Adepitan, director Daniel Bogado and a group of Mexican former hospital patients gain access to Mexico's psychiatric institutions to secretly film the horrific and inhumane conditions endured by the thousands of men and women known as 'The Abandoned Ones.'

    In 2000, an investigation by Disability Rights International documented atrocious conditions inside psychiatric institutions in Mexico. The government promised to act and spearheaded the creation of a UN convention to protect the rights of the disabled.

    The situation for many patients is still horrific. Thousands have been abandoned by families who couldn't afford the high cost of drugs or cope with the effects of their disability. They spend their days in deeply disturbing conditions, with nothing to do and no meaningful treatment or rehabilitation. Without families to help, it's effectively a life sentence.

    One group of extraordinary people is fighting to change the situation. What makes Colectivo Chuhcan unique is that its members are battling severe mental health difficulties.

    Natalia Santos has just been elected as the group's president. She suffers from schizophrenia and depression and was a patient in a mental health institution until 2012.

    Santos and the Colectivo have negotiated permission to visit psychiatric institutions to offer counseling to patients. They invite the team to join them and film. According to Santos, 'People say that we are crazy, but the craziness is the conditions in which these people live.' CAIS Villa Mujeres is an institution that holds over 380 women. Some have been held there for decades, abandoned by their families, with little chance of ever leaving.

    Adepitan and Bogado discover grim conditions. 'This is just crazy,' Adepitan says, 'There's human faeces on the floor, flies everywhere, the stench is just disgusting. Even the patients are covering their faces. The whole place is a human toilet.'

    Adepitan discovers two women tied to wheelchairs. One is in pain and trying to free herself, but there are no nurses in sight. When a nurse passes by, she says she is one of two nurses looking after the 60 patients in the area. She reveals that the two women are tied up from the moment they wake until 4pm.

    According to the UN, there can be no justification for the use of physical restraints on patients with psychiatric disabilities. Tying up a patient, even for a short period of time, constitutes at the very least an infringement of human rights, and for such prolonged periods, without clear rationale, could be tantamount to torture.

    CAIS Cuemanco holds over 300 men, again in terrible, unsanitary conditions. Adepitan secretly records staff who allege doctors and nurses do little to stop rape and sexual abuse among the patients. Human rights groups in Mexico have also gathered numerous reports of rape and sexual abuse in psychiatric institutions across the country.

    Throughout the film Natalia Santos struggles with her own mental health. She knows the price for making these visits may be a relapse. She confides to Adepitan, 'I imagine that people are saying things about me... Negative thoughts torture me. I can never have any calm.'

    But when Santos holds a press conference to reveal her group's findings, a senior government advisor offers Natalia and her colleagues a chance to sit on committees that are meant to monitor the institutions. It's a small step, but for people used to being written off because of mental illness it's an important moment.

  • China's Lonely Hearts

    Reporter Marcel Theroux and director Frankie Fathers join some of China's many millions of male lonely hearts on their search for a wife, and meet some of the 'Love Hunters' working to find them an ideal bride.

    Modern China is a place of extraordinary inequality, including in the love lives of its citizens. Marcel Theroux meets two people who represent the contrasting paths to love.

    Li Dongmin is 39, and desperate to find a wife. He epitomises the plight of China's unwanted bachelors; the men who, thanks to the one-child policy, face a lifetime alone.

    Dongmin is a migrant labourer from a tiny village 1000 miles from Beijing. He works as a cook in the capital, and sleeps in a dormitory to save money for a new house back home.

    To the parents of potential brides he's too poor. And there's a deeper reason for his failure to find a wife: the huge surplus of unmarried men in China.

    For 30 years, China has been conducting a vast, unintended experiment in sex selection. Ever since it became possible to determine gender in the womb, Chinese families have been illegally aborting girl foetuses.

    By 2020, China is predicted to have 24 million marriageable men without partners: men whose future wives were never born.

    Unreported World also films with 30-year-old Rong Na, an elegant and vivacious 'love hunter' employed by an agency called Diamond Love and Marriage to find wives for some of China's richest men.

    Rong Na combs a shopping mall for attractive women. She's picking potential wives for a client she refers to as Mr X, who's very rich and can afford to be extremely choosy.

    In the same mall, Li Dongmin's search also continues, at a free singles event. He plucks up the courage to chat to a few women; he even gets some phone numbers. His search for a wife continues, but with more hope than expectation. He knows the odds are stacked against him.

  • Venezuela's Kidnap Cops

    Reporter Kiki King and director James Brabazon travel to Caracas, the kidnap capital of the world. With exclusive access to the Venezuelan police force's elite Anti-Kidnap Squad, Unreported World follows officers as they fight back against the kidnap gangs with a mixture of brute force and technical ingenuity.

    More than five people are kidnapped in Venezuela every day. The country is awash with illegal firearms, with a politicised and barely-functioning judicial system and prisons effectively run by the gangster inmates.

    The Unreported World team travel with Police Inspector Hector Ramirez, a hardboiled cop leading the Anti-Kidnap Squad. He's a telecoms specialist: his main weapons in his battle with the abductors are his 9mm pistol and the criminals' mobile phones.

    King and Brabazon join Hector as his team speed across Caracas in a race against time to free a 27-year-old woman snatched from outside her home. The kidnappers are demanding a small fortune for her release, but by tracing the calls and tracking the mobile phone signatures that the gang leave behind, the squad discover that the kidnapper is already in jail for murder.

    Co-ordinating his gang from behind bars by mobile phone, the leader, nicknamed 'The Wizard', is effectively untouchable inside Venezuela's violent and corrupt prison system.

    But by tracing their mobile phone records, Hector can find and storm the kidnapper's home, and free the victim. 'Without mobile phones, the kidnappers are ghosts,' Hector says. 'We turn the ghosts into people we can go out and capture either during, before or after a kidnapping.'

    With an estimated 2000 kidnappings taking place across the country in 2012, Hector and his unit have their work cut out. Kidnapping has become the easiest and safest way for Venezuela's criminals to make a living.

    It was once mainly a worry for wealthier residents, but now anyone can fall victim. Another kidnap negotiation unfolds as a car mechanic struggles to pull together £500 to free his business partner.

    Hector is now battling a new breed of kidnapper. The hunt is on for 'El Viejo': a convicted murderer, escaped convict and serial killer who, unlike most kidnappers, is said to kill most of his victims, whether the ransom is paid or not.

    King and Brabazon follow the unfolding drama as the squad use a combination of stakeouts, forceful interrogations and mobile phone signals to pinpoint El Viejo's location and launch a massive operation to capture him.

    As SWAT teams and dozens of armed police swoop on the slum where El Viejo is hiding, Hector leads his men into a decisive confrontation, for his unit, and for the beleaguered city of Caracas.

  • Afghanistan's Hunted Women

    Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Wael Dabbous travel to Afghanistan, gaining rare access to the secret houses that shelter women hiding from violent husbands or from families who have tried to kill them for refusing to take part in arranged marriages.

    Improving women's rights was supposed to be one of the great legacies of Britain's involvement in Afghanistan, but Unreported World reveals that, as international forces start to pull out, powerful religious hardliners are trying to roll back new laws that protect women.

    Guru-Murthy talks to 22-year-old Zarghona, whose family tried to marry her off to a man in his forties. She tells Unreported World what happened when she refused. 'They led me into an orchard. My father checked that nobody was around then he took out a knife. He stabbed me three times in my back, twice in the sides and twice in the stomach. He stabbed me 16 times in total. Then my father slashed my throat. They covered me with a sheet and placed a stone at each corner and left me to die.'

    The team also meet 15-year-old Sahar Gul, who was sold into an arranged marriage at the age of 12 and terribly abused. When she was rescued two years later, she was barely alive.

    Her fingernails had been removed; her flesh had been pulled with pliers and her hair torn out. Television pictures of her horrific injuries made international headlines and she became a focus for international campaigners.

    In a rare case of justice for a victim of this type of crime, members of her husband's family were jailed for 10 years for torturing her. However, in an illustration of the injustice she and similar victims can face, once the glare of international publicity died down, her in-laws were freed, having served just 18 months of their sentences.

    She is now working with lawyer Kimberley Motley trying to get them sent back to jail but in the meantime tells Guru-Murthy that she's living in daily fear: 'I'm scared that if I go outside they will kidnap me again and take me back to that horrible place.'

    Traditionally, women fleeing violent husbands have been falsely accused of adultery and jailed, and many still are. Women's shelters became legal in Afghanistan following the passing of a new law to tackle violence against women, but religious conservatives are now trying to overturn the law and close the shelters down.

    Qazi Hanafi is a hardline MP in the Afghan parliament. He spearheaded the opposition to the laws to protect women from violence. He tells Guru-Murthy: 'All of the bad people who want to sin end up in those places. They are considered places of ill-repute. A woman should only have one husband. Otherwise we will suffer the scourge of Aids, which is destroying the West.'

    He seems unprepared to listen to those campaigning for women's rights: 'To those women who say that I am taking them back to the Dark Ages, I say there is no doubt that you are infidels and worse still you are corrupting others. We will fight you like we fought the Russians.'

  • Making Brazil Beautiful

    Unreported World reports on the huge growth in cosmetic plastic surgery in Brazil.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and producer Suemay Oram reveal that even poor women living in favelas can achieve the Brazilian body beautiful through subsidised or free cosmetic surgery provided by plastic surgeons who feel all Brazilians have a right to be beautiful, even on the country's Public Health Service.

    In Brazil, plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons is not frowned on like it can be in the UK, and having a surgically enhanced body is sometimes seen as a status symbol.

    Plastic surgery procedures have gone up by 40% in two years and there are now 10 times more plastic surgeons in Brazil than in the UK. Brazil is second only to the USA in the number of plastic surgery operations carried out each year.

    Reasons for surgery vary: from wanting to have a body they feel comfortable with on the beach, to one that they feel will enhance their ability to get a job.

    Many women that Rhodes talks to say that in body conscious Brazil, if you don't fit the perception of the perfect body, your chances of career advancement aren't as great.

    As well as private operations, plastic surgery is available in Brazilian public hospitals. As in most countries, reconstructive surgery takes precedence, but surgeons also carry out aesthetic procedures.

    They also have a very wide definition of what is reconstructive. Women who've had children can apply for a 'reconstructive' tummy tuck. Or a woman whose small breasts are causing her 'psychological distress' could have a breast augmentation for free.

    Hospital administrator Karen Da Silva Chaves is being given a tummy tuck following the birth of her son, so that she can wear a bikini again. The operation is free on the Brazilian health service.

    The team meet 87-year-old professor and former surgeon Dr Ivo Pitanguy. He pioneered the increase in plastic surgery treatment for poorer Brazilians and his organisation runs Santa Casa hospital's plastic surgery ward.

    Patients make a 'donation' to the hospital, the amount of which depends on their chosen surgery and their earnings. Those who can't afford to pay but are deemed 'in need' of surgery can get it for free.

    Dr Pitanguy tells Rhodes that plastic surgery has a very important role in society and that he sees himself as a psychologist with a knife in his hand.

    He says that every Brazilian has the right to health but also the same right to take care of themselves by improving their looks, which is why he founded his hospital.

    Thirty-six-year-old seamstress Raquel Andrade tells Rhodes that she is paying around £1200 for a subsidised tummy tuck at Santa Casa hospital, to increase her chances of getting a better job (and stop people asking if she's pregnant).

    Some of those the Unreported World team meets say that 'black' features are seen as less desirable, and a large number of operations to reduce nose size are carried out each year.

    Twenty-three-year-old mixed-race social worker Daiana Araujo has saved up since she was 16 to have a nose job because she feels hers is too wide.

    The pursuit of beauty has always been a huge part of Brazilian culture, but as the public health service subsidises plastic surgery for more and more people, Rhodes wonders whether Brazil risks losing what's so special about its own people.

  • Yemen: Death Row Teenagers

    Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Daniel Bogado travel to Yemen to reveal the scores of young men locked up in prisons and awaiting execution for crimes they are accused of committing while they were children.

    And they meet the lawyer who, in a miscarriage of justice, was sentenced to death himself at the age of 16 and who is now on a mission to save others who should never have been given the death penalty. The Unreported World team accompanies Hafedh Ibrahim as he enters Taiz prison to meet a new young client.

    It's the same prison where Hafedh was once held on death row and where he was marched, handcuffed, from the cells to the execution spot and told to lie down on the sand ready to be executed.

    Hafedh tells Guru-Murthy how, according to Yemeni law, as a juvenile he should never have faced the death penalty.

    His campaigning from inside prison paid off. He describes hearing the phone call coming in to cancel his execution three minutes before he was due to be shot. Yemen has one of the world's highest rates of gun ownership. In this tribal society boys are given guns and expected to become men. The prisons are full of young prisoners convicted of murder.

    According to Yemeni law, offenders under 18 cannot be sentenced to death. But most people here don't have documents proving their age so juveniles are often mistaken as adults.

    That problem is intensified by the fact Yemeni culture has tended to treat boys as adults at the age of 15. Hafedh is in the prison to meet Abdul Rahman, a boy accused of murder. Abdul hasn't been tried, but has already been in prison for nearly two years.

    His sister claims that he killed her husband. Abdul says that he's being framed and in any case, he was 16 when the death took place. Hafedh has Abdul's birth certificate, which he says should prove that he's telling the truth.

    However, he tells Guru-Murthy that many judges don't accept ID documents as proof of age and believe that any murders should be punished by death, whether or not the killer was under 18.

    The courts also rely on bone x-ray testing to determine age, a controversial process with a margin of error of up to three years according to some studies. In Abdul's case, this age test has led to doctors claiming he was 19 at the time the crime was committed. The team moves on with Hafedh to another prison in Ibb, to meet a man called Faisal. He's been told he's due to be executed within days and claims he too was a child at the time of his conviction.

    The guards at the prison aren't keen to let Hafedh or the Unreported World team meet his client, confirming he is going to be executed within days.

    It becomes clear to Hafedh why the guards want him dead: he's a prisoner who has been standing up to them and campaigning against his treatment. As the team is chased out, Faisal is thrown back into solitary confinement. Returning to the prison, Hafedh meets another boy, who says he's 16 and has been convicted of murder for an accidental shooting.

    He's been sentenced to death after being assessed by a doctor as an adult, despite his documents saying otherwise. Hafedh listens to his story and takes his case on the spot.

    The team also meets Salah Shamsadeen, the prison executioner for almost two decades. He tells how he has executed around 700 prisoners, and jokes about only retiring when he's finished off all the prisoners in the jail. Hafedh is left still working on his cases, spending all of his spare time on his one-man mission to save young men from execution. Having escaped his own incarceration, he is now compelled to fight for others.

    But he's struggling, working unpaid, and with the number of juveniles in Yemen's jails growing all the time, his work is getting more critical every day.

  • Bangladesh Women's Driving School

    Bangladesh is one of the most dangerous places in the world to drive a car. Reporter Clemency Burton-Hill and director Elizabeth C Jones take to the roads of Dhaka with a group of young women who are learning to be professional drivers against extraordinary odds: on top of dreadful drivers, teeming traffic and huge potholes, these learners are battling entrenched social taboos as they try to enter a profession almost entirely dominated by men.

    Inside the residential driving schoo run by Bangladesh charity BRAC, the young women - many of whom have come from difficult circumstances - live, sleep, eat and study together, swapping life stories and forging friendships. Their driving tuition, both in the classrooms and on the roads, is intense: 8am to 6pm every day except Fridays.

    Dhaka has appalling traffic and more than 20,000 people die on Bangladesh's roads every year. Before the women get anywhere near the wheel, however, one of the first issues they are taught about is 'gender sensitivity'. As female drivers, prejudice, discrimination and abuse are as likely to await them as potholes, traffic jams and exhaust fumes.

    Twenty-year-old Mafuza was forced to leave school when she was 14 and marry a man she'd never met. Having divorced her husband after he allegedly mistreated her, she has retreated back to her village with her two-year-old daughter.

    Nobody else in her village drives a car, but she dreams of becoming a professional driver to provide her parents with much more income. She also hopes to be an inspiration to other women in the village by proving that women - even young, divorced women - can be equal to men, and can forge an independent livelihood despite the prevailing social taboos. Twenty-one-year-old Konika claims she was so badly beaten by her husband that she lost her baby during the ninth month of her pregnancy. Now divorced, Konika is making good progress, but worries that she can't stop her legs from shaking whenever she drives.

    Competition for jobs at the end of the driving course is fierce. The director of the driving school tells Burton-Hill that of the 60 women who have already passed through the driving course and been awarded professional licenses, only 16 have since found employment as drivers.

    While the Unreported World team is there, political parties call strikes almost non-stop, bringing the country to a virtual standstill. Vehicles are targeted during strikes, which means the apprentice drivers can't practise driving on the open road.

    The female students also face the wrath of religious extremists who are marching on Dhaka with a list of demands including keeping women at home and banning free mixing of men and women.

    Inside the gates of the driving school, the girls are relatively sheltered from the political turmoil taking place on the streets - at least for now. Mafuza passes the tests and is allowed to drive the Unreported World team for a short distance in her village.

    Before entering the village she crashes into a rickshaw driver and drawing extra attention from a fascinated, bemused local crowd. When she finally makes it home in one piece, her family are astonished to see their daughter, mother and sister driving a car. Her father, looking a little shell shocked, tells the team he's very proud of his daughter.

    As the Unreported World team leaves Bangladesh, it's clear that while some progress is being made by these young female pioneers, women still face many challenges, both on the roads and beyond.

  • Hong Kong's Tiger Tutors

    As Education Secretary Michael Gove expresses his admiration for education systems in the Far East, Unreported World travels to Hong Kong to meet the students aiming for success in one of the most competitive exam environments in the world.

    Reporter Marcel Theroux and producer Lottie Gammon meet the millionaire Lamborghini-driving 'super tutor' who has made his fortune from parents desperate to get their kids into university.

    Richard Eng has made his fortune coaching school students to get through the final year Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE).

    The team films him in action at Beacon College - whose 40,000 students come from schools all over Hong Kong - where they've signed up for long evening classes on top of a full day at school.

    There's no coursework in Hong Kong; everyone's fate is decided by the exam. Three quarters of Hong Kong's students have extra tuition to prepare them for these final year exams. Richard's success is built on his perceived ability to give his students a competitive edge.

    One of Richard's students is 17-year-old JJ. Theroux visits his small apartment, on the 19th floor of a public housing estate. JJ's dream is to be a PE teacher and he needs to pass his exams to get into university and teacher training.

    Neither of his parents had been to university and they've scraped together the money to send him to Beacon College as his school had a low success rate in getting students into university.

    But JJ is competing with students at elite schools, with pushier parents, and who have been tutored since kindergarten. The pressure is getting to him.

    He's running a temperature but says he can't afford to skip class. JJ tells Theroux: 'I was talking to my English teacher about exam pressure. Tears welled up and I started crying.'

    The great promise of education in Hong Kong is that a public exam sat by all allows children from any background to excel. But in a city as unequal as this one, with large disparities of wealth, Marcel Theroux wonders whether this is true, as rich parents can afford to buy their children more help.

    Tutor King Richard Eng himself grew up in poverty, and excelled at exams, a passport to future success. Amongst the cars Richard now owns is a Lamborghini Murcielago worth half a million dollars.

    He invites the Unreported World team to his penthouse to meet his wife and daughter and tells Theroux that he grew up in small apartment on a public housing estate.

    Despite making his fortune educating students to pass the HKDSE, Richard is critical of the way the education system works. 'We call it a loser-making factory,' he tells Theroux. 'One in four of the students end up sighing outside the university gates.'

    Most tellingly, he's chosen to educate his daughter at an international school where she won't ever have to face taking the same exams which have made him a millionaire.

    There's evidence the explosion in tutoring just makes things worse for poor students, and that a rags-to-riches story like Richard Eng's is becoming increasingly unlikely in today's Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong's students regularly top international league tables for achievement. And in the UK, Michael Gove is moving to a system that places a much greater emphasis on highly pressured final exams.

    But what's clear to Theroux is that in Hong Kong, children like JJ, from poorer families, are simply being outgunned in the academic arms race.

    However, one group of people are guaranteed success: Richard and the tutor kings are already taking bookings for next year's classes.

  • Syria's Rebel Doctor

    Unreported World meets the NHS doctor who is risking his life by providing front-line medical care to the victims of the conflict in Syria.

    Dr Rami Habib is a paediatrician who was previously based in Leicester. He's living in the northern Syrian town of Salma, which is bombed and shelled by government forces almost every day. But he's determined to stay and keep the hospital going.

    Salma used to be a holiday destination. Dr Habib had bought his parents a flat in the town and was visiting when war erupted. He took the difficult decision not to return to his wife in the UK and instead to stay in Syria to ensure that Salma had a doctor.

    The town is just 20 miles from the ancestral home of President Al-Assad, but is in the control of the anti-government rebels. It's a strategically important target and the front line is just over a mile away.

    As a result of the daily bombardment, the town's population of 70,000 has shrunk to 5000. Those who remain are mostly rebel fighters and a few civilians determined to stay despite the terrible danger.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director James Brabazon travel with Dr Habib as he crosses the border from Turkey, bringing life-saving medical supplies for the hospital.

    Travelling by road is extremely dangerous as vehicles are targeted by government troops; and the last 500 yards into Salma are the most dangerous. To avoid detection, they switch off their headlights and drive in the dark.

    Dr Habib's first hospital was hit by a barrel bomb - a massive improvised bomb made out of a cylinder packed with explosives and shrapnel - dropped from a government helicopter while he was inside.

    The building was badly damaged and his new field hospital is now in the basement of an apartment block.

    Facilities are basic and the town's water supply has been cut off for months. Dr Habib's staff have been forced to find an alternative source of water, which is now pumped in from a spring two miles away through a one-inch pipe.

    Williams and Brabazon film Dr Habib throughout his long days treating civilians with normal medical conditions, which - because of the lack of medical supplies and access to proper treatment - can quickly escalate.

    In Salma, simple childhood illnesses such as a chest infection can be killers without intervention. Dr Habib tells the team that no child in the region has received their vaccinations since the crisis started in Syria.

    Suddenly, guards outside spot a helicopter flying towards the hospital. Dr Habib is afraid it's going to drop another barrel bomb; everyone must run down to the basement.

    He was right - three bombs are dropped very close to the hospital and another, packed with shrapnel and a tank shell, explodes just 100 metres away, leaving a huge crater.

    Just after dark, an ambulance brings three men in to the makeshift emergency room. Shells are landing near the hospital and Dr Habib thinks it's because government soldiers have seen the lights of the ambulance they arrived in.

    He finally finishes his shift at 3am. Exhausted, he tries, unsuccessfully, to get though to his wife by Skype but the hospital guards hear a helicopter and are forced to cut the power so that the hospital can't be seen.

    Dr Habib has been warned the government wants to kill him for helping the rebels, but he says he has no other option but to help save lives.

    He says he is committed to the overthrow of President Al-Assad, and remaining in Syria to treat the wounded and the sick is his way supporting the rebels in their struggle.

  • Gaza's Property Ladder

    In war-torn Gaza, 'Location, Location, Location' means finding an apartment in one of the highly sought-after areas that are usually not shelled or hit by missiles.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and producer Daniel Bogado examine what must be one of the world's most unlikely property booms.

    They meet Essam Mortja, an estate agent and property developer who says his property business is booming. He shows them some of the glitzy properties he's helped sell at prices of up to US $3 million.

    Property prices for luxury villas and apartments in elite areas like El Remal are on par with London and New York.

    The area is right by the sea and has stunning views, but there's one other reason why the prices are so high. It's where the UN building is located, which means Israeli planes are less likely to bomb the area.

    Israel did bomb the UN HQ in 2009 but it caused an outcry - and property prices show that Gazans think it is unlikely to happen again.

    Essam explains how the conflict with Israel has been a driving force behind this incredible real estate boom.

    Israel's blockade against Hamas means that movement of people and goods are restricted. Two million Palestinians are trapped in this 25-mile strip of land, making it one of the world's most crowded places.

    Prices go up in any place with low supply and high demand. But also, every time there's conflict, Israel destroys some homes, which worsens the housing shortage and drives prices up even further.

    Gaza's property boom has made many real estate agents and property speculators like Essam extremely wealthy.

    Rising property prices have sparked a building frenzy in Gaza. The Israeli blockade restricts building materials as Israel says Hamas uses them to build military bunkers.

    But Gaza's entrepreneurs are smuggling building materials through tunnels from Egypt. According to some estimates, 90% of all buildings being built in Gaza are constructed with materials brought through tunnels.

    The Unreported Team visits the area of Gaza where most of the tunnels are found. It's estimated that around half a billion US dollars-worth of goods pass through them every year.

    The Hamas government benefits by taxing the tunnel trade, but the tunnels have also created around 1000 dollar-millionaires in five years. This new wealth is also helping fuel the property boom.

    Rhodes meets Nahder Gishna, who comes from a family of farmers who own land on the border. He's been digging and running tunnels for eight years, and says he's made a fortune. He's put it all into property, building a glitzy mansion.

    But while the wealthiest benefit, the majority of Gaza's residents have been hit hard by the property boom and the rise in prices.

    Shijaia is a neighbourhood with some of the lowest house prices in Gaza City. Not just because of how run down it is, but also because it's a border area with Israel, which means it's vulnerable to shelling and rockets during conflict.

    Police officer Ahmad El Rabai lives in a one-bedroom flat in Shijaia with his wife and family. He's looking for a bigger apartment, but rents have quadrupled in just a few years.

    To make matters worse, some landlords are afraid the Israelis might bomb them if they allow a Hamas police officer to live in their apartment block.

    Ordinary families such as Ahmad's have been priced out by the dramatic rise in rental costs. Meanwhile, people like Essam have profited hugely.

    Essam finds a buyer for his latest property development, and closes a two million dollar deal. But doing so has been a struggle, and the number of clients is significantly down. Many believe this is the first sign of a slump.

    But Essam remains optimistic. He envisions one day in the not too distant future when Israel and Gaza are at peace and when beach-front property prices, he believes, would double.

  • Saving Kenya's Street Kids

    Aidan Hartley reports from his home town in Kenya on an extraordinary project to rescue the children who live on its streets.

    Together with director Wael Dabbous, Hartley highlights the inspiring work of the Restart Centre in Gilgil, which is providing a safe shelter for children at risk. The Centre is run on a shoestring budget raised from private donations.

    Conditions are basic, but crucially, it represents safety for the 70 children who live there. Many of them ended up living rough as result of the bloody chaos which engulfed Kenya following disputed elections five years ago. More than a thousand people were killed, many families were broken up and thousands were made homeless.

    Hartley and Dabbous follow Restart worker Dan Nderitu, who spends his nights seeking out Gilgil's street children. The first time they meet him, he's in a race against time to rescue two small boys: Ken, seven, and his 10-year-old brother Julius. Ken and Julius' family have sunk into extreme poverty. Their mother abandoned them and a year ago they began sleeping rough.

    They both want to move off the streets and into the Restart shelter, but in order to take them in, Dan needs the government's permission. He's trying to reach the government Children's Officer who needs to sign the paperwork for Ken and Julius - but her office is chronically underfunded and the process painfully slow.

    Dan's work is urgent because, during Unreported World's time in Kenya, the country is about to hold general elections, and if there's violence, he fears the children could be even more at risk.

    Unreported World also films the Restart Centre's children's choir which campaigns for the elections to be peaceful. Many of those Hartley meets, such as Pilot, the youngest member of the choir, saw their families collapse in the violence following the previous election.

  • Cuba, Basketball and Betrayal

    Paralympian wheelchair basketball star Ade Adepitan is granted access on a rare scale to some of Cuba's most famous basketball stars, to investigate why some of them have defected to the USA just as the country seems to be opening up.

    Adepitan and director David Fuller travel to Ciego De Avila, six hours east of Havana, and home to the best basketball team in Cuba.

    Many of the Ciego Buffalo stars are in the national team, but some of them have made headlines for reasons not to do with performance on the basketball court.

    Nine months previously, Cuba's government allowed the national team to visit the US territory of Puerto Rico. Within hours they defected, along with three players from other clubs.

    Adepitan talks to some of their fellow team members, who had the chance to defect, but chose to return to Cuba. 'They went to look for economic improvement,' one of them tells him. 'Players here don't earn very much.'

    Some of the Buffalo players are good enough to play in top international leagues but, they explain, while ordinary Cubans are now allowed to leave the country for up to two years, high-value people like surgeons and sports stars are not given the same right.

    The Cuban government says that the players are trained and maintained by the state, so they should stay in Cuba.

    But that's not what some of the fans tell Adepitan. They say they want their basketball players to travel abroad and play for the best teams, developing their skills and ultimately improving the Cuban national team.

    And, while self improvement is also high on the agenda of those players considering defecting, the economic effect of the decades-old US trade embargo on sports stars who could be millionaires in other countries also comes into play.

    The government provides free state education and health care, but there's a shortage of housing.

    Adepitan and Fuller visit the home of William Lewis. He's one of the top basketball players in Cuba, but lives in a small house with his grandmother, mother and girlfriend.

    The result is that many decide to leave the country, and, once they've left, they're not allowed back for eight years.

    Adepitan and Fuller track down the family of one of the Ciego players who defected in Puerto Rico, Yudniel Perez.

    His mother is in despair at not being able to see him for such a long time. Getting a passport to go and see him would cost her more than three months' salary.

    And for would-be defectors, life is getting harder in the US as well as in Cuba. Just as Cuba is opening up, the US is cracking down on immigration.

    The Unreported World team travels to Puerto Rico to talk to Yudniel.

    He's now training with one of Puerto Rico's best professional teams.

    But he can't play for them as none of the defectors has been given permission to work. Unable to earn, he's forced to rely on the generosity of Puerto Ricans.

  • Burma: The Village that Took on the Generals

    Unreported World meets the Burmese villagers fighting for their ancestral lands as foreign investors flood in to a nation rich in undeveloped resources.

    After 50 years of military dictatorship, Burma is finally re-emerging from isolation as a pariah state.

    The release of political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and the moves towards a more open society are the end of the story for some.

    However, economic development is leading to new social unrest as tensions build between big business and local people.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Wael Dabbous travel to the north of Burma, close to the country's famed second city Mandalay. It's the centre of a farmers' resistance movement against some of the most powerful forces in the region and the stakes couldn't be higher.

    On one side is what is believed to be one of the biggest undeveloped copper mines in the world; on the other, villagers who refuse to leave the land their families have farmed for generations.

    Plans show that the mine will entirely demolish a mountain range of 33 small peaks and displace thousands of farmers.

    In the village of Wet Hmay - right in the middle of this contested land - Williams meets cousins Aye Net and Thwe Thwe, the two women who are leading the campaign against the mine.

    Their trenchant resistance has made them unlikely leaders for farmers who say they are being tricked into signing over their land and forced out by intimidation.

    'I will not accept any amount of money to leave this land,' says an impassioned Aye Net in the shadow of an encroaching pile of earth from the mine, 'It is the land our ancestors lived on and we have to pass on to our grandchildren.'

    Williams and Dabbous stay with them for two weeks as the women try to repair a community being torn apart by the pressure, try to organise protests and seek the support of Burma's politically powerful Buddhist clergy.

    The monks - who rose against military rule in 2007's 'saffron revolution' - tell Williams the land belongs to the people and the mine must respect their rights. Battle lines are drawn for a national campaign centered on the women's efforts to stop the mine completely.

    But they are up against some of the region's most powerful interests. The mine is operated by a joint venture between a subsidiary of a Chinese weapons manufacturer and a Burmese company owned and operated by some of the country's senior military figures.

    While the military has stepped back from complete political control and allowed Burma to start on the path towards democracy, the battle over Wet Hmay village highlights the way some of the country's top brass are allegedly using repressive measures to retain vast wealth.

    And it doesn't appear to be an isolated case. Activists claim that there are thousands of land grab conflicts throughout the country as powerful interests try to cash in on foreign investor interest in the new Burma.

  • Russia's Radical Chic

    Glamorous young Russian socialite Ksenia Sobchak has swapped high-profile TV stardom for a life leading political protests against President Putin, who also happens to be a close family friend.

    Unreported World reveals how far Sobchak is risking her livelihood and privileged lifestyle to confront the strongman of the Kremlin, who has dealt ruthlessly with other political opponents.

    Sobchak is one of the most famous people in Russia, known by millions as the presenter of Russian Big Brother, and a member of the elite that made fortunes following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her father was the mayor of St Petersburg and mentor to Vladimir Putin, a family friend.

    A quick search of her career highlights on YouTube turns up clips of her dancing lasciviously, fighting with a boyfriend, and being carried home to her apartment in a drunken stupor.

    So, when Muscovites took to the streets in December 2011 in a series of unprecedented mass protests against electoral fraud and the Putin regime, they were amazed when she joined them, telling them she had a lot to lose in fighting their cause.

    Since then, she's changed her image and started going out with Ilya Yashin, a political organiser. She's still using her celebrity, but now to oppose the regime of a man she's known since she was a child.

    And she's suffering the consequences. By opposing the government, Sobchak has swapped a life of privilege for one of uncertainty.

    She's been banished from mainstream television to a tiny cable station, where she hosts a political discussion programme. In June 2012, armed police raided her apartment.

    Reporter Marcel Theroux and director David Fuller follow Sobchak as she records an hour-long interview with Katya Samutsevich, one of the Pussy Riot protestors.

    It's Sobchak's idea to film the interview outside with the cathedral the protestors invaded. At Sobchak's suggestion, she and Samutsevich wear prison jackets. It's a well-calculated tease, but the Kremlin is showing signs of losing patience with her.

    Sobchak tells Theroux that she's just had word that her mother, a career politician, has lost her job. She attributes this, like her banishment to cable television and the police raid, to a government that is trying to squeeze the life out of the opposition.

    To a certain extent, it's succeeding. With Putin in office for another six years, and the most recent elections marked by low turn-outs and widespread apathy, it appears that a certain Russian fatalism is returning.

    As the Unreported World team leaves Moscow, Theroux concludes that high-wattage stars like Sobchak, who can galvanise Russia's younger and least cynical voters, could be an answer to this fatalism.

  • Egypt: Sex, Mobs and Revolution

    Unreported World examines the increase in sexual assaults and harassment in Egypt.

    The programme reveals claims that young men are being paid to carry out horrendous mob attacks on women. It is claimed that this started under the Mubarak regime and it is suspected by some to still continue.

    Women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution but are now often fearful of taking part in the regular public demonstrations.

    Sexual harassment is not a new problem in Egypt. In a 2010 United Nations survey, more than 80 per cent of women surveyed said they'd been sexually harassed.

    But there are signs that the problem has got worse with the breakdown of public order since the revolution. Reports of mob sex attacks are on the increase.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and director Dimitri Collingridge meet a young woman who has recently survived such an attack. Nihal was out at a protest in Tahrir Square with four other women. She managed to escape but her friend suffered an ordeal that is typical of these attacks.

    She was stripped naked and dozens of men raped her with their hands. Nihal's friend sustained internal injuries and couldn't walk for a week. She has since fled Egypt. Nihal too was severely traumatised.

    Nihal has become involved in Harassmap, an anti-sexual harassment movement that charts mob attacks and allows women to log sexual harassment. In the last two years the team has received more than 900 reports from women across the country.

    Despite the publicity on the issue, the women themselves are worried about speaking about their personal experiences. It's a taboo subject and many of them are even afraid to tell their parents what they've suffered.

    Even when women decide to go to the police, they say they rarely receive help. Twenty-one-year-old student Dina has been the victim of several assaults. She claims that on one occasion she managed to alert a nearby police officer, but that he refused to help, telling her the attack was her fault because she was wearing the wrong clothes.

    The team witnesses the everyday harassment women face. As they film, a woman is chased by a group of teenagers. And as Navai and Dina walk down a busy main street, they are constantly verbally abused.

    Many of the women Unreported World meets say that age, dress and looks have very little to do with becoming a target. In one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Cairo, Stable Anta, all the women are veiled and they suffer harassment similar to their more westernised counterparts downtown.

    To understand the male mentality that might be behind the attacks, the team interviews three young men from a conservative neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cairo. They tell Navai that by dressing in a particular way, women are trying to get attention and their harassment is a form of punishment. They also say that men who cannot afford to get married turn to harassment to fulfil their desires.

    But one of Egypt's most influential bloggers, Wael Abbas, says there's another reason behind the attacks. He claims that sexual harassment was used by the previous president Mubarak as a weapon against female protestors; some people Unreported World interview believe that the current authorities are continuing this policy.

    In the south of Cairo, the team talks to men who claim that they have been paid since the days of Mubarak's regime to attack women activists, although they say they don't know who is paying them.

    The current government says that it is not behind the violence perpetrated by the mobs on women and has set up an inquiry to look into sexual harassment and violence.

    The reasons behind sexual harassment and assault in Egypt are complex but it's clear that society's attitude to women is at the heart of it and this has allowed political groups to use it as a tool of intimidation.

    The revolution may not yet have changed much for women's rights, but there's a new generation that are fighting back.

  • Mumbai's Party Police

    Young clubbers in Mumbai are being arrested, assaulted and accused of being prostitutes in a police crackdown on the city's nightlife. Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Alex Nott investigate why a policeman dubbed 'Inspector Killjoy' is now enforcing long-forgotten laws and how being caught up in the raids can change young women's lives forever.

    The film looks at the fault lines where East meets West and where generations clash as India changes.

    The team is taken to one of the city's best-known clubs - the Blue Frog - by Nisha Harale Bedi, a former Miss Mumbai. It's a place where models and Bollywood stars come to party, but it's also one of over 200 venues the police have raided this year, under 60-year-old licensing laws that many feel are out of step with modern Mumbai.

    The policeman leading the crackdown, Assistant Police Commissioner Vasant Dhoble, has detained at least 1000 clubbers on suspicion of anything from taking drugs to selling sex. Nisha tells Kleeman how during one raid she was forced into a bathroom and strip searched.

    Female clubbers have also been humiliated when the police have accused them of being prostitutes in front of local TV cameras.

    Karishma Ramesh Kadam was born in a slum and is now a shop assistant who aspires to the glamorous lifestyle that Nisha and her friends enjoy. The first time she ever went clubbing she was caught in a raid.

    Dhoble told reporters he'd been tipped off that prostitutes were soliciting from the club, and he arrested all the female customers. They were imprisoned for three weeks and then released without charge.

    Karishma tells Kleeman she was strip searched and beaten, but the worst thing was that the raid had been filmed and photographed by journalists who publically branded her a prostitute. Her family say she's brought shame on them. They won't let her come home and refuse to speak to her. Karishma says she has tried to kill herself twice since they rejected her.

    The Unreported World team arranges a meeting in Dhoble's office. He clearly enjoys his high profile, but refuses to explain himself on the record.

    He does tell Kleeman that he's just implementing the law and carrying out the orders of his boss, the Commissioner of the Mumbai police. But the Commissioner says neither he nor Dhoble are giving interviews.

    The team discovers that while Dhoble's raids may not be popular with the clubbers, they have made him a hero to many in the city. Kleeman talks to Manuela Saldhana, chair of the residents association in the upmarket suburb of Bandra.

    She tells Kleeman that her formerly quiet residential area has become a nightmare on club nights, when young party-goers fill the street. She finds their drinking - and the girls' short skirts - disgusting.

    She's turned detective, gathering information so she can catch venues out on any technicality and inform the police in order to get clubs and bars closed down.

    And it's not just middle class people supporting Dhoble's crackdown on nightlife: in Daravi, the largest slum in Mumbai, residents tell Kleeman Dhoble is simply defending Indian culture against corrupting Western influences.

    But opposition politicians begin mocking the raids, saying the police are ignoring serious issues because they are distracted by clubbers and parties. As Kleeman and Nott prepare to leave Mumbai, both Dhoble and the Commissioner are no longer in their jobs.

    Their fall gives Nisha has her friends the boost they need. They've started a campaign called 'Mumbai Unite' to oppose the crackdown. Politicians begin to listen to Nisha's arguments for getting the laws repealed and start to sign up to her campaign.

    For the moment, Mumbai's nightlife looks safe again. But as a growing number of Indians are able to spend their earnings enjoying themselves in the city, the battle between new freedoms and traditional values isn't over.

  • The Master Chef of Mogadishu

    Mogadishu is one of the most dangerous cities on earth. Unreported World meets the remarkable British Somali man who has mortgaged his life in London and left his family behind to set up a chain of restaurants in the Somali capital. Cooking is his contribution to the peace process in this war-torn country.

    Ahmed fled Somalia when he was a boy and settled in Britain. He trained as a chef and set up a successful restaurant in West London before returning to Somalia.

    But Ahmed's success running restaurants has made him a target of jihadi organisation Al Shabaab. One of his restaurants has been hit by a double-suicide attack, leaving 20 dead.

    Ahmed is determined to carry on. The stakes could not be higher: his business, his marriage, even his survival.

    After 21 years of civil war a new government in Somalia is hoping for peace, but still battling Al Shabaab, a militant army loyal to Al Qaeda.

    The new government has no power, depending for its survival on a 17,000-strong African Union army that has pushed back Al Shabaab insurgents since last year.

    But the militants still stage guerrilla attacks, bombings and assassinations.

    There's no gunfire in Mogadishu on the day reporter Aidan Hartley and director John Conroy meet Ahmed at his beachfront café - cooking for a clientele that includes other Somalis returning home from exile in the UK.

    But just a few days beforehand, two suicide bombers had blown themselves up in his city centre restaurant, called the Village. The attackers shot customers and then exploded their bombs, murdering 20 people. Al Shabaab gloated over the deaths and has promised to strike again.

    Ahmed takes the team to see his bombed cafe. It's a gruesome sight. Where one of the bombers detonated himself, fragments of his body and blood have been blasted all over the walls and ceiling, together with the remains of several other people.

    But Ahmed tells Hartley that he's staying put: 'I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to rebuild it again and show them I can encourage my fellow countrymen.'

    Ahmed hasn't only risked his life to be here; he's also invested all his profits from his London restaurant and mortgaged his family's future to support the country's development.

    At another of Ahmed's restaurants he shows Hartley how he's been trying to support the peace process by feeding scores of clan elders who have been given the task of appointing the new government's politicians.

    For Ahmed, reopening his bombed café has become an obsession. Every day his doors are closed he is haemorrhaging profits. And he has another reason to reopen quickly. A hundred workers are depending on him for a job, in a city where very few people earn any kind of wage. The bombing killed five of Ahmed's employees but his surviving staff reported for work the very next day.

    As the day of the café's reopening approaches, reports come in of the beheading of a local journalist and suicide bombers attempt to assassinate the new president.

    Ahmed has a nervous wait to see if his business has a future. Will his customers stay away, or will they risk their lives to have a coffee?

    Ahmed has a death threat hanging over him but he passionately wants this to work. It's clear how much his success means to other British returnees, like Mogadishu's mayor, who has come back from his life in Islington, London.

    Through his restaurants Ahmed has given confidence to ordinary Somalis to dare to think and act more freely. Ahmed is making a great sacrifice. The stakes are so high he might end up bankrupt or dead. But it may be brave, ordinary dreamers like Ahmed who have the power to rebuild Somalia.

  • Dominican Republic: Baseball Dreams

    The Dominican Republic provides almost 20% of professional baseball players in the United States. In a country where many are very poor, the sport is one of the few routes out for young men. But the cost of failure at 18 years old can be devastating.

    In the United States, Major League teams can't sign a player until he has a high school diploma, usually at the age of 18 or 19.

    Dominican Republic law allows children to leave school at just 14 and sign when they're 16, so the US teams can sign them up earlier.

    As a consequence, the teams pay the most for players when they're 16. But these boys know they have a limited shelf life. In two years they will be worth a lot less and may have missed their chance to get signed at all.

    Everywhere reporter Seyi Rhodes and producer Daniel Bogado look, people are playing baseball. There are tens of thousands of young hopefuls but only around 350 get signed up by American teams each year. Of these only two per cent will make it to the Major Leagues.

    Rhodes and Bogado travel to the small seaside town of San Pedro de Macorís, which has produced more Major League players per capita than anywhere else in the world. They meet a bunch of boys living together and training before hopefully getting a try-out.

    One of them tells Rhodes how baseball was his only way out: 'My neighbourhood is poor; there is a lot of crime. They kill a lot of people there. In my family the majority are criminals. The only one who went into baseball is me.'

    Paterson Segura is only 16 but already throws as fast as a professional. He's been plucked from poverty and intensively trained into a product for US scouts. If he's chosen, he could fetch hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

    Paterson tells Rhodes that he dropped out of school two years earlier to focus on his baseball full time, against the wishes of the grandmother who raised him. He's very aware he's got a limited time now to make it before he's too old and misses out on the chance.

    The team films Paterson as he tries out for The Houston Astros. After a nervous wait, Paterson is offered a contract for around $40,000. But his agent Jovanny turns it down, believing he's worth more.

    The agents play a big role in making these decisions, and have a hold over the boys' lives. They can expect to make a cut of around 25% or more on any deal and it seems sometimes this might influence their decision to persuade their charges to turn down what could be life-changing offers.

    In Los Robles in the Bahoruco region where Paterson grew up, the Unreported World team meets his uncle Jose Miguel. He tells Rhodes that like Paterson he was also once a Major League prospect.

    Over the years, Jose Miguel's trainers passed on three offers from three different teams. He is now 23 years old and says he's missed his chance.

    Back in San Pedro, Paterson is still trying out for more teams and his agent is still holding out for more money. He still has a few more chances left to fulfil his dream.

  • Unreported World

    Indonesia's Tobacco Children

    Indonesia is in the grip of a smoking epidemic with the proportion of child smokers rising dramatically. And Unreported World reveals how young children are risking their health further by harvesting and processing tobacco bought by one of the UK's biggest cigarette companies.

    Aggressively targeted by global tobacco giants and with minimal controls on advertising, Indonesia is the world's fastest growing cigarette market. Ninety million people smoke; smoking-related diseases kill 200,000 Indonesians a year and the numbers are rising.

    In 2011, tobacco companies spent £142 million on advertising in the country. Cigarette adverts are everywhere and the companies also sponsor rock concerts, football and badminton tournaments and cycling events.

    A senior tobacco industry insider tells Unreported World reporter Jonathan Miller that tobacco giants such as Philip Morris and British American Tobacco have, in his words, been 'milking a cash-cow,' following their takeovers of big Indonesian tobacco firms.

    He says they aggressively target young adults. Philip Morris has recently confirmed that rapid sales growth in parts of Asia, led by Indonesia, have offset a substantial decline in sales in the west.

    The firms agree that they target young adults, but the slick, exciting ads seduce children, too.

    Indonesia's new Health Minister, Dr. Nafsiah Mboi, tells Unreported World that she wants to end what she sees as her government's dependence on the tobacco industry.

    But it's a difficult job. Tobacco is as crucial to the Indonesian economy as the financial sector is to Britain's.

    The industry provides ten per cent of national income and 10 million jobs. And, as Unreported World reveals, not all of those 10 million are adults.

    In Malang, East Java, the team learn that it's not unusual to see children working on farms. But green tobacco is dangerous stuff; toxins are absorbed through the skin and workers can suffer acute nicotine poisoning.

    Miller sees two 11-year-old girls, Jum and Mita, sorting tobacco and they're not the only ones.

    The local tobacco buyer tells Miller that some of the tobacco harvested by these children ends up being sold to a number of tobacco companies including British American Tobacco, and that their representatives visit this and other villages to inspect crops prior to delivery to the warehouses.

    On its website BAT says it is working hard to root out child labour. And in a statement to Unreported World, the company said its representatives are always encouraged to tell farmers what BAT policy is on child workers.

    But the tobacco buyer says that regulations for child workers in the tobacco fields is non-existent.

    Back in the capital, Jakarta, the team films a tense stand-off outside a huge tobacco industry trade fair organised by a British company. Protesters are angry about the effect the tobacco companies are having on their country's population.

    Unreported World meets one man who's trying to do something about Indonesia's smoking epidemic. Just a few years ago, Fuad Baradja was the star of a comedy series on national TV. He's an ex-smoker, and he's made it his mission to stop children getting hooked. But he has his work cut out.

    The team talks to six-year-old Maulana. He's been smoking since he was two. He's recently cut back from one pack a day, but the cigarettes he smokes have three times the tar-yield of the strongest on sale in Britain.

    Maulana is initially reluctant to acknowledge the problem with his smoking, but Fuad finally persuades his family that they need to do something about his habit. While Indonesia suffers a cancer crisis, there may be hope for one little boy.

  • USA: Talk Radio Nation

    In the run-up to the 2012 US election, Krishnan Guru-Murthy meets the talk-radio hosts broadcasting to a country more polarised than ever before.

    A news anchor steeped in the ethics of impartial reporting, and a former talk-radio show host himself, Krishnan finds his own values openly challenged and dismissed by these radio hosts, who say his neutrality is a form of bias and censorship.

    It's a world where - almost - anything goes; broadcasters are free to say 'all Muslims should be bombed' on the air, though swearing isn't allowed.

    Radio hosts don't care who they offend, and they cheerfully admit to political bias: they see it as their job to get Obama voted out.

    The team meets Joyce Kaufman, the revolver-carrying Florida radio host fighting to get the core Republican vote out in this swing state.

    She was at the Mitt Romney fundraiser where he accused 47 per cent of US adults of not paying federal tax, and she thinks people should be ashamed to live on welfare.

    Part Puerto Rican, part Jewish, she describes herself as single to appeal to her listeners. 'The men think I'm available, and the women think I'm independent,' she tells Krishnan.

    But when the team visits her home, they learn she's been in a happy relationship for years, and she says a lot of her anger on air is part of her performance.

    Is she guilty of misleading her listeners during her shows by cherry-picking her facts? She says it's staying 'neutral' about issues like welfare dependency that's wrong.

    In Mississippi, the team meets nationally-syndicated radio host Bryan Fischer, who believes Islam is a religion of hate and Muslims should convert to Christianity.

    Krishnan meets him again in Washington, just one of a number of prominent right-wing radio hosts topping the bill at a huge 'values voters' summit along with Paul Ryan, and wielding huge influence within the Republican Party.

    Talk-radio may be preaching to the converted, but in re-affirming the listeners' prejudices, Krishnan finds only highly partisan versions of the 'truth' survive.

  • Honduras: The Lost Girls

    Reporter Ramita Navai and director Talya Tibbon travel to Central America to investigate the mysterious disappearance of hundreds of young Honduran women. They discover that many of them have been enticed to travel to Mexico with the promise of jobs but end up trafficked to brothels and forced to work in the sex industry.

    The Unreported World team begin their journey in the Honduran town of Progreso after reports that hundreds of young women have disappeared. They meet the mothers who, frustrated at a lack of interest from the authorities, have set up a group to try to trace their daughters. One of them tells Navai how occasionally a mother receives an anguished call from a missing daughter but then the phone is snatched away, and the fate of the missing girls sinks back into mystery.

    The mothers who collate possible sightings of the missing girls have come up with a clue. Most of the girls have been offered well-paid jobs in nearby Mexico, sometimes even the United States. Since a military coup three years ago, the Honduran economy has collapsed, the drug cartels have gained ever more power, and Honduras has become the most murderous country on earth. It's no surprise the girls were tempted by promises of work and better opportunities abroad.

    The team travel through Guatemala to the Mexican border. At the illegal crossing next to the official border at Tecun Uman there's no need for visas - all it takes is the equivalent of fifty pence to pay a ferryman. But crossing illegally means that once in Mexico, there is no record of the women's existence.

    A short drive from the border is the town of Tapachula, and the team visits the red light district there. It's soon apparent that most of the women working in these brothels and bars are Honduran. The owners keep a constant watch on them and the women are far too scared to talk. However, the next day Navai is able to meet one - Ashley - who says she crossed the river two years ago with her sister. She was 17 and has left her two young children behind after being promised a well-paid waitressing jobs. Instead, the traffickers delivered them to a brothel and threatened to hurt their family if they refused to do what they were told. Eventually, she managed to call the Honduran consulate and was rescued. But she's still in Mexico as she can't face telling her parents what has happened.

    Ashley says she was too scared to call the local police as many were regular clients. The former Honduran Consul in south Mexico Patricia Villamil tells Navai that she'd been fired - she believes for criticizing the Honduran and Mexican authorities for failing to rescue more missing girls. She says in the eight months she was consul the Mexican authorities received over 200 calls from missing Honduran girls trapped in brothels. Only a fraction were rescued. Human rights activist Luis Villagran campaigns against the traffickers. He claims the authorities do little to combat the trade and often that local authorities are part of it. The Honduran and Mexican authorities declined to comment on the allegations.

    Travelling further into Mexico, the team are able to talk to a former Honduran trafficker. He tells Navai he'd started out smuggling drugs but then his bosses decided his charm made him an ideal recruiter of women. He says at times he sold up to 40 girls a day for 100 US dollars each. While he waited to sell the girls, he kept them in captivity.

    Those fighting to save the missing girls say the official incompetence and corruption that allows the traffickers to operate has to end. There are some people working to achieve that, but they need help if they are to make a real difference.

  • Libya: My Week with Gunmen

    Six months after its revolution, Libya is still riven by factionalism, militias and violence, as the armed groups who overthrew Colonel Gaddafi cling to territory and power.

    Tripoli's streets are ruled by the gun. The police have tried to remove roadblocks manned by militiamen and have been driven off in a hail of gunfire.

    Reporter Peter Oborne and director Richard Cookson talk to fighters from the powerful Zintan militia who have controlled the country's main airport since they seized it from Gaddafi forces. They've been involved in tense negotiations with the government about handing it over but the talks appear to have stalled.

    Across town, the team finds militiamen streaming into a government compound. The government is offering payments of £10,00 to each fighter in an effort to persuade them to return to civilian life.

    It has reportedly already paid out around a billion pounds in this way, but that hasn't bought stability. At another roadblock, furious militiamen say they haven't been paid yet and vow to fight on.

    In the coastal city of Zuwara the team finds another gun battle taking place between two rival militias, with constant gunfire and artillery overhead.

    One fighter says the battle has been going on for three days and claims his militia are the true representatives of the revolution and are battling Gaddafi loyalists in the militia from the neighbouring town of Regdalin.

    By dawn, the battle has claimed more than 20 lives, with hundreds wounded. The two sides arrange a truce and Oborne and Cookson cross the line to enter Regdalin.

    The man in charge of the local military council that rules the town - like most other towns in Libya there is little government authority - denies the townsfolk are Gaddafi loyalists.

    The conflict, he tells Oborne, is about territory, while others say battles like this are really about who controls nearby smuggling routes.

    The team moves on to the town of Gharyan, where civilians have formed another private army. A compound built by Gaddafi has been turned into a detention centre.

    More than 1000 black workers and suspected illegal immigrants are housed in the camp. There has been no functioning court system in Libya since the revolution and many of those locked in the metal cells face the prospect of being detained indefinitely.

    When western governments backed the revolution in 2011 they hoped to replace the barbarism of Gaddafi with democracy and the rule of law. The revolution freed millions from fear and terror but in the new Libya many of those Unreported World meets have lost everything.

  • Cameroon

    In Cameroon there are fears that the practice of eating bushmeat - wild meat hunted in the rainforest, including endangered gorillas and chimpanzees - could trigger a new global pandemic of viruses. Unreported World investigates.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director James Brabazon also meet the British woman battling the trade and looking after the animals orphaned by the slaughter.

    Eighty percent of all meat eaten in Cameroon is bushmeat. To understand how the trade works, the team travels to the Dja Reserve in the south east of the country, where the tracks and clearings created by logging companies have opened up the once-impenetrable jungle to bushmeat poachers.

    Williams meets some of the wardens trying to combat the poachers. There are only 60 wardens to cover the 2000 square miles of the Dja Reserve. Until 2009 they were funded by the EU. Now they're on their own and it's dangerous work.

    One warden has already been killed by poachers this year and many have been injured.

    Williams and Brabazon walk into the forest with the wardens and meet a group of indigenous Baka people, the so-called pygmies. They tell Williams that people come four or five times a week looking for all sorts of bushmeat and hire locals to go and hunt for them.

    One warden tells Williams that the local hunters get around 25 to 30 Euros for a chimpanzee.

    But the Baka have something even more shocking to reveal. Eating gorilla meat has wiped out one of their neighbouring villages: 25 men, women and children died. There was only one person who survived, and that person didn't eat the meat.

    The team heads back to the capital, Yaounde, to meet Professor Dominique Baudon at the Pasteur Centre. He's on the frontline of protecting both Cameroon and the world from the threat of new viruses emerging from man's contact with apes and in particular the preparation and consumption of bushmeat.

    He tells Williams he believes within the next 20 years new viruses, possibly similar to HIV or Ebola, will definitely appear. And this isn't just a problem for Africa. At least 11,000 tonnes of illegal bushmeat - including ape meat - are smuggled into Britain every year, much of it from Central Africa.

    The team travels to Yokadouma, one of the most remote areas in Cameroon. Filming secretly, Unreported World meets a man with contacts to commercial poachers specialising in gorillas and chimps. He sets up a meeting with an ape hunter.

    Shooting, eating or possessing part of a great ape can lead to three years in jail and a hefty fine in Cameroon, but in exclusive footage and access, poacher 'Frankie' tells Williams that just a few days before he had killed a female gorilla and her baby.

    He has brought with him the severed arm of an adult gorilla, which is now a delicacy in Cameroon's big cities. The team is forced to leave by villagers angry that Frankie has revealed ape hunting to outsiders.

    As demand for ape meat soars, so does the number of orphans created. Unreported World visits Rachel Hogan, who came to Cameroon from Birmingham 11 years ago. She has set up Ape Action Africa.

    Rachel tells Williams she has seen an explosion in the numbers of orphans coming into the sanctuary in the past five years. There are currently 324 orphans at the centre in Mefou. They include 22 Western lowland gorillas - now a critically endangered species - and 107 chimpanzees.

    Rachel is doing the best she can but the sad truth is that the apes she looks after can almost certainly never be returned to the wild; Cameroon is just too dangerous.

  • Ukraine: The Teenagers Who Live Underground

    UNICEF estimates that there may be as many as 100,000 street children in Ukraine. Marcel Theroux and Suemay Oram go underground in Kiev to meet some and find out what their life is like.

    Ukraine has invested billions in infrastructure projects for the 2012 European football championships.

    While the fans will enjoy the facilities, most of them won't know that living around them - and beneath their feet under the country's cities - are thousands of young people left on their own to survive dangerous, subterranean lives.

    Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, years of economic hardship have hurt Ukraine. The result has been a lost generation of teenagers who have run away from broken families, alcoholism and abuse.

    They suffer awful living conditions and embarrass the Ukrainian government, which in June will host the European Championships as part of its efforts to project a modern, European image with luxury shops and a thriving culture.

    Many of the teenagers inject drugs or sell sex, and face serious health risks including syphilis, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. In some cities, close to 20 per cent of youngsters living on the streets who were tested were HIV positive.

    Theroux and Oram journey underground through pitch-black basements and passageways under the streets of Kiev. Their guides are a group young people who have made their home at the end of a warren of dark corridors.

    Outside, the temperature is below minus 20 degrees. Underneath the city's Soviet apartment buildings, hot water pipes are helping keep the street children alive.

    The team finds 13 who have set up home together, surrounded by mounds of rubbish, which indicate they've been living rough for some time.

    They've been sniffing glue to take away the feelings of cold and hunger, and the effects are starting to become obvious. Longer-term use causes brain damage.

    The leader of the group is Vanya, a 29-year-old ex-prisoner. He tells Theroux he can't work because he has no identity papers. They have been stolen and he can't afford the bribes to get new ones.

    Alongside him is Vova, who has been stabbed but can't afford a doctor. Medical treatment is meant to be free, but hospitals routinely demand payment.

    Above ground, Kiev's Central Station is a focal point for the city's homeless, who sleep in the waiting rooms and beg outside. Kiev does have shelters for homeless children but many don't want to use them.

    Theroux meets 14-year-old Dima and his 18-year-old girlfriend Clara. They are living on a set of pipes that carry hot water to nearby apartment blocks. Clara tells Theroux she'd got pregnant from a previous partner, but social services had taken the baby.

    The spiral of street life is hard to escape, but some do make it out. An hour outside Kiev, Theroux and Oram meet Oksana, who was raised in a state orphanage. After she left it, she lived on the streets and began to drink heavily.

    She fell pregnant and her daughter was taken away. Then she got pregnant again. But somehow, Oksana tells Theroux, she found the strength to stop drinking. She kept her baby and was eventually reunited with her eldest child. But if she hadn't had help, her children might have ended up on the street themselves.

    As the Unreported World team leaves Ukraine, Theroux feels like he has witnessed a side of Ukraine that the football fans will never know about: a generation of children who have got lost on the journey from the country's Soviet past to its European future.

  • Afghanistan: Lights, Camera, Death Threats

    Unreported World finds out what it takes to survive in the world's toughest movie industry.

    Cinema was outlawed in Afghanistan under the Taliban and a decade later, despite their overthrow, death threats remain a fact of life for Afghan film-makers.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Andrew Lang join the country's biggest film stars on set, and discover a passionate family of film-makers and actors, drawing strength and humour from each other as they risk their lives to produce movies.

    Thirty years ago, Kabul was full of record shops, cinemas and theatres. But the Taliban declared that making and watching films perverted people's minds, and banned films during their rule. Since they fell in 2001, a handful of brave film directors have started working again.

    The team begin their journey on set with Saba Sahar - an actress, screenwriter and Afghanistan's first female film director. In a country where few women work at all, Saba is directing her sixth production - a TV series about the Afghan police force.

    The only woman on set, Saba has complete authority, even over the real policemen who are acting as her extras. As well as directing, Saba is playing the heroine, who's a female cop succeeding in a man's world.

    Saba's high-profile job is provoking some of the most dangerous people in the country. The drug lords and the Taliban have threatened her life. 'Each morning when I leave the house I think I'll never see my family again. I might be killed,' she tells Kleeman.

    Kleeman and Lang meet Salim Shaheen, Afghanistan's most prolific film director. He's directed and starred in over 100 low-budget, high-octane movies over three decades.

    With a large fan base, Salim has a huge influence on ordinary Afghans. He takes Kleeman on to the film set where he's in the middle of directing a fight scene.

    Salim fears the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan could mean the end of his career. 'There's going to be a civil war here,' he warns. 'If the Taliban come back, films will be banned. I'll have to leave the country.'

    Like Saba Sahar, Salim's life has been threatened. 'Every second we are under threat,' he tells Kleeman. 'Every minute our lives are in danger.'

    The team meets a Taliban fighter. He tells Kleeman that cinema goes against their interpretation of Sharia law and should be outlawed.

    He has a warning for Salim and Saba: 'They should be told that what they are doing is wrong first,' he says. 'If that doesn't stop them, we will punish them according to Sharia law.' The punishment, he says, is death.

    Everyone the team meets is convinced the Taliban will soon be back in power, and Afghanistan will soon return to fundamentalism.

    But Kabul's DVD bazaars are booming. Salim takes Kleeman into a market where one trader says he sells up to 1400 copies of a newly released film per day. There's a huge appetite for home-grown cinema.

    Salim and Saba have already paid a high price for making films: Saba has been rejected by her wider family, and Salim lost eight crew members in a rocket attack on one of his sets.

    He shows Kleeman footage of the aftermath. 'I'll continue in their name,' he says. 'I'm prepared to sacrifice myself. I'll never give up making films.'

    Salim and Saba have more sacrifices ahead: the Taliban want them to suffer for believing in the freedoms promised by the west.

  • Baghdad Bomb Squad

    Unreported World gains unprecedented and exclusive access to the Baghdad Bomb Squad. Nine years after the invasion and with the British and the Americans gone, Iraq still faces almost daily attacks from those trying to foment political chaos and sectarian hatred. Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Alex Nott spend time with a small band of brave Iraqi officers trying to prevent further murderous attacks.

    With modest resources and great courage in the face of terrible danger, four 12-man squads work around the clock defusing bombs or investigating crime scenes where a device has detonated. The Unreported World team joins one team as they begin a morning shift, when the bombers are at their busiest. Twenty-nine year old officer Rawad Yassin, who has already spent six years in the bomb squad, tells Guru-Murthy that his family have urged him to leave the unit but he feels a responsibility to his fellow officers.

    Travelling in convoy they are called out to the suburb of Karrada. They believe they are heading to an unexploded device but on arrival find the aftermath of detonated device. The target was a senior military commander in charge of the Ministry of Communications Protection Force. Several of his staff have been killed, and more than a dozen injured.

    As the team head off, reports come in of other bombings around Baghdad. Another unit finds an unexploded device right outside Iraq's Oil Ministry. Unreported World reveals extraordinary footage showing how a 'sticky bomb', which is fixed under the car of a Brigadier General, is made safe.

    In the last two years more than 30 bomb disposal experts have been killed across Iraq. Guru-Murthy speaks to someone close to one of those killed trying to defuse a vehicle bomb. Ali Hameed shows Guru-Murthy video footage of the incident which left his partner Ali Latif with terrible injuries. Hameed says since the incident he's been living with severe psychological stress.

    The bomb squad believes Sunni extremists known as 'Al Qaeda in Iraq' are behind most of the bombings. The violence is deepening the sectarian divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Most targets are Shia, and Shia leaders including the Prime Minister accuse Sunni politicians of complicity. In turn Sunni leaders claim Shia are blaming them so Iraq can be dominated by the Shia.

    Guru-Murthy highlights how Sunnis feel wrongly blamed and persecuted. They want nothing to do with Al Qaeda but feel cut out of power by the Shia led government. The team speaks to one of the most powerful Sunni tribal leaders - Sheikh Ali Al Hatam. Five years ago he ordered his men to stop fighting the Americans and turn on Al Qaeda. Now he feels betrayed and believes the Shia government is using the current bombing campaign as an excuse to increase discrimination against Sunnis. He fears the result will be further terrible sectarian violence.

    In the week Unreported World is in Baghdad the bomb squad save many lives but across the country some 30 bombs explode and more than a hundred people are killed. When US troops withdrew in December, President Obama said they'd left Iraq stable and democratic. The Bomb Squad know that stability is still elusive. As Lieutenant Jassim Hamad Saleh says over shocking footage showing when he was injured in a bomb blast... 'Our work is a sacrifice, dealing with bombs means going to meet death. Death normally comes to people, but we go to death'.

  • Terror in Sudan

    As George Clooney campaigns against the atrocities being committed in Sudan, Unreported World has filmed extensive documentary footage from the war zone.

    Aidan Hartley and Daniel Bogado gained rare access to the Nuba Mountains to film the heroic doctors who are saving children in a largely hidden war being perpetrated on civilians by one of the world's most brutal dictatorships.

    The Nuba Mountains region, in the South Kordofan oil fields upriver from Khartoum, is a troubled part of Sudan where a civil war has continued since the 1980s.

    Nuba always fought alongside its southern black African Christian neighbours against the Arab Islamic regime in Khartoum, but the region was left behind in the peace accord that led to the independence of South Sudan in mid-2011.

    In June 2011, President Omar al-Bashir's forces launched fresh attacks against opposition supporters in Nuba, many of them Christians and black Africans.

    The Unreported World team highlights how government forces are carrying out almost constant aerial bombardment of civilian settlements, driving them from their fields so they cannot grow crops, while banning relief deliveries by international agencies.

    As soon as they arrive in Nuba, Hartley and Bogado are caught in an air raid by Sukhoi ground attack jets firing rockets as terrified families dive into foxholes while explosions rumble in the surrounding villages. In another incident soon after, the team films traumatised children running into caves to hide from Antonov bombers.

    The impact of Khartoum's refusal to allow medicines into Nuba is clear as doctors are forced to carry out operations on shrapnel-wounded children without anaesthetics and almost no medicines apart from traditional herbs. Hartley and Bogado visit the Catholic Mother of Mercy hospital, the only functioning hospital for a million civilians trapped by the war. Made for 80 beds, it has 500 patients. The situation is so dire that even the medical staff are not eating as they tend the wounded and sick.

    Teenage mother Alawiya tells Hartley how her new-born baby was killed in her arms by a blast that also claimed the lives of her mother and sister and tore off her right arm. One doctor claims that 80 per cent of all victims are civilians: the result of deliberate targeting.

    An estimated 350,000 civilians have been driven from their homes by fighting and many have fled to live in the caves. The team travels with a local doctor to caves in the mountain of Tungule, where thousands have been forced to live.

    In one clinic hidden among the rocks, Dr Alamin examines a seven-month-old baby, who he says has severe pneumonia and will die as Khartoum has banned the delivery of vaccines for children as well as supplementary foods for starving babies, and the United Nations, which evacuated in 2011, has delivered no supplies for a year.

    The team stays with Mansur and his family in one cave overnight to shelter from aerial attacks, and as the sun goes down he cooks what food he has been able to buy that day with the last of his money: a few handfuls of sorghum grain that went cheap because it was contaminated by petrol.

    The next morning the team films at a school the cave dwellers have set up under the canopy of tall trees. As the children attend their morning assembly, a bomber circles overhead and hundreds of children run screaming in fear to take cover in the nearby caves.

    Their teachers tell Hartley that the schools have no pens, no books, nothing with which to learn, due to Khartoum's attacks.

    As he unleashed terror last year, Bashir declared: 'There will be no time to speak of diversity of culture and ethnicity... Islam [will be] the official religion and Arabic the official language... we will force them back into the mountains and starve them.'

    As Unreported World shows, this is exactly what he has done, and unless action is taken, the horn of Africa faces another terrible man-made famine.

  • Australia's Hidden Valley

    Unreported World investigates the effect of controversial emergency legislation on Australia's Aboriginal population. The government has used this legislation to take control of many Aboriginal settlements. It said this was help to end violence and child abuse, and combat the alcohol abuse that ravages many Aboriginal communities.

    Reporter Oliver Steeds and director Ed Braman begin their journey in Alice Springs - visited by tens of thousands of Britons every year for its aboriginal art galleries and tourist sites - where alcohol addiction is still ravaging the lives of the country's original inhabitants, many of whom live in desolate squatter camps on the outskirts of town.

    The team joins a regular night patrol, staffed by volunteers who search the streets for Aboriginal people incapacitated by alcohol. Many of them live in townships or settlements outside the town - a legacy from 1928 when they weren't allowed to live in the town itself.

    Steeds and Braman visit a settlement called Hidden Valley. At the entrance is a sign warning that, under emergency legislation, alcohol is illegal. Despite this, the ground is littered with bottles and cans.

    They give one resident, Beverley, a lift to the largest supermarket in the centre of Alice Springs. Since the emergency legislation, which required the suspension of Australia's race discrimination act, her welfare payments are ring-fenced to help prevent the purchase of alcohol.

    Aboriginal people are five times more likely to die of alcohol-related causes than other Australians. However, the legislation, and the knowledge of the harm alcohol is doing, does little to stop her - or her friends - from buying it.

    Beverley's cousin Clint is also unemployed. He tells Steeds that his teenage years were dominated by alcohol. The team notices his arms are scarred: the result of him cutting himself, like some other Aboriginal people, when he has lost a loved one. He says almost all of the deaths were caused by alcohol.

    Local radio DJ Warren H Williams says the emergency legislation is making life worse as it has put the government in charge of many aspects of aboriginal people's lives and deepened a culture of dependency on welfare benefits.

    In Hidden Valley, around 80% of the men are unemployed, and alcohol, welfare dependency and limited opportunities are pushing adults to a life at the margins and into crime.

    Earlier this year an unprecedented crime wave of assaults, robberies and burglaries hit Alice Springs. In just three months there were over 1300 incidents of properties either damaged or broken into, leading to tensions with business owners.

    The team also visits a local school to see if education might lift children out of this trap. Although government funded, it was set up by a group of Aboriginal elders who felt mainstream schools largely ignored Aboriginal culture.

    However, one teacher says that even this school faces serious challenges engaging with and teaching the kids of some parents who do little to encourage their children's education.

    There are some signs of hope, and the Unreported World team watches an Australian Rules football team from Santa Teresa, an Aboriginal town 80km east into the Simpson desert.

    Travelling to Santa Teresa, which has banned alcohol since 1975, they find a different settlement to those on the outskirts of Alice Springs.

    Unlike the town camps it feels like a safe and functioning place with a school, a health clinic and a women's centre, and a strict no-alcohol policy that everyone follows.

    The emergency legislation is due to expire in 2012. While the government says it has been a success, critics argue it's caused more chaos, and increased poverty, dependency and racism. What happens next is the source of controversial debate and could affect the lives of thousands of Aboriginal people.

  • Honduras: Diving into Danger

    Indigenous people in Honduras are risking their lives diving to dangerous depths for lobsters destined for North American and European diners. Overfishing means they must now dive as deep as 150ft to land their catch. Each time they dive, they risk paralysis or death from the bends.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Daniel Bogado travel into the Caribbean with divers on board a lobster diving boat. Kleeman discovers that while companies and consumers care about buying tuna that's caught in a way that doesn't harm dolphins, we don't seem to care about lobster that's caught in a way that has left hundreds dead and thousands paralysed.

    The team begin their journey in Cocobila, where a lobster fishing boat is recruiting divers. Kleeman meets 29-year-old diver Alexis as he says goodbye to his wife and five children.

    Alexis risks death on every trip but has no choice but make his living in this way, as he says there are no other work opportunities on the Mosquito Coast. Only four days ago, one of his friends was killed diving for lobster.

    Kleeman and Bogado join the divers and crew as they head out to the lobster banks. For the next 12 days, this 60ft boat will be home to more than 100 men. The air is thick with marijuana and many of the men are very drunk, even though they will be diving the next day.

    Overfishing means it takes 13 hours to reach the first banks where lobster could be found. Twenty years ago, they caught them metres from the shore.

    As dawn breaks, the men prepare to dive and there is a rush to find decent equipment. At the depths they dive, any problem that forces them to ascend fast will give them decompression sickness - the bends - which can kill or paralyse them. But Alexis has no watch and no depth gauge, and nothing to tell him when his air is running low.

    Kleeman follows Alexis as he heads out to dive, and watches as he descends to find his catch. On his first dive he finds nothing: too many divers have been here already. As he is paid per lobster, he is anxious to dive again, without giving his body time on the surface to recover. On deck, the divers tell Kleeman the bends is a fact of life for them, but they have no other way of making money.

    The team leave the lobster boat and travel to the village of Kaukira. They meet Jesus Gonzales who dived for lobster until decompression sickness paralysed him 13 years ago. He's been housebound ever since.

    There are more than 4000 known disabled divers on the Mosquito Coast. Honduran law says they should get compensation from the boat owners. Some boat owners are generous, but others fight hard to avoid paying compensation. While 352 divers are known to have died at sea while diving for lobster, many more have died slowly at home from diving injuries.

    Kleeman and Bogado journey 300 miles to La Ceiba, the centre of Honduras's lobster trade. The sister ship to the one they've stayed on has arrived in port. The divers have caught 119 bags of lobster, worth $72,000, but one of them has been struck with the bends.

    At the processing plant, an operation manager claims that the companies that buy dive-caught lobster and sell it on to consumers in the US and Europe don't ask how the lobsters are caught.

    Boycotting lobster would put the divers of the Mosquito Coast out of work, but consumers can press the companies who buy the lobster to make sure that, if it's dive-caught, those who catch it have proper equipment, training and medical support.

    As long as there's money to be made in lobster diving, and no other way to make a living on the Mosquito Coast, generations of indigenous men will gamble their lives to bring us luxury food.

  • Trinidad: Guns, Drugs and Secrets

    Trinidad has become the murder capital of the Caribbean. While half a million tourists soak up the carnival atmosphere every year, the government has introduced a state of emergency to try to stop the gang violence that results in a murder on average every 17 hours.

    At 11pm in the capital Port of Spain the atmosphere changes as a strict curfew comes into force and the normally bustling city becomes a ghost town. Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Will West are only allowed out because they have obtained a special curfew pass for journalists.

    The state of emergency has been in force since August and while the murder rate has halved, the killings are continuing.

    The team follows police to Laventille, a notoriously violent area. Police officers tell the team that illegal guns and gangs are the cause of most of the murders.

    Under the emergency powers the police and army can enter any property without a warrant and arrest anyone they choose. They've rounded up more than 4000 people in the two months since the start of the state of emergency.

    Another neighbourhood, Calvary Hill, has been the scene of scores of murders as gang culture and drug dealing have spiraled out of control over the last decade. During the state of emergency many families here have had their homes raided and their sons arrested.

    One mother, Susan, has just seen two of her sons arrested, suspected of being gang members. She doubts the state of emergency will end the violence.

    Round the corner in Nelson Street, the team discovers that the drug dealing that has blighted this area is still going on, in spite of the police presence.

    But there's more to the murder epidemic than the activities of neighbourhood gangs. The island has become a major trans-shipment point for drugs coming out of South America on their way to North America and Europe.

    The Venezuelan mainland is just seven miles from Trinidad and the whole island is a mass of inlets and little coves - a smuggler's paradise.

    The government estimates that hundreds of millions of pounds worth of drugs are smuggled into Trinidad each year. The majority of the drugs are shipped onto Europe and America and what's left is sold on the domestic market.

    The smugglers often bring guns to protect their shipments, but once the drugs leave, the guns are sold on the streets.

    Despite the size of the drug trans-shipment industry that uses Trinidad, few major traffickers have ever been arrested. After two months and more than 4000 arrests, street-level criminals are still the main focus of the state of emergency.

    Unreported World reveals how one reason for this may be corruption. According to UN estimates, in 2004 smugglers paid nearly £80 million a year in bribes to Trinidadian officials.

    The Trinidadian government's national security adviser, Gary Griffith, is one of the architects of the state of emergency and one of its most outspoken supporters. He agrees with Rhodes that the state of emergency is 'completely ineffective' in dealing with top-level crime.

    In response to a question about why the government is focused on the state of emergency and neighbourhood crackdowns, rather than the corruption he says: 'every single country in the world will have corrupt politicians, corrupt police officers and persons in the judiciary. We needed that to stop law abiding citizens from being killed.'

    The Trinidadian government introduced the state of emergency to make people's lives safer. However Unreported World finds nothing fundamental has changed.

    Rhodes concludes that until the government tackles official corruption and the drug trans-shipment industry, drugs and guns will leak onto Trinidad's streets and the murders will continue.

  • India's Child Savers

    Across India more than 60,000 children go missing every year. Unreported World explores the dark side of the booming economy, as many children are kidnapped into domestic slavery for the growing middle class and businesses, and others are kidnapped for ransom by those desperate to share some of the country's new wealth.

    In Delhi alone seven children go missing every day. Reporter Evan Williams and director James Brabazon discover that the capital has become a major destination and transit point for tens of thousands of children being trafficked into forced labour, prostitution, begging and drug running.

    The team meets child saver Rishi Kant as he cajoles police into joining his rescue of a 16-year-old girl who has been abducted and sold into forced marriage near Delhi. India's new wealth is allowing more men around the capital to buy 'brides' from traffickers in a booming business that seems largely unchecked by local police.

    When the team asked the local police commander how big the problem was he said he didn't know. The team and the girl's parents are told to wait as Rishi enters a hostile area to save the girl, at one point being surrounded by 200 angry villagers opposed to her rescue.

    The team later joins Bhuwan Ribhu, an activist from the Save the Childhood Movement, as his team launches a rescue in shoe and clothing factories in North Delhi.

    Within 30 minutes Bhuwan and his team are leading 52 crying and frightened children out of Dickensian squalor where they had allegedly been forced to work 18-hour days for a pound a week that they had to use to buy their food.

    Bhuwan tells the team that, according to police figures, almost 120,000 children were abducted in India in the past two years and the figures reveal police are investigating on 13,000 of these. He says the problem could be ten times worse than reported.

    Many impoverished parents send their children with traffickers to cities on promises they will earn a living, learn a trade and get an education.

    But Bhuwan says that once a child is in the hands of traffickers, in most cases they are cut off completely from their parents, not paid and forced into a life of labour and abuse. In this way, he says, consent is not informed consent and the child is by any legal definition kidnapped.

    India's booming economy is creating a new market too. Bhuwan claims thousands of children as young as 12 are now being trafficked into domestic slavery for the growing middle class in cities like Delhi.

    He says the rich families pay an agency but the agency rarely pays the child, who then loses contact with their parents and is subjected to years of unpaid servitude, and in many cases abuse.

    'In and around Delhi alone there are 4000 placement agencies that have not been registered,' Bhuwan tells the team. 'We estimate hundreds of thousands of girls throughout the country are being used as domestic labourers, and all are minors.'

    Williams and Brabazon rejoin Rishi Kant as he launches a night raid on one of these placement agencies. Inside they find a 12-year-old girl and three boys between the ages of 12 and 14. All have just arrived, are about to be sent to their middle-class masters and are confused and frightened.

    Williams and Brabazon had earlier met an 18-year-old girl who had been kept by one family for five years. She says she was never paid and had been molested and eventually raped by a man in the family.

    But it's not just trafficking that exploits the children of India's fast-expanding cities. The team meets several families whose children have been kidnapped for ransom by neighbours or gangs desperate for some of the wealth they see around them.

    While some police seem to act quickly, many of the people the team speaks to complain about a lack of police action, especially for poor parents whose children are snatched for cash. Some parents get their children back but tragically many do not, even when they pay some of the money.

  • Going for Gold in Gaza

    Unreported World meets members of the Palestinian Paralympic team hoping to qualify for London 2012. They find athletes struggling to train in the conflict zone.

    In a territory where those who die fighting the Israelis are considered the true heroes, the Paralympic team goes completely unrecognised by its own people.

    Nobody knows who team captain and discus thrower Khamis Zaqout is, despite the international medals he's won since he helped establish disabled sports in the Occupied Territories two decades ago. This is in spite of the fact that the only athletes representing Palestine in London will be disabled ones, because there's no Palestinian Olympic team.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Richard Cookson meet Khamis as he struggles to find a taxi to take him to the gym. He introduces them to the rest of his eight-man squad at the training ground - a little patch of green in an overcrowded enclave of bombed-out buildings and shanties.

    The news is that, as things stand, only four Palestinians are going to qualify to make it to the Games. The athletes are shocked and tensions boil over.

    Mohammed Fanuna, a partially sighted long jumper and javelin thrower, loses his temper. The news is too much for him to take when he also has all the other daily worries of living in Gaza - the air strikes, the siege, the lack of freedom to travel, the poverty - and of course his disability.

    Another very worried young athlete is 20-year-old Abed Abuwatfa, who invites the team back to the home he shares with his parents. Abed tells Hartley that the suspense over whether he will qualify for London is adding to the pressure on him to give up sport and find a job.

    Three of Abed's cousins are deaf and his two sisters are also disabled, placing an enormous burden on the family. In Gaza it's common for poor people to marry into their extended families, which is a major reason why it has one of the highest rates of disability in the world.

    The team learn that there's also a women's team. Disabled Palestinian women athletes have never had the chance to compete overseas as in this conservative Muslim society their families hadn't allowed them to travel alone.

    This time, coach Hala Shakura has persuaded the families to allow them to go. One of them, shot putter Fatma Halooli, is the team's best hope for a place on the podium if she can make it to London.

    She says she needs a new leg to perform well, but her best hope of getting that is if she qualifies. If she becomes a winner, she says, she may attract a sponsor who will give her the new leg she dreams of.

    Gaza is effectively under siege and Israel controls the goods that go in, which has caused problems for the athletes as well as disabled people more generally, as it's difficult for amputees to get equipment such as prosthetic limbs or suitable wheelchairs.

    The team visits the only place in the Gaza Strip that manufactures them. Since the last war in Gaza, Israel has relaxed a blockade on a range of items and denies that it blocks medical supplies. But the centre's director alleges that one donation from Slovenia has been stuck in an Israeli warehouse for the last eight months.

    The conflict itself is also swelling the number of injuries and amputations. Hartley notices one young man who watches the training sessions but never joins in.

    Adli Obeid lost his left leg when he was recently blown up by an Israeli drone-launched missile. He wants to join the team but can't until he finds an artificial limb and recovers from shrapnel injuries.

    Hartley and Cookson meet some of the athletes one last time. They learn that Khamis is one of the four almost definitely going to London. Abed is still on the borderline but has decided to defy his family and keep training.

    Hatem is struggling to improve his personal best at discus so he doesn't miss out, and Mohamed has resumed training and is one of the squad's best bets for a medal.

  • Russia: Vlad's Army

    Unreported World reveals the huge personality cult around Vladimir Putin as it follows the extraordinary actions of the mass youth movement dedicated to protecting the interests of the Prime Minister and Russia.

    As Putin announces his intention to return as President, reporter Peter Oborne and director James Jones meet some of the young people who are utterly devoted to him, have seemingly limitless resources, and appear to be above the law.

    Outside the American Embassy in Moscow the team films members of Nashi, or 'Our People', as the movement is called, spray-painting 'Russia Forward' in six-foot letters, following criticism of Russia by the American Defence Secretary.

    The police step in, but it soon becomes clear who is in charge as Nashi members bully, shove and chase away the officers in an extraordinary display of strength.

    Nashi's headquarters are in a £20 million house in central Moscow, decorated with murals of Putin and quotes from his speeches. Oborne joins Nashi's weekly political meeting, which reveals a sinister side to its patriotism as anti-western and racist views come to the fore among some members.

    Masha Kislitsnya, Nashi's Commissar, describes how her experience growing up as the daughter of a single mother in the 1990s formed the basis for her admiration for Putin.

    She recalls that her family lived in dire poverty while the government was in collapse following the fall of communism, with the shops often empty of goods. Everything changed for the better, she says, when Putin took over.

    Oborne also meets 21-year-old Nashi members Victoria and Oksana. They believe Putin has restored pride and prosperity to Russia and say joining Nashi was a way to express their adoration. They show and describe their favourite pictures of their leader, declaring that they are fanatics and that they worship him.

    Critics say Nashi's true function is to build a personality cult for Vladmir Putin, while bullying, intimidating and harassing his opponents. The team speak to journalist Oleg Kashin, who was brutally beaten up after writing an article criticising a business project of one of Putin's closest allies.

    His attackers have never been caught but Kashin tells Oborne he believes Nashi were most likely behind the attack, as one of his articles featured a project which they supported. Nashi denies all involvement, with Masha dismissing the suggestion as 'just accusations'. While Putin's Russia may look like a liberal democracy - with elections, law courts and parliament - Unreported World shows how in reality there is a parallel state. Putin is a former Director of Russia's security service, the FSB - successor to the notorious KGB.

    Critics say that, just like Nashi, the FSB is used to silence opposition and further the business interests of Putin's allies. The team meets Olga Romanova, a financial journalist whose husband Alexei ran a profitable construction business until she ran an article exposing the business practices of a close Putin ally. Olga claims Alexei was given the choice between divorcing his wife or losing his business.

    Soon afterwards the FSB started an investigation. Alexei was arrested, charged and sent to jail for eight years for the theft of shares - a crime she says he had not committed. As the Unreported World team leaves Russia, it seems as though Nashi's worship may be turning Putin into one of the archetypal figures who occur throughout Russian history: a strongman with mystical powers, attracting uncritical devotion from his followers.

    What also seems clear is that the future of democracy and the rule of law in Vladimir Putin's Russia is under threat.

  • Nigeria's Millionaire Preachers

    Miracles, expensive cars, exorcisms and bodyguards: religion is big business in Nigeria. Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Matt Haan travel to Lagos to reveal the extraordinary world of the millionaire preachers.

    By promoting a dream of escaping poverty, they have turned their churches into corporations, which are changing the face of Christianity. Every Sunday millions of Nigerians crowd into thousands of competing churches. The team visits one church in Lagos run by Dr Sign Fireman, an up-and-coming preacher who is attempting to break into the big time.

    They find 2000 people at an event billed as the Burial of Satan. After a rock-star entrance, Dr Fireman begins his service by exorcising the demons in his congregation.

    Many Nigerian Pentecostal Christians believe that demons are the root cause of their problems in life and come to people like Dr Fireman to get rid of them. Over 20 men and women, including some who worked for Dr Fireman, have the evil spirits inside them expelled. Sick members of the congregation come forward for miracle healing. Dr Fireman claims to have God-given powers that can change people's lives, from raising people from the dead to curing earache. One man tells the crowd he is crippled and blind. Dr Fireman then channels his powers to help the man walk and see again. Yet, earlier the team has seen the man walking unaided. At the close of the event the crowd swarms forward and throws money at Dr Fireman's feet. There is so much cash it has to be collected in dustbins. Rhodes talks to one worshipper who says that those who give money are repaid by God with good fortune.

    Some Nigerian Pentecostal Christians believe giving 10% of their income will bring God's blessing into their lives, their families and their businesses. With the service over, Dr Fireman leaves in his yellow 4x4 Hummer. Through the marketing of his talents, Dr Fireman has expanded his Perfect Christianity Ministry to 40 branches. Key to this growth is the emphasis on prosperity preaching: teaching that prosperity is a sign of spiritual blessing. The idea is that to become rich, you should give money to the church.

    Pentecostal and independent churches in Nigeria tap into the Nigerian dream: the aspiration of having and being seen to have cars, houses, money and power. To get more people to join his church, Dr Fireman believes portraying the right image is essential and shows the trappings of wealth his church has brought him. He travels everywhere with his bodyguards in one of his three yellow luxury cars, which have a combined worth of more than £150,000.

    Dr Fireman's business model is not a new one. Most of the richest pastors in Nigeria use similar methods of expansion. The team meets Pastor Chris Okotie, the fifth richest pastor in the country, who had hits in the 80s with records such as Secret Love and Show Me Your Backside.

    His church, House of God, attracts Nigerian film stars, celebrities and musicians. Pastor Okotie has used his power base to run for the last three presidential elections, believing the principles of prosperity preaching will provide a better future for Nigeria.

    Local journalist Simon Ateba says it's almost impossible to establish their true wealth. Simon takes the team to the headquarters of Christ Embassy. He claims that two years ago when he tried to take photographs of the building, security guards dragged him inside and beat him until he fainted. Soon after he tells this story, security guards drag Rhodes into the building by his belt. He escapes unscathed.

    The team visits Dr Fireman. He's busy in a music studio recording a new song as he expands his business into the music industry. Rhodes asks him how he can square his wealth and celebrity status with the teachings and life of Jesus.

    Dr Fireman says that God wants him to be rich and denies that Jesus had a humble life. 'Jesus was rich and had an accountant who followed him around,' he tells Rhodes.

  • Uganda's Miracle Babies

    Jenny Kleeman and Suemay Oram travel to Uganda to investigate hydrocephalus: a preventable yet misunderstood condition that affects a quarter of a million babies a year in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    They visit Africa's only paediatric neurosurgery hospital and meet the mothers in a race against time to save their babies' lives.

    Hydrocephalus - or 'water on the brain' - occurs when fluid builds up inside the skull, putting huge pressure on tissues inside, causing brain damage and death. Hydrocephalus has many causes, but in Uganda most cases develop when babies contract infections after being born in unsterile conditions.

    It is more common than deafness or Down's syndrome worldwide, and easily treated in the developed world. But in Africa, few hydrocephalus babies get medical attention. Without treatment, 90% will die before their second birthday.

    The team begins their journey at the CURE hospital in Mbale, eastern Uganda, where mothers are praying for their babies' lives while they wait for brain surgery. The hospital treats 4000 children a year, with 20 new hydrocephalus cases arriving every day.

    Kleeman meets Dr Nekaka, who is examining Sarah, a two-month-old who needs urgent surgery. A scan shows that hydrocephalus has already left her brain damaged, but with early treatment, Sarah's brain might grow back and recover.

    On the packed ward, Kleeman meets Loy, and her nine-month-old son Kazimiri, who is in the advanced stages of hydrocephalus. It took Loy six months to borrow and save the money to pay for their transport here, and she had to watch Kazimiri deteriorate while she tried to scrape together their fare.

    Kleeman and Oram are invited into the theatre as the surgeon, John Mugamba, operates on Sarah and then Kazimiri. Dr Mugamba is one of only five neurosurgeons in Uganda. He tells Kleeman that most cases are entirely preventable, but poor neonatal care, poverty and a lack of surgeons mean many die needlessly.

    Sarah's surgery is straightforward: her parents brought her in early so her treatment was simple. But Kazimiri's condition is so poor that the surgery has to be abandoned. Dr Mugamba tells Loy he will wait a week before trying again.

    Hydrocephalus is particularly common in the least developed parts of the country. In Gulu, the team meet Winnifred, whose daughter shows advanced symptoms. Like Kazimiri and Sarah, Oroma was born a normal baby, but her head began to swell after an infection.

    Winnifred tells Kleeman her husband left her after Oroma started changing. She says that local people insult her and say that she's bought a curse on the village.

    The team returns to the hospital just as Kazimiri comes out of his second surgery. Dr Mugamba has managed to save his life, but only by inserting a drainage tube into his head.

    Loy won't know the extent of any permanent brain damage until Kazimiri is older. The tube will need to be replaced with further surgery as he grows. Getting him to hospital once has already bankrupted her family, but Loy had decided to fight for his life, whatever the cost.

    While Kazimiri is still in hospital, the team hears that Sarah is recovering well from her surgery. They travel to see her at home in her village and find that her condition has already improved only five days after treatment.

    She's lucky to have had the operation early. Sarah's father, Oluport, tells Kleeman: 'She will be somebody who can go to school, maybe work, by herself. Even when she woke up today, I saw that she was a bit better, and I felt very good.'

  • Undercover Syria

    Ramita Navai and Wael Dabbous spend two weeks living undercover in some of the most dangerous parts of Syria with members of the opposition movement determined to overthrow President Assad's brutal dictatorship.

    One of the few teams to avoid the ban on foreign media operating without official permission, they meet the protestors and the victims of the bloody crackdown, and visit the clandestine hospitals set up in private homes by doctors who risk torture or death for treating the injured.

    Syria is one of the most secretive and repressive countries in the Arab world. The Assad family has been in power for 40 years and the opposition say they are campaigning against endemic corruption, nepotism and brutal suppression. Navai and Dabbous experience first-hand life as fugitives in Syria when they are trapped in a safe house with three of the country's most wanted men. As the town of Madaya is besieged by the army, the security forces and the militia spend three days raiding houses in search of activists and people who have been seen at protests.

    The three men - one who says he has already been tortured for peacefully protesting - fear they will be killed if they are caught. They tell Navai that many of their friends have already been murdered by Assad's men.

    With security officers right outside the safe house, the men cannot escape from the windows, and are forced to hide in a small cupboard as the raids get nearer, with dozens of houses being smashed and ransacked and men being arrested and beaten.

    But nothing will stop the people of Madaya having their voices heard; less than 12 hours after the military withdraws from the town, they are fearlessly back on the streets protesting, and chanting for freedom, despite this being the very thing that can get them killed.

    The team meets four soldiers who say that they defected to the opposition after being ordered to shoot at protesters, raid houses and trample on people accused of protesting - including women and children. They claim to have witnessed other soldiers who refused these orders being shot dead.

    Shortly after this meeting, shooting begins in the mountains behind Madaya as the army scours the countryside in search of dissidents. The team decides to move on.

    Navai and Dabbous meet a doctor who tells them that hospitals are being raided by the security forces and militia, who are then killing injured protesters. He says that doctors are also being targeted for helping the injured, and many have been imprisoned.

    The doctor says he has smuggled patients out of hospitals and is now treating them in 'secret hospitals' - simply ill-equipped private houses in secret locations. The fear of being discovered by informers and raided is so great that patients are moved from safe house to safe house, despite so many of them being in critical condition.

    The team visits four protesters with gunshot wounds. One is a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head and is half paralyzed. Another man has been left brain damaged because he could not get the urgent medical attention needed in time, as the doctors in the hospital were too scared to treat him. All the while, the activists are receiving phone calls about more injured and more killed.

    With hundreds of people missing, either in prisons across the country or dead, and hundreds not reported killed for fear of recrimination, most of the activists believe the death toll is closer to 10,000 than the estimated 2000 to 3000 being reported in the press. The violence is relentless but the activists of the democracy movement remain uncowed.

  • South Africa: Trouble in the Townships

    New Unreported World reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy visits South Africa. Seventeen years after it was freed from apartheid, he finds a country in which violent protests against corruption and the lack of basic services mean its ambition to lead the continent as a prosperous democracy hangs in the balance.

    Simmering with anger, South Africa's people tell Krishnan they feel a sense of betrayal they will tolerate no longer.

    Johannesburg is the centre of Africa's biggest economy but is also the heart of a country where the poorest people are often robbed by corrupt officials, while the most powerful stand accused of creaming off astonishing wealth.

    There are 182 squatter camps in Johannesburg. Guru-Murthy and producer Alex Nott visit one of the biggest and most dangerous - Diepsloot, which is home to 200,000 people.

    Journalist Golden shows them shocking reports of the mob justice that rules here. He says that the residents of Diepsloot fear for their lives every night they go to sleep, as the police seem powerless, or unwilling, to address the horrendous levels of crime.

    Guru-Murthy talks to Philippine, who lives in a shack but says she should by now be living in a state-subsidised house. She says she has the papers and the keys but when she went to move in five years ago, she found another family there.

    She suspects that a local official has corruptly sold the home that had already been assigned to her, but she has got nowhere with the authorities since then.

    The team hears about one local official helping people jump the housing queue for bribes. Posing as a desperate father looking for help getting his family out of a squatter camp, Golden rings Albert Setwyewye, a former ANC councillor now working for local government. He is told to meet Albert at a nearby shopping mall, and bring some money.

    Unreported World sends an undercover reporter to meet Albert, who tells him that for 5,000 rand he can get him a state-subsidised house in a development called Cosmo City even though he doesn't qualify for it and the waiting list closed in 2004.

    But corruption doesn't just infect low-level officials in the country. Allegations surround some of the most powerful people in South Africa, including the chief of police, President Zuma's family and the man many tip as a future president - Julius Malema, the president of the ANC's Youth League.

    Malema's lifestyle is at odds with his modest ANC salary, and the team visits a house he is building in one of Johannesburg's most exclusive suburbs, Sandton, at a rumoured cost of 16 million rand (around 1.5 million pounds). Guru-Murthy attempts to confront Malema about the allegations of corruption and how he can afford his new home. Malema's response: 'It's none of your business. Mind your business.'

    As the number of prominent politicians and civil servants involved in corruption scandals grows, the government has been trying to introduce new secrecy laws that many believe are part of a clampdown on journalists trying to uncover fraud.

    The team receives a call from Albert, saying he has the paperwork that will allow them to jump the housing queue and secure a house in Cosmo City. Guru-Murthy and Nott reveal their identities and confront him about his corrupt behaviour. At first he denies being involved, but later changes his story saying that he's just bending the rules and doing the same as other officials, and offers to refund any money he may have taken.

    Trevor Manuel, the senior government minister in charge of the national planning commission, tells Guru-Murthy that there is too much corruption, investigations are poor and conviction rates are too low.

    While he says that every instance of corruption is one too many, it's clear to the team that a lack of concerted action is affecting national security. Since January last year there have been over 130 violent protests and the people's patience is running out.

  • Ramita Navai

    South Sudan: How to Fuel a Famine

    Escalating violence in South Sudan has claimed more lives in 2009 than the conflict in Darfur, but has been largely ignored by the western media. Reporter Ramita Navai and director Julie Noon uncover a disturbing new trend of women and children being directly targeted. More than 2000 people have been killed in 2009 in South Sudan, and a quarter of a million people displaced. The unrest is threatening to destroy the 2005 peace deal that ended Africa's longest and bloodiest civil war, which lasted 22 years and saw over two million people killed.

    Most of the fighting has been concentrated in the country's most volatile state, Jonglei. Navai and Noon find thousands of people waiting for a UN emergency food drop in the town of Akobo. They have all fled recent attacks and have not had enough to eat for over two months. People tell Navai they have been forced to eat wild grass and leaves. Everyone she speaks to has had loved ones killed as a result of the fighting.

    The influx of over 25,000 refugees has put Akobo on the brink of a famine. A convoy of UN barges carrying food aid should have been delivered less than a month ago, but it was attacked and over 700 tonnes of food were lost. After hours of waiting, the hungry crowd is turned away; not all their chiefs have arrived for the distribution, and food cannot be handed out until they do.

    The team follows a woman called Nybola as she returns to her makeshift shelter. She has lost her husband and three of her six children in two separate attacks. She says she suspects two of her children were abducted - a phenomenon that is on the rise.

    The team returns to the airstrip in Akobo and talks to the commissioner. He explains that ethnic clashes and cattle rustling are traditional in the region, but that the sheer number and nature of the killings suggest that there is more at play. He explains that people believe the Khartoum government is arming militias to fuel the fighting. Khartoum denies this.

    The team visit Akobo's only hospital, which serves over 50,000 people. All around the grounds are mothers holding severely malnourished children. There are 640 children being treated for malnutrition in the hospital, with 20 new cases arriving every week.

    The team journeys north along the Sobat River through an extremely tense area. Suddenly Navai and Noon are forced to duck down on the floor of the boat - they've been shot at and their guide has spotted around 15 armed young men on the riverbank. The team then meets the group responsible for attacking the UN barges, a 500-strong militia called the White Army. Their leader says that he attacked the UN barges as he believed the route is being used by the north to supply weapons to a rival tribe. The north in turn blames clan rivalry and cattle rustling for the violence. The northern government claims that since the war, weapons have always been around, and suggests that the warring in the south is due to a lack of development and infrastructure, and of the rule of law.

    In Bor, the state capital, Navai and Noon visit children who have recently been rescued after being abducted during attacks. Twelve-year-old Umot was fishing with his parents when they were ambushed. He says he saw his mother and three friends killed before he was snatched.

    While the team is in Bor, more fighting breaks out in a village called Duk Padiet. At the airstrip in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, the team film helicopters landing, full of injured people. Even though it's a two-hour flight from Duk Padiet, the hospital in Juba is the only one big enough to cope with casualties of this scale. The team discovers that thousands of men had attacked the village, killing more than 160 people. Navai speaks to Major General Kuol Diem Kuol, the spokesperson for the SPLA, South Sudan's national army. He claims the north has a hand in the violence that is happening and predicts more massacres in South Sudan.

  • Breaking Into Israel

    In the Sinai desert, thousands of African immigrants fleeing conscription, torture and conflict in East Africa risk being shot by border guards and held ransom by people smugglers as they try to get to Israel.

    The director Paul Kittel and his reporter arrive in the Sinai desert in north-east Egypt just over a month after the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Smuggling from Egypt to Israel has gone on for years, but now the smugglers are focused on people rather than goods.

    The director and reporter visit a smugglers' safe house where 100 Eritrean migrants are crammed into four small rooms terrified that they will be arrested by Egyptian border guards.

    Eritrea produces more refugees than almost any other country in the world, with nearly 2000 people escaping every month. Twenty-one-year-old Joseph has been in the smugglers' hands for over a month and has paid them $2000. He tells the reporter that the Eritrean regime forcibly conscripts men and women, and that deserters can be tortured or killed.

    Another man, Sammy, says he has deserted the army and that torture, starvation and slave labour are commonplace. He also tells the team that conscription can be indefinite.

    For the refugees, Israel's fast-growing economy promises safety and prosperity. The team talks to the mastermind of a people-smuggling ring transporting migrants into the country.

    He tells Unreported World that it is a sophisticated operation run by Bedouins in three different countries and that one smuggler can transport up to 4000 migrants to Israel every two years.

    Later that night the team is driven deeper into the desert, less than a mile away from the Israeli border. The refugees are about to embark on one of the riskiest parts of their journey.

    Most of the 260km border is open, but Egyptian guards have been accused of using a shoot-to-kill policy against anyone found trying to cross into Israel illegally and 86 people have reportedly been killed crossing the border. The Egyptian authorities deny using a shoot-to-kill policy but say lethal force is justified to stop illegal activity.

    The team crosses over into Israel as the migrants face the next stage of their journey; they must get further than 50km from the border or face being handed back to the Egyptian authorities if they're captured. The team receives a call from another refugee, Tadsse. He has been captured but has been detained rather than handed over to the Egyptians.

    The team heads north to Tel Aviv, which is Israel's business capital and the goal for the refugees. They meet 25-year-old Eritrean Kidane Isaac who was smuggled over four years ago and now lives there legally and helps recently arrived immigrants.

    He tells the reporter that many of the 20,000 Eritreans who have made it to Israel are now safe but destitute. He rents a tiny shared room in a flat with 16 other refugees.

    He also claims that in recent months there has been a disturbing new development: smuggling gangs have started to hold refugees for ransom, extorting cash from relatives who already live abroad. He says men have been killed and women raped. The team travels to a medical centre that treats up to 700 Eritreans every month, who say they've been abused at the hands of their kidnappers.

    With evidence suggesting nearly 200 Eritreans are being held hostage in the Sinai desert for ransom, Kidane talks to one smuggler insisting on $13,000 for each person being held. The smugglers are threatening to kill them if they don't get paid.

    Israel has appealed to the Egyptian authorities to investigate these kidnappings but so far no cases have been pursued.

    Israel is now building an electronic fence to keep African migrants out, but with the ongoing violence in their country, it seems clear that Eritreans will continue to seek refuge here and in Europe and take any risk on the way.

  • Inside the Battle for Ivory Coast

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Alex Nott arrive in Abidjan, the commercial capital of the Ivory Coast in West Africa, to report on the escalating political crisis. Instead they find themselves one of the few television crews to be there as terrifying violence tears apart a city that had been described as the Paris of West Africa.

    For four months President Laurent Gbagbo has clung to power - despite losing elections. As the team arrives, fighters loyal to Alassane Outtara, who has won the UN-backed elections, are advancing towards the presidential palace.

    On arrival, the team quickly discovers the Gbagbo regime mobilizing its most feared supporters: the Young Patriots. Rhodes and Nott are able to gain access to their leader, Charles Ble Goude, who's known as the 'General of the Streets'. He has a history of inciting violence against the regime's rivals and the UN has placed sanctions on him. He agrees to let them accompany him to a series of mass rallies.

    Most Gbagbo supporters come from the south and are Christian. The supporters of the new President Alessane Outtara come mainly from the north and are Muslim. There's a very strong nationalist sentiment at the rallies, and Ble Goude supplies the team with bodyguards as he says that foreigners would be lynched without them.

    The rallies are a call to arms and Ble Goude whips up the young masses into a frenzy - inciting them to join the army and fight against the Outtara forces, and also the UN and French peacekeepers in Ivory Coast. That night, the team films as the Young Patriots set up checkpoints, robbing almost everyone they stop. There are reports that elsewhere they are murdering people who they suspect are Outtara supporters.

    The team visits the Malian embassy, which has become a refugee centre. There are tens of thousands of workers from neighbouring Mali in Ivory Coast, but the Gbagbo supporters hate them because they have strong ethnic ties with Ouattara supporters. One refugee says the police and army came to his house regularly, demanding money and forcing him to do press ups while stamping on his hands.

    The team decides to try to visit the Abobo neighbourhood, whose residents had voted for Ouattara. In retaliation the Gbagbo regime has cut off their water and sent soldiers to shoot innocent residents. The city is full of checkpoints run by soldiers and Young Patriots and the team is robbed at gunpoint. They turn back but manage to reach another opposition neighbourhood which is coming under fire from the regime.

    By now Ouattara's forces have reached the edge of the City. They are heading towards the Presidential palace where they believe Gbagbo is hiding. This is a short distance away from the team's hotel. Nott and Rhodes are trapped, but manage to film the oncoming battle outside as French troops take on Gbagbo's tanks and heavy weapons.

    Foreigners in the hotel are targeted and the team is forced to take refuge while suspected Gbagbo gunmen search the building. The soldiers kidnap the hotel manager and two foreign businessmen and their security guard. They haven't been heard of since then. Rhodes and Nott join an evacuation convoy organised by the French, but even that comes under fire from Gbagbo supporters.

    In the final hours of this civil war the team is able to drive out into the city. There are dozens of bodies on the streets and the city is still lawless. Ouattara's victorious forces are looting shops and businesses and even fighting each other.

    While Nott and Rhodes are filming victims at a hospital, a group of young men - probably defeated Young Patriots - arrive and start to attack the film-makers. The Ivory Coast may now have a democratically elected president, but the Young Patriots are still very much alive and waiting for revenge.

  • Jenny Kleeman with some Afghan migrants

    Greece: The Unwanted

    As the French and British governments discuss how to deal with migrants camped outside Calais, Unreported World travels to the European Union's eastern border, to the illicit crossing points for hundreds of thousands of Afghans making their way to our shores.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Jacob Waite begin their journey on Turkey's north-west coast, just eight miles from Greece and the EU. It's 2.40am and the team come across a people smuggler and 25 migrants - men, women, children and even toddlers, all from Afghanistan.

    One of them tells Kleeman that he'd fled Afghanistan aged 13, after his father was taken away by the Taliban, and he'd worked in Iran for four years to earn $4000 to pay the smuggler. The fee covered a small inflatable dinghy, a little food and some basic life jackets. The team watches as all 25 get into the rickety craft and start paddling towards Greece. No one knows how many migrants try to make the eight-mile crossing, or how many drown. It's common for bodies to be found in the seas.

    On the Greek island of Lesbos, which is popular with British tourists, the team meet another migrant, Massu, who's crossed over from Turkey the previous night. He's been walking across the island for eight hours with his wife, son and baby, on their way to the ferry terminal to try to get to Athens.

    Thirteen thousand migrants are picked up by the Greek police on Lesbos every year. They are then held at the Pagani detention centre. It's very rare for journalists to be allowed in, but, after negotiations, the team gains access. The centre was built for 300, but often holds more than 1000 people. It's crowded, hot, dirty and smelly. The detainees claim they have no access to clean water, translators or doctors. Many say they feel unwell. In one cell for women and children there are two bathrooms to cater for around 100 people.

    Kleeman recognises one of the migrants she'd seen setting off in the dinghy from Turkey. He tells her he was caught by the police and beaten up before being detained in the centre. Another detainee, Monir, tells her he used to work as a translator for the US army in Afghanistan. But, his family was threatened by the Taliban as a result, and they told him to leave the country.

    Afghan migrants who are released from detention are given 30 days to leave Greece. Without a passport, they've got no way of doing it legally. Many move on to the Greek capital to consider their next move.

    The team follows the migrants to Athens. In Attikis Square, a meeting point for Afghans, they hear allegations that police violence against migrants is common. Around the square, many are crammed into tiny flats, living in squalor. Kleeman visits one flat, home to 21 flea-bitten people, who share one bathroom. It's overrun with cockroaches.

    Kleeman puts the migrants' allegations of ill treatment to the government minister responsible for their welfare. He tells her that he intervenes when he has reports of ill treatment. But, he says, at the same time, it's extremely difficult to cope because of the sheer numbers, and the EU as a whole needs to do more.

    The team moves on to the port of Patras, from where ferries head off to the rest of Europe. Around the port, migrants are living in camps along railway tracks as they try every day to stow themselves away in lorries. The walls of the port are topped with razor wire, but it's full of bits of cloth torn from the clothes of the migrants who've been trying desperately to get inside.

    It's clear that these desperate and determined people will stop at nothing for their chance to start a new life in Europe.

  • Mexico: Living with Hitmen

    Mexico's drug wars have been well reported, but there is a frightening, new phenomenon that is going largely unnoticed. A growing number of journalists are being killed or 'disappeared' as they try to report on drug violence and the growing links between the cartels and the corrupt police and politicians.

    Reporter Evan Williams and Director Alex Nott travel to Ciudad Juarez, on the US border, to experience the daily life of a journalist who has been called one of the most courageous women in Mexico.

    Luz Sosa is chief crime reporter on El Diario, the main newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, where more than 3000 were murdered last year as powerful drug cartels fight for control of routes to smuggle cocaine and heroin into the US.

    Luz spends her days travelling from one crime scene to another trying to ascertain the truth of what's happened and provide a record of the conflict, which is spiraling out of control and in which hundreds of women, grandmothers and even babies have been murdered in revenge attacks or warnings.

    Someone - possibly the drugs cartels, or the security services, or both - is targeting her, and several colleagues have already paid the ultimate price.

    Just two years ago, Luz's predecessor, crime reporter Armando Rodriguez, was shot dead in front of his home as he was about to take his children to school. No one knows for sure who killed him but Luz says he had written about the links between the cartels and corrupt politicians.

    Nearby in the office there is another small flower by the photograph of Luis Carlos Santiago, a 21-year-old photographer. In September 2010, Luz got a call that there was another murder. They arrived at the scene to find their young colleague dead.

    It was after she wrote up this story that she too received a direct threat. Her front-page article was found next to a severed human head on the outskirts of the city.

    A single mother of two, she says she's never sure whether each day will be the one when she doesn't come home to her kids. Her mother says she prays every day for her daughter's safety and that she will see her again at the end of the day.

    The team also meets TV journalist Arturo Perez. He tells Williams that crime gangs, corrupt officials or police could be responsible for the killing and disappearances of journalists but there is never any credible investigation into these killings.

    Just across the border in the United States, Williams and Nott meet one of Juarez's leading journalists, who has been given asylum. He claims that after he published an investigation into corrupt officials linked to the cartels he received a threat from an official in the state governor's office that he would be the next journalist to die.

    He also claims that some police are involved in extortion with the drug gangs, and that they take their orders from corrupt politicians involved with the drug business. 'They can do anything, they use their weapons and uniforms for this as they know they will never be prosecuted,' he says.

  • Burundi: Boys Behind Bars

    Unreported World exposes the plight of hundreds of children in Burundi locked up for years without trial in adult prisons, among some of the most dangerous criminals in the country. And they meet one man who has dedicated his life to freeing them; Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa is the only hope many of these children have.

    Burundi has no juvenile justice system and children above the age of 15 are tried as adults. By law any child under that age should not be imprisoned, but in a country recovering from civil war and where record keeping is scant, many underage children are slipping through the net and are being locked up.

    There is no legal aid, and there are only 106 lawyers for a population of over eight million people. This is one of the reasons why three quarters of children are being held for long periods without trial.

    While wrongly imprisoned for two years, 62-year-old Pierre found the body of a child prisoner who had been murdered. The incident affected him deeply and he decided to spend the rest of his life defending victims of injustice.

    The Unreported World reporter and director Wael Dabbous travel with Pierre to a prison in Ruyigi province, one of the poorest parts of the country. They find more than 20 children in the jail, several of whom look younger than 15.

    Many of them say they have been locked up having been accused of minor offences, such as stealing a bag of rice. Nestor tells the Unreported World team he is 12 and has been there for two months. 'My family never liked me. That's why they sent me here. They've left me here to die,' he says.

    The team travel with Pierre to Mpimba prison, the country's most notorious jail, which houses some of the most dangerous criminals. It was built for 800 prisoners but there are now more than 3300. The team finds nearly 100 boys sleeping in one cell, nearly all of whom are being held without trial. There's no room to lie down or sit, so the boys are all forced to stand.

    One of them, Claude, says he is 13 years old. He has been accused of rape but appears to be the victim of a dispute between families. Like other children, he may have been falsely accused of a crime in order to settle a score. He's been held for five months without trial and says older prisoners abuse the children. Pierre decides to investigate his case.

    The team travels with Pierre to Claude's home province of Bubanza, where he meets the magistrate in charge of the case. He reveals that hospital records showed Claude's alleged victims had in fact not been raped and that there was a feud between Claude's family and another family.

    Claude doesn't have a birth certificate as he was born during the civil war, and Pierre needs to prove he is under 15 to get him out of jail. He travels to his home village, where Claude's mother tells him she thinks he is 14 and that he had actually been accused of inappropriately touching his neighbours' children.

    Back in Mpimba prison, the team meets some of the 100 female prisoners locked in with the 3000 men. There are also 24 babies and toddlers living in the jail, nearly all of whom were born inside. One prisoner tells the team that that some women are forced to have sex for money in order to survive, and become pregnant.

    Burundi's Director of Prisons tells Unreported World that a lack of resources makes it impossible to hold women and children separately. He also admits that under-15s are being illegally imprisoned and blames corrupt magistrates and policemen and a lack of proper records.

    Pierre is still negotiating with Claude's neighbours, who are demanding compensation to allow Claude to return to the village. The magistrate says that Claude cannot be released if his mother does not pay the compensation, as his life will be in danger and the villagers may kill him. His mother has nothing to give. While there is no way of knowing how long Claude will be behind bars, Pierre is still fighting to get him released.

  • China's Lost Sons

    Reporter Oliver Steeds and producer Matt Haan travel to China to follow one father's inspirational search for his son, who was abducted and sold into slavery. They expose one of the untold stories behind China's economic boom, discovering how thousands of young men with mental impairments have been kidnapped and forced to work in brick factories.

    The team meet 62-year-old farmer He Zhimin in Sanyuan town in central China. He Wen - his son who has the mental age of a child and used to live at home - went missing last June.

    Mr He says a woman approached his son at the local market, offered him a job and money and then abducted him. Mr He believes the woman was part of a trafficking gang and that his son has been abducted and forced into a life of slavery.

    The disappearance was reported to the police, but Mr He claims they have done very little and he's been left to search for his son on his own. He tells Steeds that a few months ago, He Wen was spotted in a nearby town. Eyewitnesses told him his son was being forced to work in local brick factories, which have a reputation for using forced labour supplied by trafficking gangs.

    With hundreds of brick kilns across the county, Mr He has an almost impossible task. He has visited 40 kilns and come across many other cases of mentally impaired people who have been abducted into slavery. As a result of his investigations, he's been threatened and at times violently attacked.

    The team travels with Mr He to a brick factory where he believes his son might be held. Labourers claim He Wen was forced to carry hot bricks from the oven and was beaten all over his body if he didn't work hard enough. But the factory was recently abandoned.

    Just over a month beforehand, Mr He had received a call in response to one of his posters. A mentally impaired man fitting his son's description had been found wandering the streets.

    Mr He introduces the Unreported World team to the man he found - Liu Xiaoping - along with his family. Xiaoping is 30, but he has the mental age of a child. He reveals to Mr He that he worked alongside his son in a brick factory.

    Xiaoping's father says his son was also groomed like He Wen and enslaved in brick factories for 10 months. He says his son was chained up at night. If he wasn't working hard enough in the day a hot metal rod was burnt across his face. Xiaoping's injuries got so bad that he couldn't work and he was thrown out onto the streets where Mr He found him.

    Mr He also introduces the team to another father, Mr Li, who says his son disappeared from the street outside his house. He believes he was abducted and is now being forced to work in a brick factory. He's printed off over 10,000 cards with details of his son on the back but has heard nothing.

    Yang Bin works for the only organisation helping families track down mentally impaired relatives who've been abducted. He estimates there could be at least 10,000 currently enslaved. He says it is difficult to prosecute the traffickers and brick factory owners because often the testimonies of people with mental impairment are not accepted in Chinese courts even when there is substantial evidence.

    Yang Bin agrees to help Mr He, who says no witness statements have been taken by the police and he hasn't even been allowed to register He Wen as a missing person. Yang fears local police officers could be colluding with some of the brick factory owners.

    Mr He receives more potential sightings of his son from several eyewitnesses at a nearby brick factory: the same one where Xiaoping claims he was held. The team investigates, filming secretly, but unfortunately there's no sign of He Wen. The manager denies all allegations. Despite another dead-end Mr He vows never to give up searching.

  • Pakistan: Defenders of Karachi

    In 2010, more civilians were killed in political, ethnic and criminal violence in Karachi than in terrorist attacks across the whole of Pakistan.

    While the state seems unable to control the violence, reporter Peter Oborne and director Edward Watts spend time with a few courageous individuals who are risking their lives to hold the line against anarchy in Pakistan's largest city.

    In the last 60 years the population of Karachi has risen from 300,000 to nearly 20 million. The pressure for homes, water and food - compounded by high levels of unemployment - has lead to furious conflict between the rival ethnic groups, with around 1300 people killed in gangland violence last year.

    Most of Pakistan's ethnic groups - including Pashtuns, Mohajirs, Sindhis and Baluch - live in segregated neighbourhoods in Karachi with each area ruled by criminal gangs.

    While shootings occur all over the city, Lyari district is especially violent because different ethnic groups are engaged in a struggle for territory from which they control extortion rackets and the drugs trade.

    Oborne and Watts spend time with Saleem Mohammad, an ambulance driver with the Edhi charity, which provides a free ambulance service. It's desperately needed in a country without a functioning welfare state, and every day the staff are overwhelmed with requests for help.

    When a job comes through the initial information is often wrong. So Saleem can't be sure of what dangers he's heading in to, as even ambulance drivers are targeted and killed by gangs.

    The team travels with Saleem to the scene of a gang shootout where a young man has been shot and his father had just driven him from the scene. Back at the hospital, the victim, Shohed, tells Oborne he had been caught in the crossfire.

    The team follow Saleem to the funeral of two activists from an Islamist political party who have been gunned down. Saleem is present as high profile funerals often come under attack.

    It's claimed the activists were targeted by a rival political group. The killings suggest disturbing links between mainstream political parties and the gangs. Oborne is told that party workers are routinely assassinated, with 447 murdered last year.

    Most of the bodies are brought to a morgue run by the Edhi charity. The daily confrontations with death are taking their toll on Saleem. He reveals he has become hardened to tragedy.

    In the western outskirts of the city the team meet police officer Nasrullah Khan. His job is so dangerous he travels everywhere with two bodyguards as he's suffered numerous attacks.

    He tells Oborne that at least 100 of his officers have been killed in the past year. The violence is so extreme that he lives and sleeps in his office, only seeing his wife and children once a week.

    Later that night the team receives news that the police have come under attack. They arrive at the hospital to find chaotic scenes with Edhi ambulance staff helping the injured policemen into the emergency ward. At least six policemen have been injured and one killed in a random attack: this time by a policeman, though nobody knows the cause.

    Before they leave Karachi, Oborne and Watts visit Saleem's family. They know when he leaves for work they may never see him again. Many fear Pakistan is in danger of collapsing in to failed state with desperate consequences for the rest of the world.

    But Oborne concludes that with the presence of ordinary people as brave and self-sacrificing as Saleem there is every cause for hope.

  • Nigeria: Sex, Lies and Black Magic

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director James Jones travel from Italy to Africa to reveal how human traffickers are using black magic to coerce and trap Nigerian women into a life of prostitution in Europe.

    Women are made to swear an oath of loyalty to their traffickers in an elaborate ritual that compels them to pay back extortionate sums of money. If they ever break free or report their traffickers, they believe they will be cursed.

    The team begins their journey in northern Italy. As many as 20,000 Nigerian women work as prostitutes on Italy's streets.

    They meet Rita, who tells Kleeman she sleeps with up to 10 men a day, seven days a week, for 20 euros a time. After five years of prostitution, Rita still hasn't paid off the 50,000 Euro debt she owes her traffickers. She is also forced to pay them 300 Euros a month in 'rent' to solicit from her particular patch of pavement beside a highway.

    Rita says customers had beaten her badly in the past but she has no choice but to continue working on the streets. She tells Kleeman she has sworn to repay the debt to her traffickers in a traditional West African religious ritual which she calls 'juju'. She fears she and her family will die or go mad if she incurs the wrath of the spirits by breaking her oath.

    The Unreported World team flies to the southern Nigerian state of Edo, where 80 per cent of Nigerians trafficked into Europe begin their journey. In the village of Ewhoini they learn that almost every family has a relative abroad.

    Kleeman and Jones meet Elonel, who tells them that he earns money by helping traffic women from here to work for his sister in Italy. Elonel introduces Kleeman to a woman who's about to make the trip.

    Vivian, 23, used to make her living selling tomatoes at the local market. She tells Kleeman that there are no jobs in her town so she has decided to go to Europe to earn money to take care of her brothers and sisters at home. She knows she will have to pay her traffickers back, and that she might have to work as a prostitute to do it at first, but has no idea how much they will ask for.

    Vivian says that Elonel is her boyfriend. He's made all the travel plans for her and has booked her in to see a juju priest. She believes the juju ceremony will bring her luck, but she will also swear an oath of loyalty to Elonel and his sister during the ritual that will ensure they get paid whatever sum they ask of her.

    Elonel tells Kleeman that he doesn't feel at all guilty about sending his girlfriend to a life of prostitution as he simply needs the money.

    The team are given rare access to film the juju ceremony. The juju priest, 'Dr' Stanley, marks Vivian's body and makes her kneel at his shrine as she swears her oath. He claims he has the power to give women cancer if they break the promises they make before him.

    For those like Vivian who believe in juju, there's no way of hiding from the spirits. Dr Stanley tells Kleeman that countless others have sworn oaths of loyalty to different traffickers at his shrine.

    Getting women to give evidence against their traffickers is a serious challenge because of the conspiracy of silence created by the ritual. The team joins the government's anti-trafficking agency as they conduct a special juju ceremony to free a repatriated victim from her oath.

    Before Vivian leaves Nigeria, Kleeman has a final opportunity to warn her about the reality of life on Italy's streets. When Kleeman tells her she'll be working for years as a prostitute to pay off an extortionate sum, Vivian doesn't believe her.

    Her determination to improve her life has made it easy for traffickers to exploit her, and the juju oath has made it impossible for her to change her mind.

  • Congo: The Children Who Came Back from the Dead

    Unreported World travels to eastern Congo to witness the remarkable work of one man who liberates the child soldiers who have been forced to fight in one of the world's longest-running conflicts.

    While they are fortunate enough to film the moments several dozen youngsters are released, the team also discovers that hundreds more are being abducted as rebels and the army prepare for a new round of fighting.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Ed Braman are in the mountainous and densely forested province of North Kivu with Henri Ladyi. He has been invited to a secret meeting with members of the ADF/NALU rebel group who are hiding out in the hills.

    They have been told by a member of the group there are lots of child soldiers - many of them forcibly recruited - who need clothes and medicine. And there is an opportunity for Henri to see if he can get them released.

    In a remarkable scene, around a dozen children suddenly appear out of the undergrowth. They are armed with bows and poison-tipped arrows. Some of them are extremely young: perhaps not even teenagers.

    The team films some tense negotiations before one of the rebel commanders begins a bizarre ritual. The children are each slapped and punched, but Henri tells Hartley that this is a good sign as it is a way of ensuring that the children leave behind their lives as soldiers.

    The team accompanies Henri and the children to the town of Beni. It's the first night in some time they have spent away from the forest, in a proper bed, with a change of clothes.

    The youngest tells Hartley his fighter's name is Kambale but he thinks his real name is Justin, although he doesn't seem sure. He says that he was born in the forest and grew up living with the rebels, who are on the run and who are being hunted down by the government army, and that this is the only life he has known.

    But even as Henri is liberating child soldiers near Beni, it appears that rebels elsewhere in North Kivu are on an aggressive recruitment drive. One local tells Hartley that in Massisi 150 boys have disappeared and in his own area 80 boys have gone missing. He claims one boy was shot and killed for refusing to join up.

    The team drives to Kitchanga. When they arrive they find the schools deserted. One teacher tells Hartley that between 150 and 200 students have just vanished over the past few weeks.

    The team accompanies Henri to another tense and dangerous meeting with a rebel army called the Mayi Mayi. After several weeks of negotiations, Henri has persuaded them to give up a group of their child soldiers. The Mayi Mayi are one of the most fearsome of Congo's rebel groups, hostile to the government and with a taste for magic.

    Henri leads the team into the hills near the town of Butembo, where they wait nervously. After a while 14 children emerge, including two little girls: Edwige and 11-year-old Marve.

    They tell Hartley that the rebels think that child soldiers give them a special magical power. Some of them are given the job of doctors while others are told to cast spells on stones, which they then throw in battle to explode like grenades.

    Hartley and Braman return to the villages where the released children are trying to fit back in to their former lives. They find Marve with her grandmother, who says she plans for the girl to join the family business as a seamstress.

    But Justin is still subdued and withdrawn. He says all he wants to do is play football with other kids in the village. Just as they are leaving, the team are able to film Justin finally invited to do just that.

  • India's Leprosy Heroes

    Unreported World meets remarkable people fighting back against leprosy in India, where millions affected by the disease are pushed to the margins of society, ostracised by their friends and families.

    Based on targets set by the World Health Organization, the Indian government claims it has eliminated leprosy. However Unreported World reveals the numbers of new cases in some areas could be much higher than previously estimated.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and producer Richard Cookson begin their journey at a leprosy colony on the outskirts of Hyderabad in the south east of the country.

    They meet local leader Narsappa, who caught the disease 30 years ago. Like some of the other residents in the colony he has been cured and is no longer contagious. Despite this they are all forced to live together because they're not welcome anywhere else.

    Narsappa tells Rhodes that when he was diagnosed, his neighbours shunned him and his mother grieved for him as if he was dead. He was abandoned at the local hospital when he was just ten years old. Narsappa says he's now driven to stop others going through the same experience.

    At a funeral that night for another sufferer, the discrimination many face is brought home. Narsappa's friend has died and has to be buried in a patch of waste ground next to the public cemetery. Even after death some believe the disease is still contagious so those affected are buried in graves away from everyone else.

    In 2005, the Indian government declared that leprosy had been eliminated. However, the Unreported World team obtains leaked documents which suggest the official figures don't show the true scale of the disease. In one Indian state, health workers found the number of people infected was five times the official estimate.

    Rhodes and Cookson accompany Narsappa and a group of colony residents to the local health directorate to demand supplies for their clinic, which has run out of stock. But, like on previous visits, they leave with only promises.

    The team moves on to Naini Hospital in Allahabad. It's India's largest leprosy hospital and is run by UK based charity The Leprosy Mission. Senior surgeon Dr Premal Das tells Rhodes that his hospital saw 3,000 new leprosy cases last year - more than any previous year - but the budget has been cut by 20 per cent because it is practically impossible to raise money for leprosy when the government claims it has been eliminated.

    The team films one of his patients - 16-year-old Pooja - as she undergoes surgery to correct deformities in her hand. The next day the crew follow Pooja home after weeks in hospital, but how will she be received and will she overcome the stigma so many of her fellow patients have to endure?

    You can follow us on Twitter using the hashtag #UnreportedWorld, and find us on Facebook also.

  • Aidan Hartley

    Thailand's Red Fever

    Unreported World investigates Thailand's political future.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Matt Haan travel to Thailand to find that, while the world's news crews have moved on, millions of ordinary people are still locked in a political battle for the future of their country.

    With bomb attacks still happening in Bangkok, the country teeters on the brink of chaos.

    The team's journey begins on a train in Bangkok alongside hundreds of Red Shirts - supporters in a mass political movement opposed to the government. They're heading to a demonstration in the historic city of Ayutthaya, where, despite a heavy police presence, speakers demand democracy. If they don't get that, they fear there will be a revolution.

    After a year of violence, attempts by the authorities to suppress the Red Shirts appear to have failed. With elections due in the next year, the King's authority fading and two factions fighting for the future of the country, it seems unlikely that Thailand's people will escape more bloodshed.

  • Annie Kelly in India

    India: Love on the Run

    As more young couples reject arranged marriages in modern India, Unreported World investigates a wave of violence that's left hundreds dead across the country's northwest states.

    Reporter Annie Kelly and director Katherine Churcher reveal that, despite Indian law giving everyone the right to marry who they want, increasing numbers of young couples are facing death at the hands of their own families for defying centuries of tradition.

    Kelly and Churcher begin their journey in Delhi with the Love Commandos, an activist group trying to protect young couples from violence. The team travels with them to the central train station to meet Santosh and Guarav, a young couple on the run. They say they were forced to flee to the capital after Santosh was attacked by her family. They explain that they are from different Hindu castes, which makes their relationship forbidden in the eyes of her village.

    An estimated 900 people have been killed in honour-related attacks in India in just a year, with the numbers continuing to rise. Kelly and Churcher follow the murder trail to Haryana, the northwest province where many attacks have taken place.

    They visit the village of Nimiliwali, the scene of a brutal double murder just six weeks earlier. A local man says that two teenagers were beaten then hanged by the girl's family after they discovered their secret relationship. The chief of the village takes the team to the house where they were killed and says their deaths were inevitable because they broke tradition and acted without the consent of the family.

    The team discovers that families are not always acting alone. They hear allegations that powerful extra-judiciary traditional councils of village elders called Khap Panchayats are also implicated in the murders and may have even ordered killings.

    Kelly and Churcher attend a regional Khap Panchayat meeting where they learn that the councils are now pressuring the government to enshrine their marriage traditions in national law. Senior Khap Panchayat leaders deny that the councils ever order killings but say that they have other ways of enforcing their rules.

    Despite the denials, the team tracks down a mother who risked her life to get justice for her murdered son and daughter-in-law. A local Khap Panchayat leader is now serving a life sentence for ordering their killing.

    Back in Delhi, the team learn that, even in the heart of modern India, families are able to break up forbidden marriages. They meet a young man who has spent over a year fighting to find out what happened to his wife after her family and the police forcibly separated them just six days after they wed.

    Kelly and Churcher attend the secret wedding of Santosh and Guarav, the couple from the train station. They discover that although this was the day the couple the risked everything for, they are still not safe. After the ceremony they are going back on the run.

    Despite the continuing murders, young couples are prepared to fight to be together, but falling in love in India can still be a very dangerous business.

  • Seyi Rhodes in the Central African Republic

    Witches on Trial

    The Central African Republic is a country obsessed with black magic, where nearly half the prison population are convicted witches.

    In villages and the capital witchcraft is used to explain every misfortune and it is such a powerful weapon that it is a feature of almost every family quarrel or village dispute. And, as Unreported World reveals, it's often the most vulnerable who are singled out.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Julie Noon's journey begins at a ceremony performed by a traditional healer. She claims to have the power to expose black magic by looking into a fire and seeing the names and images of witches. During the ceremony she pulls a small boy from the crowd and announcing that he turns into a horse at night and eats people.

    Healers like Marceline wield huge influence across the country and their authority is rarely questioned. She tells Rhodes her most recent case involved exposing a local man as a witch and that he was subsequently arrested and imprisoned.

    Since independence from France in 1960 it's been illegal to use charlatanism and sorcery to harm others. Those found guilty can be jailed for up to ten years or even sentenced to death. Rhodes and Noon travel to Mbaiki prison. The Governor says he chains up all new suspected witches for the first seven days, but despite this one prisoner managed to escape; the governor claims he turned into a rat or snake and tunneled out.

    Rhodes finds one prisoner, Francois, awaiting trial. He claims that although he was labeled a witch by his neighbours he is innocent. Francois says he was tied up, beaten by fellow villagers and dragged to the police station where he confessed.

    Even though it is against the law there is no explanation in the penal code to what actually constitutes witchcraft. Rhodes speaks to the police to find out how they go about tackling a phenomenon that isn't even defined. A senior police captain says eyewitness testimony is enough for him to prosecute.

    The team attends Francois's trial. His case, like others, seems to be based on rumour, hearsay and forced confessions. In court there's a big turnout. The judge begins by reading the charges and Francois's lawyer submits his plea of not guilty. A traditional healer is brought in and testifies he saw Francois turn into a dog and bite a man. Much to everyone's astonishment Francois pleads guilty. After the trial he tells Rhodes he was too scared to deny it.

    Travelling north to Sibut, the team visits the local prison where more than half the prisoners are accused or convicted of witchcraft. The inmates protest their innocence and most of them seem to be a victim of quarrels with relatives or neighbours, which had all resulted in accusations of witchcraft being made. They all appear to be vulnerable, from the elderly to people who were living on their own.

    Back in the capital, one of the country's most senior prosecuting judges - Arnaud Djoubaye - admits there is a problem with the law. He says there is no legal definition of the concept of witchcraft, which can be confusing and vague. However he's convinced witchcraft is a real and present threat to the population and believes the laws should remain to allow the judiciary to take action.

  • Peter Oborne examines the consequences of the Pakistan flood

    Pakistan: After the Floods

    Pakistan's floods may have receded but their catastrophic consequences continue. Reporter Peter Oborne and director Simon Phillips discover that incompetence and alleged corruption have caused poor areas to be flooded and rich ones protected. And in a country whose institutions are failing the people they are supposed to protect, they find ordinary Pakistanis striving to rebuild their lives.

    The Unreported World team begin their journey in Bhangar. They join Irshad, Ghullam and their eight children as they travel back to their home in a remote southern Punjabi village after the floods. On arrival they find a scene of total devastation. Their home has been reduced to rubble and their crops destroyed. The family do not despair but battle on amidst tragedy and disease in an attempt to get back to a normal life.

    All the villagers tell Oborne the area had never been flooded in this way before. To find out why this place in particular had been so devastated, the team travel to the nearby Indus river: the source of the flooding. Here they uncover a groundswell of anger amongst the local community. Many believe the flooding was more than a natural disaster and that officials in charge of flood defences were incompetent and even corrupt.

    The team investigates the new forces that are emerging to exploit this collapse of government power. Jamshed Dasti, a populist and controversial local politician, is determined to use the catastrophe to destroy the power of the landlords. In an extraordinary allegation, Dasti insists that the floods were not simply a natural disaster. He claims local powerful feudal families, working in alliance with the river authorities, manipulated the flow of the Indus river so that their own farmland went untouched by the floodwaters while the small farms of ordinary villagers were deluged.

    Oborne travels to the right bank of the river, where he finds dry unpopulated farmland. Oborne's guide claims the authorities have allowed the feudal families to build up illegal embankments to protect their valuable crops. This land remains unscathed whilst across the river 1.5 million people have been displaced and 400,000 acres swamped.

    The Secretary of Irrigation denies all allegations of corruption although he does concede there may have been mismanagement. Despite his denials a judicial investigation has been launched.

    Returning to the flooded area, the team witness the collapse of government authority and find Islamist groups providing much-needed aid and security. Oborne visits the charitable arm of the controversial group Jamaat Ud Dawa, which has been linked to the Mumbai terror attacks. They find it is running what is in effect a state within a state, and that their camps are far cleaner and better run than government relief efforts.

    With the country on the verge of social revolution, one police chief tells Oborne that the floods could create the conditions for yet more terrorism. Recruiters, he warns, could target all those who have lost their homes and families. The team leaves Pakistan troubled by the collapse of trust in the Pakistan governing elite, yet inspired by the stoicism of the Pakistani people.

  • Ramita Navai in Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe's Blood Diamonds

    Zimbabwe is supposedly enjoying political stability under the coalition government formed in 2008. However, Unreported World finds a country still gripped by terror and violence.

    The teamt film undercover to investigate claims that gems from one of the world's biggest diamond fields are being used by Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF party to entrench their hold on power by buying the military's loyalty. This is against a backdrop of human rights abuses, which victims say are being perpetrated by the military and the police.

    Filming covertly and secretly, the team discover a climate of fear reminiscent of the pre-coalition Mugabe years. Almost everyone Navai and Nott meet is too terrified to talk about the diamond fields, including several members of the MDC party, which forms part of the coalition government. Some people do speak out, at great personal risk, detailing stories of beatings, killings and rape connected to the diamond area.

    A military insider tells Unreported World how different Zimbabwean army units are allowed to rotate through the fields to make profits from the diamonds in exchange for loyalty to President Mugabe's party. The serving officer claims syndicates of civilians are used by soldiers to mine illegally and they then sell the gems to middlemen.

    The team follows the diamond trail, showing how smugglers move precious stones from the Marange fields across the border to the boomtown of Manica in Mozambique. Filming secretly, they show how buyers purchase the stones, no questions asked. It's impossible to track the diamonds after this: from here they are absorbed into the international market and sold in high street stores across the world.

    A UN-backed industry watchdog has been tasked with ending the sale of conflict diamonds. Called the Kimberley Process, it exists to ensure diamonds are not used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. However, this narrow definition does not encompass the widespread reports of looting and human rights abuses connected to Marange. There have been claims it has failed to deal with the unfolding crisis.

    On 1 November 2010, the member nations meet at an annual summit in Tel Aviv to decide what to do next. At the time of filming, many feared the situation in Zimbabwe could precipitate the end of the Kimberley Process, as internal politics and in-fighting about how it should proceed tear the watchdog apart.

    The vast natural resources found in Marange could potentially change the fortunes of a country whose economy is in dire straits, and where poverty, hunger and disease are rampant. But Unreported World shows that despite the coalition government, Zimbabwe is a country still plagued by corruption and violence, presenting a serious warning of what is to come ahead of the 2011 elections.

  • Evan Williams in Mexico

    Mexico's Indian Rebellion

    In the mountains of southeastern Mexico, Unreported World finds 400 members of an indigenous community, who are fighting for independence, holed up in bullet-ridden homes and surrounded by a militia in an unreported war.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Alex Nott visit Yosoyuxi, a neighbouring village to the besieged town of San Juan Copala. Members of the local Triqui Indian community, fed up with years of conflict and government corruption, are attempting to break away and set up their own mini state, but locals tell Williams that those supporting the movement face extreme violence.

    Fifteen-year-old 'Timoteo' says his parents were shot and macheted to death. Since then he has struggled to look after his brother and sister on his own. He believes his parents were killed as they were leaders of the rebel movement.

    News comes through that the people of San Juan Copala have come under sustained gunfire from the surrounding militiamen. Williams and Nott join armed men from Yosoyuxi on a foot patrol to find out more. The team trek into the dangerous woodland leading to the town. Scouts are sent ahead to check the area is clear and that no ambush has been set up by the militia.

    The team make it to a steep ledge overlooking the town. Over the radio residents tell the patrol the gunfire has stopped but it's too dangerous to go any further. Four hundred men, women and children remained holed up after militiamen shot into the streets at anyone who was moving in the recent attack.

    San Juan Copala is the spiritual home and economic capital of the Triqui people. The rebel movement's main grievance centres around corruption and their claim that one million dollars of public money designated for public spending is stolen by the state government every year.

    The next morning, Williams and Nott witness chaos and panic as news comes in that San Juan Copala is being stormed by the militia: this time with the backing of the state police. There's widespread fear that the government, through the militia, want to end the rebel movement once and for all. Residents ask the crew to leave: it's not even safe in their village now and tensions are running high.

    The team travels to meet Father Francisco Ube, who's worked with the Triqui for 40 years. He reveals that the militia besieging the town are called Ubisort and are also Triqui Indians. Ube claims they've been bought off by the state: a familiar divide and rule tactic used to control rebellious indigenous groups.

    The team meet Ubisort militia leader Rufino at his murdered brother's funeral. He says the rebel movement were responsible and are a violent militia themselves. Rufino tells the team the rebels are operating outside the law and takes them towards San Juan Copala.

    His forces have pushed forward into the town but yet again it's too dangerous to go further. Gunshots ring out and it's clear the fighting is far from over.

    When confronted by Williams, the state minister for human rights doesn't deny that money designated for indigenous groups could be lost to government corruption. However he says this was something they were trying to stop.

    The minister also admits the state do fund Ubisort for specific social projects but didn't know if they were using this money to buy weapons.

    As the violence continues, it's clear to Williams that while the world's attention is focused on the Mexican drugs war, this largely ignored vicious civil war amongst the Triqui Indians is yet another sign that the country is fast spiraling out of control.

  • Jenny Kleeman in Manila

    Philippines: The City with Too Many People

    Manila is one of the world's most overpopulated cities.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Richard Cookson find the Philippine capital stretched to breaking point, with mothers four to a bed in maternity wards, primary schools with a thousand children in each year, and graveyards with no more room to bury the dead.

    As the world faces an overpopulation crisis, Manila provides a vision of what might become ordinary in the not too distant future.

    The team begin their trip at the biggest maternity hospital in the city. It operates on an industrial scale, with four mothers and their babies sharing each bed. The ward is at double capacity when the team arrive, and it's so overcrowded that the nurses have to patrol it to make sure no one is sleeping on their babies and suffocating them.

    Kleeman learns that women often have eight children or more here, and some of the mothers say it's hard to make ends meet with such large families. But the Filipino government doesn't promote contraception as it fears losing the Catholic vote.

    Kleeman spends the night with a family of nine in Baseco, a shanty town where 90,000 people share just half a square kilometre. A third of Manila's 20 million residents live in squatter settlements like this. New homes are being built every day; wherever there's space another family will fill it. There is no sanitation and the children grow up surrounded by rubbish.

    Like everything else in Manila, the water supply can't meet the demand of the number of people who want to use it, and contagious diseases spread fast. Jennifer, the mother of the family, has tuberculosis. She tells Kleeman her children have persistent rashes but she can't afford to take them to a doctor for treatment.

    Kleeman and Cookson walk to school with Jennifer's son, Mark Anthony. He's one of 6000 pupils at the local primary, with 1000 children in his school year alone. The numbers are so high that children have to be taught in shifts throughout the day, with some classes starting at 6am.

    The team gets word that a slum is being cleared in Quezon City, in the north of Manila. Two thousand families live here, and this isn't the first time they've been evicted from this patch of land: it's privately owned and they've been staying here illegally. The demolition men fight with the residents, who are trying to keep hold of their building materials so they can rebuild their homes elsewhere.

    One resident, Ludivina, tells Kleeman she has ten children and no idea where they will now live. Evictions like this happen all the time in Manila but they don't solve the city's squatter problem: they simply move it from one location to another.

    Most Filipinos choose to be buried rather than cremated, which creates its own problems for the city. The team visits a cemetery where as many as 80 funerals take place every day. Most people can't afford their own tombs, so they rent them. And if their families fail to keep up the rent payments after they're buried, their bodies are exhumed and another coffin is placed in their grave. Kleeman finds hundreds of families living in makeshift homes among the tombs, jostling for space with the dead.

    Manila's problems may appear extraordinary. But as global population grows, the city provides a vision of what might become ordinary around the world as the rest of the planet runs out of space.

  • Ramita Navai with children in Afghanistan

    Afghanistan's Child Drug Addicts

    While the world's focus is on the fight against the Taliban, Unreported World reveals a hidden result of the conflict in Afghanistan: a huge rise in the number of children addicted to opium and heroin in a country now said to have the youngest drug addicted population in the world.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and director Matt Haan discover a lost generation where babies, toddlers and teenagers are hooked on drugs as the only way to escape the pain, hunger and psychological effects of war.

    Navai and Haan find around 100 addicts huddled in groups under a bridge in Kabul, injecting heroin. Each day more and more young addicts are turning up. Fifteen-year-old Ali sleeps in a local park. As he smokes heroin it becomes clear Ali is taking the drug to deal with the trauma of witnessing a suicide attack and the bombing of his village. He tells Navai he wishes he was dead.

    The drug problem is so severe amongst the child population that some are taking desperate measures to feed their habits. Muqtar sells his body to an older man to earn money for heroin. Muqtar is only 13 years old, and became a prostitute at the age of nine. He says many of his friends are also addicts and do the same.

    On the outskirts of the city, in a camp for internally displaced people from Helmand, Navai finds children injured in recent fighting between Taliban and government forces. With no access to doctors or adequate medicine, parents are forced to feed them opium to relieve them from the pain of their injuries.

    Since losing her arm and being given opium as the only available pain relief, three-year-old Zarimeh has been hooked and her family don't know what to do. Government doctors rarely come to the camp and too few aid agencies are equipped to deal with the child addicts.

    Following outreach workers in one suburb, the team discovers whole families are now consumed by addiction. High unemployment has forced many men to seek work in Iran and Pakistan. One doctor says that while they're away many use various drugs as stimulants to work longer hours. On return their habits spread throughout the family. In this neighbourhood alone the doctor says the consequences are devastating: almost 78,000 families are addicted to either heroin or opium.

    Compounding the problem is the limited help offered to children seeking treatment, either from government or international agencies. Even though UK aid to Afghanistan is being increased by 40%, none of it is currently dedicated to any child drug rehabilitation programmes.

    Haan and Navai travel 300 miles north to Badakhshan to find out the extent of the problem outside the cities. In Razrak village, they find a whole community taking opium simply because they are hungry. One father shows how he gives his 11-year-old son opium to smoke. His mother explains it's cheaper than bread and it suppresses the appetite. Three of her children are now dependent on the drug.

    Until an eradication campaign Razrak used to be an opium poppy growing area. Since the crops were destroyed farmers have lost their livelihoods: a cruel irony as now, the Chief of the village tells Navai, they can no longer afford food or medicine. They are reliant on opium as a substitute for everything. Supplies are still plentiful in other areas though and the chief says dealers now go from village to village selling the drug.

    Back in Kabul, at the city's only rehabilitation centre for children, the team find 15 addicts going 'cold turkey'. For them this means excruciating headaches, joint pain, vomiting and shivering. The doctors at the centre say in the past two years there's been a 60% increase in the number of child addicts turning up.

    Behind the blast walls, suicide bombs and assassinations, a hidden drug addiction epidemic threatens to destroy the future of the Afghanistan, whatever the outcome of the war.

  • Oliver Steeds in Uganda

    Malaria Town

    Unreported World visits the 'malaria capital of the world' in northern Uganda to investigate why this preventable and treatable disease is still such a problem. Contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Reporter Oliver Steeds and director William West reveal that corruption is behind the theft of malaria treatment, and how organic products sold on Britain's high streets also play a role in the continuing the pandemic.

    When singer Cheryl Cole collapsed from malaria and was rushed to intensive care in July after a trip to Africa, it highlighted how dangerous the disease still is. Cole was lucky to survive: she received proper, timely treatment. Unlike her, almost a million Africans die every year from malaria.

    Steeds and West begin their journey in the town of Apac. Surrounded by a vast mosquito-infested swamp, it's the malaria capital of the world. People here are bitten on average six times a night, the highest rate anywhere. The local hospital is overrun, with more than 5,000 malaria patients turning up each week.

    Twenty-four-year-old Harriet is one of them, violently convulsing as her desperate relatives try to pin her down. She has cerebral malaria, the most deadly strain. Her mother says her family has been ripped apart as Harriet has already lost three children to malaria.

    Many of the patients admitted with the disease are under five and the pediatric ward is overflowing with youngsters. The team meets a mother cradling the body of her six-week-old daughter. Her father, Jasper, tells Steeds the hospital has run out of medicine to treat malaria patients.

    In the pharmacy the dire shortage is clear: there's only one box of anti-malarial drugs left. Those wanting treatment have to go outside and buy whatever vital medicine they need. The pharmacist tells Steeds: 'if you can't pay for the drugs, you die.'

    Over the course of a year, Uganda has been given more than £20 million of anti-malarial drugs by the international community, but the reality is that not all the aid is reaching the people who need it.

    The team follows a special government unit set up to investigate where the missing drugs have gone. During raids on several private clinics they find aid from various countries on sale to the public; everything from US mosquito nets to Chinese anti-malarial pills. The detective in charge says huge quantities of drugs are being stolen from hospitals and sold on the black market.

    The World Health Organization says that indoor insecticide spraying is the best way to rapidly reduce the mosquito threat. However Unreported World reveals that this preventative measure isn't welcomed by all.

    The team meets a group of organic farmers who say they make their living by growing crops for sale to retailers in Britain and elsewhere. But they've been told by exporters that if they spray their homes, they will lose their organic status and be unable to sell their crops.

    The villagers are caught in a terrible dilemma: to spray and potentially save their children's lives or to not spray and retain their ability to earn enough money to feed their families. With limited alternatives for income many would rather risk their health than destroy their livelihoods.

    Returning to Apac hospital, Steeds finds Harriet's family have pooled their resources and spent their life savings on her treatment. She has a long way to go but the prognosis is good: she will survive despite the odds, unlike the 320 people who die every day in Uganda.

    While a campaign of insecticide spraying, distribution of free mosquito nets and drugs could dramatically reduce malaria death rates, the long-term solution is a vaccine which would free ordinary people from the corruption and mismanagement that too often costs them their lives.

  • Colombia's Dying Tribes

    Colombia's Dying Tribes

    Unreported World investigates how Colombia's indigenous people have been targeted in a string of massacres perpetrated by guerrillas, paramilitary groups and the security forces.

    Colombia's government claims success in its war against left-wing FARC guerrillas and in restoring law and order. But the country is still beset with a conflict that is killing thousands.

    And as Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Katherine Churcher discover at a jungle massacre site where the pools of blood are still drying, behind the continuing violence there is a state of complete impunity. Nobody can explain why the massacre happened. Soldiers claim civilian attackers with pistols have murdered eight people. But local witnesses say they heard sustained bursts of automatic gunfire, hinting at the involvement of security forces.

    In the region of Narino, the Awa people - one of about 100 indigenous groups in Colombia - are trying to escape the violence. The Awa are living in squalid conditions without proper shelter, hygiene or food. One tells Hartley they fled a massacre in the jungle that killed 11 people. A young farmer, who narrowly escaped being killed, claims their FARC attackers told him they were taking revenge against the Awa, who they accuse of collaborating with the army.

    The team is told about another massacre in the nearby village of Rosario, where they find the local Awa people too scared to reveal what happened. A human rights worker shows Hartley photos of the grisly scene at Rosario. He says that the attackers wore camouflage uniforms and masks and executed 12 people, including small children. He claims the murders took place after a local Awa woman complained that the Colombian army had shot dead her husband, who they accused of being a FARC rebel. He says the authorities have failed to investigate what happened.

    The team talks to a colonel at the army camp where the alleged killers are based. He claims the Rosario incident was nothing to do with the army, but that the Awa had been feuding among themselves. But the Attorney General's office tells Unreported World that five members of a criminal gang had been charged with the Rosario murders and that the army's alleged role has also been investigated.

    The team travels by boat to see another tribe under threat, the Emperara. In the village of Tortola they hear how the inhabitants fled after the village was turned into a battleground. One tells Hartley that FARC guerrillas entered the village to address a meeting of the Emperara when government soldiers ambushed them. He says the Emperara feel trapped between FARC and the army. Whenever they talk to one side or the other, they're accused of being collaborators, and are targeted. But, he says, indigenous people are completely neutral in the war.

    At a nearby military camp, where the team are told the soldiers who attacked Tortola are based, a lieutenant tells Hartley that his men had moved in to prevent a cocaine drugs deal. He says the indigenous people of Tortola have brought the war into their homes because they are trading narcotics with FARC rebels.

    Hartley and Churcher find out that indigenous people are heavily involved with the coca business in the region of Cauca, where they see huge fields of the plant used to make cocaine growing in the hillsides. Bogota's government is trying to eradicate the coca fields, but as one local tells Hartley, the money is too good to uproot the crop and grow something less risky.

    Also in Cauca the team meets the indigenous Nasa people, who are suffering a campaign of murders, death threats and intimidation: they say it's because international mining companies want to drive them off their gold-rich land. The Nasa people's struggle to keep their land underlines how, despite the government's claim that it is destroying the rebel threat, the vicious civil war is driving the country's indigenous tribes to the brink of extinction.

  • USA: Down and Out

    USA: Down and Out

    Unreported World meets the USA's new middle-class homeless: families struggling to hold down jobs that pay so little they're forced to live in tent cities or their cars and receive little help from the government.

    The Team begin their journey in Chicago, one of the country's manufacturing centres, which has been hit hard by the effects of the worst financial crisis in decades. St Columbanus church is one of 600 charities across the city that gives out emergency food rations.

    Across America, many working people from all sectors have taken as much as 40% in pay cuts in desperation to hold on to their jobs. Their motivation is clear: if you are a temporary, part-time or self-employed worker you don't qualify for government help. The result is that many can't make ends meet and afford to feed themselves and their families.

    Father Matt Eyerman tells the team that the number of families receiving help from his church has leapt from 240 to 498 over the last two years, even though many of them still have jobs.

    Today, more than 37 million Americans receive either state or private food assistance. More than three million were made homeless in 2009 despite holding down jobs. More than half of those living in shelters have had their homes repossessed by banks.

    The team travels south to the state of Tennessee. They've been told that thousands of homeless people are taking refuge in temporary encampments. The City of Nashville, which has only only one emergency shelter for families, has more than 40 of these 'tent cities'.

    They meet Michael and Stacey Farley, who have been living in the tent city for six months. Stacey explains how she has been forced to leave her son and daughter with relatives while they both look for work.

    The team move on to California, where more and more people are ending up on the streets. California has the highest debt in the USA and many essential services have been cut, including emergency housing assistance. 'Skid Row', which is one square mile of Los Angeles, has as many as 2,000 people sleeping rough every night. It has a reputation for drugs and crime and they talk to homeless people who are forced to walk all day to avoid being picked up by the police for loitering.

    The US economy is in recovery but many experts believe the most damaging effects have yet to be felt. It's predicted that another 1.5 million people will be forced into homelessness within two years, and in a country with few safety nets, many more people could fall through the cracks.

  • Ramita Navai in El Salvador

    El Salvador: The Child Assassins

    The reporter and director Alex Nott visit El Salvador as it experiences its worst gang violence in a decade. Many of the gangs' hitmen are children who kill and die with appalling frequency but accept it as part of normal life. They expose another disturbing trend: the torture and murder of young teenage girls - victims of a gang culture that regards them as sexual objects.

    They accompany a police emergency response unit in the country's capital, San Salvador, to the scene of a shooting in the centre of the city, an area which is a gang stronghold. At the scene a man lies by the side of the road covered in blood.

    The police officers tell the reporter that the emergency services are so overwhelmed with causalities that police cars often have to double up as ambulances. And hospitals are receiving dozens of gunshot victims every week.

    The two main gangs were set up by El Salvadoran immigrants in the USA, but have spread throughout their homeland to the extent that there are now more than 10,000 warring gang members. Dealing with them has become the police's main job and the government has deployed 4,000 soldiers onto the streets.

    There are 12 murders a day in El Salvador: one of the highest rates in the world. Most of those killed are young men, but more and more women and children are becoming victims. At the scene of another shooting, where the victim was a boy who ran errands for a gang, a police officer tells Navai that gangs are recruiting children as young as 10 years old.

    The team talk to families who have been forced to flee their homes to protect their children from the gangs. Hundreds of boys have been forced into hiding because they didn't want to join the gangs. One of them tells the reporter that the gangs start pressurising boys as young as 12 to join up. He said he had been beaten so badly his arm was broken and then they started slipping notes under his door every day telling him that if he didn't join, he would be killed.

    The Team track down a gang leader. 'Dreamer' is 29 and has worked his way up the ranks of one gang since joining at 15. He's been in prison for drug trafficking and murder. He claims that children as young as 12 are playing an active role in the gangs, and are even committing murder.

    Entering another gang-controlled territory, the team meets a 17-year-old gang leader and two of his foot soldiers - 'Small', who is 14, and 'Doll', who is 16. 'Doll' tells the reporter that she gathers information on rivals and 'Small' kills them. 'Small' says that he first killed when he was 12.

    The team is called to another crime scene, where the bodies of two women have been discovered five minutes beforehand. They've had their hands and legs tied and appear to have been tortured. A local coroner tells the team that in the last 10 years, murder of women has doubled. He claims that most of the girls are raped before they are murdered and that the killings are getting more brutal. Some victims are mutilated, with gang names carved into them, before being killed.

    Despite the horror, families are too scared to go to the police because of what the gangs can do in revenge, such as killing other children. One mother, Gertrduys, shows photos of her daughter Raquel, who had been so badly beaten she could only be identified by her dental records. She tells the reporter that when there's a gang killing in the neighbourhood nobody goes to the police because everybody is too scared. She says she can't seek justice for her daughter because the gangs may come after her or her family and kill them.

    While the police and army struggle to control gang warfare while respecting the law, it's clear to Unreported World that the levels of brutality involving young women and children show the gangs know no limits when it comes to maintaining their control.

  • Unreported World, Bolivia's Child Miners: Seyi Rhodes with a child miner

    Bolivia's Child Miners

    Unreported World descends deep underground into Bolivia's silver mines to find boys as young as 13 working long hours in deadly conditions. The thick dust and poisonous gases in the mines mean the children face the near-certainty of crippling lung disease and a life expectancy of little more than 35 years.

    The mines are centered around Potosi in the Bolivian Andes, the highest city in the world. Looming over it is a legendary mountain, the Cerro Rico. It has been mined for hundreds of years and is now being exploited by co-operatives of up to 10,000 miners.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Matt Haan meet 14-year-old Jose Luis, who works with 400 other miners at the San Jacinto mine, one of the largest on the mountain. He tells Rhodes that he's working in the mine because school starts in a few days and he needs money for a new uniform. Like most of the 200,000 people in Potosi, he comes from an indigenous Indian background. Although the indigenous people have recently won a decades-long struggle for political freedom in Bolivia they are still poorer than their white compatriots.

    Rhodes and Haan follow Jose Luis down a narrow, winding, 200-metre-long tunnel to where his team is drilling into the mountain to place dynamite. All the miners down there are younger than 20 years old. The boys are loading up huge bags with up to 800 kilos of rocks. Jose Luis, chewing coca leaves like the other workers, explains that each group of miners gets one hour with the compressor, which pumps air from outside, giving them an hour of air to breathe as well as power their drilling machines. With the air running out, there's just enough time to scramble towards the entrance of the mine as the fuse is lit on a bundle of dynamite.

    Jose Luis tells Rhodes that his grandfather, grandmother and uncle have all mined the Cerro Rico before him. His grandfather is dead, and his uncle can't work because he has a degenerative lung disease. His grandmother, Juana, is desperate for Jose Luis to finish school but says she doesn't have the money to see him through it. She'd rather see him work as a carpenter or do anything in the city to prevent him from working in the mine.

    Tunnels in the mines regularly collapse and people are often killed inside them. But it's difficult to find out how many accidents there are because few records are kept. Nicolas Martinez, a former child miner, who now works for a charity that helps mining families, says he knows of numerous cases of people who have come to the mountain, worked for a couple of weeks and died.

    Thirteen-year-old Vlad works at the top of the mine-shaft, helping winch up equipment and bags of rock. Vlad tells Rhodes he doesn't like working in the mines. He's not really used to it and finds it very hard work. While he's left behind a life of hard work in the countryside, he faces a potentially much shorter life in the mine.

    The team talks to a local doctor and expert in silicosis, a lung disease that kills miners. He explains that if a child starts in the mine at 10 or 11, he can expect to have silicosis by the time he's 20 and be dead by 35. This is the disease Jose Luis's uncle, Gregorio, has. He tells them that his own father died from silicosis too and that he's been given five years to live.

    Bolivia has signed international agreements banning under-16s from working in underground mines, but from what the team sees, they simply aren't being enforced. President Morales has said he wants to stop children working in unsafe conditions. However, after four years in office, laws are still being drafted to make that a reality.

    Instead of punishing the co-operatives who employ children, the government is trying to get children under the age of 13 into school by offering their parents a 200 Bolivianos or £20 payment, if they attend for a term. But when an impoverished child can earn five times that amount every week down the mine, the future for many of them continues to look bleak.

  • Unreported World, Iraq's Next Battlefield, Evan Williams in Iraq

    Iraq's Next Battlefield

    As the US prepares to withdraw from Iraq, reporter Evan Williams and director Matt Haan travel to the most dangerous part of the country and find increasing religious, ethnic and political violence in this oil-rich region threatening to spill into bloody civil war once the troops leave.

    The Unreported World team begins its journey in Mosul, a city of two million people that lies on the fault line between the Arab and Kurdish parts of Iraq and has been a centre of resistance to the Americans since the invasion in 2003. Their route is lined with flattened buildings that have not been rebuilt since the invasion. Seven years on, it remains the most dangerous city in Iraq, with at least 50 murders occurring every month.

    In 2009 Iraqi forces took over responsibility for the security of the region, supposedly moving from a state of war to civil policing. But their main activity remains battling Sunni insurgents, who want the area to remain unstable as they battle what they see as the domination of Iraq by the Shia Muslim ruling majority.

    One local commander tells Williams that most of the killings are political rather than criminal. He claims Al Qaeda are trying to cause division between Kurds, Sunnis and Shia and are also targeting some of Mosul's oldest ethnic minorities - such as the Christians, Shabaks and Yezidis - to cause fear and chaos.

    The team asks American troops to take them to meet some of the minorities under attack, but they are told it is too dangerous. Instead, a group of Yezidi men, who have their own distinct 4,000-year religion and culture in this region, come to meet Williams and Haan. They say that they have been attacked and intimidated by both Kurdish separatists and Sunni Arabs.

    Out with another US patrol, the team travels 40 miles east of Mosul to Qaraqosh, a largely Christian town on the border with the Kurdish-controlled region. One local, Amar, tells Williams that Christians have taken up arms to defend themselves against attacks that have killed hundreds in the region. He says he is part of a militia called the Church Guardians that protects Christians from Arabs and Kurds.

    Williams and Haan decide to leave behind their military embed, and hear more from the people who will be left behind when US troops leave. A US helicopter drops them off in the Kurdish-controlled area 80 miles east of Mosul. Strict Kurdish security in this part of Iraq has seen violence fall, and many refugees have fled here from the fighting in and around Mosul.

    Returning to Qaraqosh, the team meets Rhazwan Al-Shamam, one of the very few independent journalists from Mosul still operating. He shows Williams pictures of a recent bomb attack on a church, which killed 32 people and injured many more, most of them Christians, but also some Muslims. He claims that the authorities 'never seem to find out who is behind the killings'.

    The team also meet a priest who fled to Qaraqosh following a brutal attack. Father Mazan Ishoo tells Williams that three Arab gunmen burst into his family home, opened fire and killed his father and two brothers. Throughout the team's time in Iraq, their American contacts have kept telling them that they've increased security and delivered a workable democracy. However, from what Unreported World has filmed in and around Mosul, the reality seems to be that people who have been living together for centuries are being driven apart and dangerous new sectarian divisions are emerging, which many believe could lead to full-blown and bloody civil war.

  • Unreported World, Inside Burma's Secret State, Seyi Rhodes with Burmese Karen soldiers

    Inside Burma's Secret State

    Unreported World gets a rare glimpse into the Karen region of Burma.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Simon Phillips spend two weeks trekking through forests to reveal the devastation the Burmese army is inflicting as it intensifies its war against the Karen people.

    The team are smuggled across the Salaween river from Thailand in a small boat, covered by tarpaulin. On the other side, the few roads in Karen State are controlled by the Burmese military, so the only safe route is over mountains and through dense jungle.

    The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) scouts acting as the team's guides have been part of an army that has been fighting the Burmese for 60 years. The Karen are one of Burma's hill tribes who see themselves as culturally distinct from the Burmese, with their own language, and unlike the Buddhist Burmese, they are predominantly Christian. The Burmese army has stepped up its offensive against the Karen people, who are confined to mountainous jungle and encircled.

    One Karen guide, Saw-Sun, claims that the Burmese army forces Karen villagers to do their most dangerous jobs, such as walking through minefields to clear a path, and that in the latest round of fighting the army burnt Karen villages to the ground.

    After four days' trekking, they find signs that they are near the scene of these attacks; hundreds of people - most of them women and children - are sleeping rough in the jungle. A village elder claims the army has driven nearly 3,000 people in the area from their homes, and they are now living in temporary camps.

    One woman tells Rhodes that she and her four young children have been in the camp for two months since their village was attacked. Mu-Si-Kpoh says she only had two hours to pack and get out of her house before the Burmese soldiers arrived.

    The team accompanies Mu-Si-Kpoh back to her destroyed village. They find nothing left, with the whole village reduced to a series of patches of black soot. All around there is evidence that this once-thriving village has been attacked and systematically burnt to the ground. She says she's been forced to move home 10 times and this was the third time her house had been burnt down. Each time, she says, she moves as far away as she can from the Burmese soldiers but it keeps happening to her over and over again.

    At an abandoned village that has become a KNLA base, the team are shown a series of photographs dated from the day before. One shows the dead body of a small child who has been shot in the front of the head. Another shows what one KNLA officer claims is the child's mother, who was shot in the back as she was running away. He claims that the previous day Burmese soldiers had marched into the village and opened fire. He said he and his men had been too outnumbered and poorly equipped to stop them.

    Rhodes and Phillips are taken to meet two men who claim they deserted from the Burmese army after being forcibly conscripted. One claims he worked as a recruiter for the army and was forced to conscript children. He claims that 50 per cent of the soldiers in the Burmese army are recruited that way.

    Finally the team arranges a meeting with Major Saw Kleh Doh, one of the most senior KNLA officers. He tells Rhodes that the Burmese army is attacking in small groups, scattering Karen people and preventing them from organising a counter attack. He also claims that the regime is being increasingly supported by the Thai government, which wants to profit from the country's abundant natural resources and has recently been stopping the flow of arms across the border to Burma.

    The Karen are no longer fighting for independence; they want self-rule within a democratic Burma. But in a military dictatorship where opposition is banned, resorting to politics isn't an option.

  • Unreported World, Tobacco's Child Workers, Jenny Kleeman

    Tobacco's Child Workers

    Unreported World travels to Malawi to reveal that children as young as three are being illegally employed to produce tobacco, much of it destined to be consumed by British smokers.

    Malawi's children suffer health problems from handling tobacco and some are trapped in bonded labour arrangements, leaving them unable to escape. Little seems to be being done to protect their health and wellbeing.

    In Mchinji district, reporter Jenny Kleeman and producer Julie Noon find a group of 15 to 20 children sorting tobacco by the roadside. Emilida and her three children - including her three-year-old son - have been working there since dawn. She tells Kleeman the four of them will get about 80 pence for a day's work. The air is thick with tobacco dust and Emilida says it makes the family feel unwell.

    A family of seven harvesting tobacco tell Kleeman they work every day from dawn to dusk. The children's hands are covered in a sticky brown residue and they say they suffer from severe headaches: a symptom of green tobacco sickness, or nicotine poisoning, where high doses of nicotine are absorbed through the skin. In other tobacco-growing countries like the US farmers are advised to wear protective clothing, but there is no sign of it anywhere the team visits.

    Farges, the mother of the family, tells Kleeman the entire family takes home the equivalent of £18 a year. Her children must work so they can fulfil the daily quota of tobacco the farm owner has demanded of them. She says the farm owners claim they're not getting a fair price for tobacco at auction and can't pay them more. The family wants to escape tobacco farming, but they've been forced to borrow money from the land owner and can't leave until they work off their debt. The UN says this is bonded labour, a modern form of slavery.

    The headmaster of a local primary school tells Kleeman a third of his class are absent, probably in the tobacco fields. He says most pupils fail their exams and can't go on to secondary school because they miss out on so much of their education to work with tobacco.

    Noon and Kleeman investigate claims that some farm owners are trafficking children to work on larger estates. They meet Elisa, 13, Akimankhoma, 14, and Joseph, 17. Elisa says a farm owner came to her village to recruit child labourers, promising that her family would be paid for her work at the end of the season. The boys claim they were treated very badly on the estates: their supervisors shouted at them, withheld their food and beat them with sticks.

    The team joins a group of charity workers and government officials who are trying to stop child labour. They find children sorting tobacco in a facility owned by a former MP. The District Labour Officer tells Kleeman the owner will definitely go to jail, but the team later discovers he has been let off with a caution. No one has ever been imprisoned in the district for employing children.

    Malawi is one of the world's biggest tobacco producers. It relies on the crop for 65 per cent of its foreign income and its tobacco is bought by companies including British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris.

    Kleeman and Noon try to arrange an interview with the Minister of Labour to talk about their findings, but he fails to turn up to every appointment.

    The tobacco companies say they cannot control the stages of production and supply and that they oppose bonded labour. They acknowledge the problem of child labour in Malawi say they have spent $6.6 million over eight years in projects to improve education, sanitation, health and crop planting that are keeping children in school. The projects run in only in two of Malawi's 28 districts.

    Everything Unreported World has seen seems to show that poor, vulnerable and exposed Malawian children are bearing the costs of the tobacco industry's vast profits.

  • Unreported World, Pakistan - Evan Williams

    Pakistan's Terror Central

    Unreported World is granted rare access to the Pakistan headquarters of what the US and UN say is a front organisation for one of the world's biggest terrorist networks, and the organisation behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

    While the group says it's a charity set up to help the poor, reporter Evan Williams talks to insiders, government ministers and terrorism experts to investigate the truth about an organisation that has expanded its activities from Kashmir to attacking western targets outside Pakistan.

    Williams and director Will West begin their journey in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province. They have a meeting with Asadullah, a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba - 'The Army of the Righteous'. The terrorist organisation has been directly blamed for the Mumbai attacks that killed 173 people, and a string of other deadly attacks in India. Asadullah tells Williams he and 26 friends fought in Kashmir, but he was the only one who survived.

    Lashkar's terrorist activities led to it being banned in Pakistan. But the United Nations says it is now operating in the country under a new name - Jamaat-ud-Dawa - and the UN continues to view it as a terrorist front organisation. JuD claims it is no more than an Islamic charity, and denies it is a front for Lashkar and its terrorism.

    Williams and West travel to a village on the outskirts of Lahore. It was once a Lashkar military training camp, but now it is the JuD headquarters. They've been granted very rare access to the organisation's facilities.

    Opponents claim that this centre is used to raise funds that are then channelled into terrorism - a claim denied by JuD. Senior members of the organisation, together with a government official, show the team around, stressing the charitable work they say they carry out, including providing medical care and education for thousands of nearby villagers.

    Their spokesperson says that supplies are donated by supportive businesses across Pakistan. He also says that India was behind the decision to label the group a terrorist organisation, and that it is completely separate to Lashkar. However, the group's leaders get jumpy at growing disquiet with the team's presence, telling Williams and West that they can no longer guarantee their safety. The team is then escorted out of the compound.

    Back in Lahore, Williams talks to one of the country's most authoritative writers, Ahmed Rashid. He says that every time Lashkar has come under pressure, it changes its name and closes its bank accounts, before opening up a new office and new account and reappearing in a new light. He claims everyone still calls Jamaat-ud-Dawa Lashkar-e-Taiba because that's what they are.

    The team follows up this claim in a meeting with Rana Sanaullah Khan, Punjab's Law Minister, and asks him why, when the rest of the world says Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front for terrorism, the Pakistani government tolerates them. Khan says that, although many people in JuD do good work, it's not just a charity. He claims that some JuD people are carrying out terrorist activities in Kashmir, but that he fears that if the organisation was banned, it would respond with a wave of suicide attacks.

    The strength of the organisation is clear when the team visits the group's main mosque, which, a spokesman says, on a good day has up to 10,000 people.

    To hear another view on why JuD is allowed to continue in Pakistan, Unreported World meets the former intelligence chief who was responsible for setting up many of Pakistan's militant groups. Hamid Gul is now retired but remains politically involved in the struggle for Kashmir.

    He tells Williams that if Islamist militants triumph in neighbouring Afghanistan, a new wave of radicalised fighters will turn their attention to Kashmir. 'There will be uprising in Kashmir, massive uprising,' he says. 'Maybe it will lead to an armed conflict between the two countries - and then the Jihadis will be the right arm of the Pakistan army.'

  • Peter Oborne in Nigeria

    Nigeria's Killing Fields

    As the world's attention focuses on recent sectarian violence in Nigeria, Unreported World provides an exclusive report on the events leading up to the latest round of bloodletting.

    Reporter Peter Oborne and director Andy Wells were the only television journalists in the town of Jos in the immediate aftermath of a previous outburst of sectarian violence, which left 500 people dead. There, they uncover the truth about the convulsion of barbarism that is afflicting a country, and which is rapidly spiralling out of control.

    Unreported World suggests that the explanation for the violence in terms of Muslim versus Christian is far too simplistic. This is a battle for land and power, with deep roots in ethnic rivalry. They also hear how, at best, the government has done little to keep the peace, and allegations that, at worst, the military are fuelling the conflict.

    Though soldiers now patrol the streets of Jos and there is a 6pm curfew, Wells and Oborne soon discover that the crisis is far from over. Every day sees fresh flare-ups when Muslims and Christians try and return to their communities to rebuild houses and schools.

    Arriving at the outlying village of Kuru Kamara, the scene of a reported massacre, the team discovers only devastation - burnt cars and houses, and empty streets. They meet a villager, Abdullah, who gives an account of the day of the massacre. He claims that three vanloads of Christian youths had arrived early in the morning from neighbouring villages armed with guns and machetes.

    Abdulla shows Oborne a sewer that he claims had been filled with 30 dead and maimed bodies of young children from the age of six months to five years old. They are taken to a square where much of the killing took place. Every few yards there are black patches on the ground where human bodies were burnt alive. The team is told that 170 villagers were killed in total.

    Some of the bodies were thrown down wells. Though many have been removed, some are still visible. Unreported World hears claims that the local police made no attempt to halt the killing, and that one local police officer joined in. In an attempt to learn what happened, the team visits a hospital in the centre of Jos. Dr Golwa Philimon, a surgeon, tells them that there were 180 fatalities in his hospital alone. He says that the first batch of patients had suffered machete wounds, but that after approximately 12 hours the majority of fatalities were as a result of gunshot wounds apparently inflicted by army and police. Dr Golwa claims 'fake' security agents or men dressed as soldiers and police contributed to the killings. Dr Philimon introduces Oborne to Joshua, a Christian who had arrived at the hospital two days earlier with gunshot wounds. The team travels to Joshua's village and learns that Joshua was the victim of a reprisal attack by Muslims from the neighbouring Felani tribe. They discover that Joshua's fellow villagers are living in constant fear as a result of daily attacks. Back in Jos they visit a school that has been converted into a camp for displaced people. Muhammad Isa, a taxi driver, shows them round the camp then takes the team back to what was his home. His house has been destroyed and Oborne confronts Isa's neighbour, a pastor whose house was left intact. As the team leave, Mohammad begs the outside world for help, and in a prediction of what would follow just a week later, says that until someone intervenes, there will be more bloodshed.

    As they leave the country, Oborne concludes that the killings have only just begun and that Nigeria may be about to embark on a bloody civil war.

  • Unreported World - Aidan Hartley investigates elephant poaching in East Africa

    End of the Elephant?

    Unreported World goes undercover to investigate how the increased Chinese presence in East Africa has lead to a huge increase in elephant poaching, with potentially devastating effects on tourism and the local economy.

    The team also hears astonishing claims that when Chinese president Hu Jintao travelled to Tanzania for a state visit, his officials left with large quantities of illegal ivory.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Alex Nott begin their journey at a conservation area in northern Kenya, run by Kuki Gallman. She says that elephant poaching has risen from six animals in 2007 to 57 in 2009, just in her small area. It's not long before the team discovers the carcasses of several elephants, killed for their tusks. Local gamekeepers say that poachers spray herds indiscriminately with AK 47s, killing babies, mothers and pregnant elephants. Kuki says it's the highest death toll for decades and elephants are at risk of becoming extinct in the area.

    The team are told that poaching is highly organised and fuelling other crimes. Poachers are armed by criminal gangs, and then use money from their proceeds to buy more weapons. The devastating effects are evident in a nearby area. One mother says that raiders from another tribe attacked her village, spraying houses with bullets. She says three of her children were killed, she herself was wounded in the leg and by the end of the day 62 people had been killed.

    In Nairobi the team are granted rare access to an underground floor normally off-limits. What they see has rarely been shown on camera: a mountain of ivory in two strong rooms - 65 to 70 tonnes, worth millions of US dollars. The tusks were impounded to take them off the market in the hope of killing demand, but an illegal trade continues. Officials tell Hartley that the Chinese are behind the trade, in which ivory is smuggled to the Far East to be made into trinkets such as chopsticks.

    The team crosses the border into Tanzania, which says it has a well-managed elephant population. They are investigating claims that the government has covered up the loss of 30,000 elephants in the Selous Game Reserve. They travel to the village of Mloka, which is at the centre of poaching in the reserve. One local involved in poaching tells Hartley that criminals in the capital Dar es Salaam organise expeditions of up to 30 armed poachers, who travel in military vehicles so that they are not stopped in roadblocks, and leave with up to 300 kilos at a time.

    Most people were too scared to talk about the true scale of the problem. But one safari operator claims that the Tanzanian wildlife department is aware of what's happening and may even be turning a blind eye to the illegal trade. He also confirms allegations that buyers from China and the Far East are fuelling the trade.

    Harley and Nott follow the smugglers' route to Dar es Salaam, where they secretly film a meeting with an ivory trader. He shows them samples and offers them as much ivory as they want, even up to an astonishing 1,000 kilos, worth over one million US dollars. The smuggler also alleges that Chinese embassy officials smuggle ivory out of the country in diplomatic bags that don't get checked. Then, astonishingly, he alleges that when President Hu Jintao came on a state visit to Tanzania in February 2009, his officials left with up to 200 kilos of illegal, smuggled ivory.

    When approached by Unreported World, the Chinese Government said that they are against the illegal ivory trade and denied allegations that Chinese diplomats illegally purchased and exported ivory by misusing diplomatic immunity in 2009. Unreported World also sought an interview with the Tanzanian government to put the allegations to officials. They were granted an interview with the Acting Director of Wildlife, Obedi Mbangwa. However, he refused to comment. The government has subsequently told Unreported World that it will investigate the evidence gathered in the film.

  • Orthodox Jews praying

    Israel: The Battle for Israel's Soul

    Unreported World travels to Israel to reveal how the rapid growth of Jewish 'fundamentalists' is creating tension within Israeli society and endangering any negotiations on a peace deal with the Palestinians.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Alex Nott begin their journey in the Mea Sharim district of Jerusalem. It's the heartland of ultra-Orthodox Jews known as the Haredi, or 'those who fear God'. They find a poor, overcrowded part of the city where everyone is wearing clothes in the style of 18th-century Europe, from where most of their ancestors came. 'We are the real Jews,' says one community leader, 'everyone else in Israel just happens to be born Jewish.'

    Many of the Haredi sects were almost wiped out in the Holocaust. But their numbers are growing fast. Haredi are the fastest growing segment of Israeli society, with many families having as many as eight children. 'Every 20 years we have a community that is growing at eight or nine times,' says one of the Haredi men to Williams. 'It means we are growing in size and influence.'

    Many Haredi men in Israel don't work as they receive government subsidies to spend their entire lives studying the Torah and religious texts. One Rabbi from the Reform wing of Judaism tells Williams that, because Haredis are exempt from military service and heavily subsidised, they are creating huge tensions within the country.

    In an inner-city neighbourhood the team find the Haredi imposing strict segregation of the sexes on public buses. Then they meet one woman who lived in the Haredi community who claims she was beaten up in her own home by a so-called Haredi Modesty Squad after she left her husband.

    Across town, the team finds a group of Haredi men protesting outside the home of a government social worker who had a Haredi child taken away from his mother due to claims the mother may have been starving the boy. The Haredi protestors tell the team they don't recognise the state and reject any state interference in their family or community affairs, which they consider sacred.

    The team finds that Haredi are increasingly becoming an issue in the conflict with Palestinians due to their need for housing. Two hours north of Jerusalem, at a new development in a part of the country which is 80% Arab Palestinian and 20% Jewish, the team is told by a local peace activist that the Israeli government is building a city for 150,000 Haredi as a way of balancing the Arab population growth in the area. In the West Bank, the team visits another city, where Israeli soldiers are guarding a Haredi construction project despite protests from Palestinians who say it is being built on their farmland.

    Williams and Nott return to Jerusalem to find out why the Haredi seem to be able to protect their economic and social privileges. They are told the Haredi are becoming increasingly powerful politically and with about 10% of the seats in the Knesset they now hold the balance of power and are necessary partners for any major party wanting to form a government.

    Later the team is caught up in a Palestinian protest fueled by rumours that another separate group of extremists, the religious-nationalists, are trying to occupy the Temple Mount - Judaism's Holiest site - by entering the most prominent Mosque in the city.

    As Unreported World discovers, the moderate voices in Israel are increasingly being forced to accommodate growing extremism of all kinds if they are going to approach anything like a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.

  • Aidan Hartley

    Malaysia: Refugees for Sale

    Unreported World reveals shocking evidence that Burmese refugees fleeing the country's brutal military regime are being detained and then allegedly sold by Malaysian immigration officials to Thai human traffickers.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director George Waldrum travel to Kuala Lumpur to highlight how the refugees are forced to exchange one hellish existence for another. Living in complete fear of the state, the refugees claim they are being rounded up and subjected to bloody whippings and indefinite imprisonment in overcrowded detention camps. As Unreported World reveals, for some this is just the beginning of a horrific journey into the trafficking network, where men, women and children disappear into a world of slavery and prostitution.

    Malaysia pays no regard to Burmese refugees' right of asylum, since the country refuses to sign up to international conventions. And it's not just the state that acts harshly. Hartley and Waldrum join a night-time city raid by volunteers of the RELA militia to chase down and arrest construction site workers without valid papers. Millions of illegal migrants, many of whom are refugees, fill the building sites and factories, providing cheap labour and doing the jobs Malaysians don't want to do. Despite this, RELA, which has 500,000 members, claims to be cleaning up what they see as an immigrant threat to law, order and health.

    On the other side of the city, the team finds a Burmese refugee ghetto where the inhabitants are living in terror, crammed into squalid apartments with dozens of tenants to each floor. One family claims RELA had smashed their way into their home and arrested and beat them. A woman claims the police routinely prey on their vulnerable status, demanding bribes and their belongings, or they will be taken into detention.

    A human rights lawyer helping illegal immigrants and refugees tells Hartley how there is little popular opposition to the government's harsh treatment of illegal foreigners. Renuka describes how 'illegals' who carry no papers on them might be sentenced to a maximum of six strokes of the rotan, a thick cane that can leave victims with scars for life.

    So afraid are the refugees that some of them try to live beyond the reach of the authorities. In the jungle on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, the team finds one shanty camp where refugee workers are hiding out. Too scared to live downtown, they are part of an estimated two million illegal workers. One of them claims that he was passed into the hands of Thai human traffickers. However, he was one of the lucky ones as he had friends who could pay a ransom. He claims those who can't pay disappear into slavery.

    The finds some who've managed to escape a life of slavery. In a secret location, Rahima, together with her small children, tells the story of how they were sold by Malaysian immigration officials to gangsters on the Thailand frontier. Rahima breaks down when she recounts how the Thai gangsters suffocated one of her children to death after he wouldn't stop crying. She says both she and her children were sold into slavery and worked in a fish factory for six months before they were able to escape.

    In another location, Abu Bashar and his teenage son Syedul describe how the mother of the family together with two toddler children were arrested by Malaysia's immigration, sold to gangsters in Thailand and then ransomed. Two months ago, Abu got a phone call from his wife in which she said that unless he paid the ransom it would be her last call; since then there has been silence and he doesn't know the whereabouts of his family.

    The response of Malaysia's Immigration Director General is to dismiss the allegations of Burmese refugees, but he does admit that one immigration official has been charged in connection with trafficking claims. He says there are no plans for an inquiry into the immigration department's methods, or allegations of systematic corruption, trafficking and slavery.

  • Yemi Ipaye meets a Nepalese widow and her child

    Nepal: The Living Dead

    Unreported World highlights the tragic plight of Nepal's child widows, some of whom are as young as thirteen. Many face abuse and servitude for the rest of their lives, ostracised by their families and communities, and often forced to sell their bodies to provide food and shelter for themselves and their children.

    Reporter Yemi Ipaye and director Katherine Churcher begin their journey in south-eastern Nepal. Nearly half the country's population live here and child marriage is prevalent. The team meets frail and fragile 14-year-old Gita, who was forced into marriage against her will by her parents when she was just 11 years old. At 13 she became a widow, and has been ostracised, treated with contempt and told that she's cursed. She says her parents are trying to get her remarried and that they sometimes beat her.

    In a nearby town, Lahan, the team meets Sangita, a human rights campaigner who says she deals with child widows who have been sexually abused and others who have turned to prostitution. She says that child widows are seen as bad luck by the wider community and in-laws blame them for the death of their son.

    Fifteen-year-old Bobita was widowed after a year of marriage and is resigned to a life of misery, waiting for her son to grow up and look after her. She lives with her in-laws and does all the household chores as well as looking after her nine-month-old son. She says her life is unbearable. Her in-laws say she is bad luck because of something she did in her past life.

    The most respected Hindu priest in the area tells Ipaye that child widows are worse than adult widows and that the ancient custom of Sati, where a widow would throw herself on her husband's funeral pyre, was better than being a child widow.

    Travelling west to the Surkhet valley, Ipaye and Churcher meet women widowed by the country's 10-year civil war. One of them, Man Kumari, is nervous about speaking with her in-laws in earshot. She says she is despised by her community because she's a widow, called bad luck and prevented from attending community events such as weddings and festivals. She says she is forced to look after her in-laws and stay in the village for the rest of her life.

    In Kathmandu, the team films an unprecedented protest by widows from all over Nepal. They are protesting against a new government policy which effectively means that men would be paid £400 if they married a widow. The widows tell Ipaye it will mean they are treated as commodities to be bought and sold by men. Ipaye meets the government minister responsible for the policy. He says it is an incentive to encourage the remarriage of widows, which is taboo in Nepalese society, and that he has no plans to withdraw it.

    The team meets one more widow with a tragic tale. Manu lives on her own in a tiny bedsit. To survive, she has had to disguise her widowhood to her landlord and society. She cannot afford to look after her two children and has had to pretend that she is dead so that her sons can be looked after in an orphanage.

    Before leaving Nepal the team travel to Pashupatinath Temple. A cremation is taking place. This was where many widows over the centuries would have committed Sati, by throwing themselves on their husbands' burning pyres. Although this practice is now outlawed, it's clear that in Nepal today some widows are treated as if they are living Satis. They are physically alive, but socially dead.

  • Seyi Rhodes

    Guatemala: Riding with the Devil

    Bus drivers in Guatemala City are being murdered at a rate of one every other day as part of a campaign of extortion that threatens to bring the city to its knees. Extortion is the main source of income for Guatemala's criminal gangs, earning them millions of dollars a year, and the drivers are killed to instil fear as the gangs maintain their grip on the city.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Matt Haan begin their journey at Santa Rosa on the outskirts of the city. A bus driver has been shot at nine in the morning. The family have already arrived at the scene and are distraught. The bus company owner says he doesn't know why his driver was shot, but eight other divers have been killed on the same route in the last year.

    The following morning, the team hears that a bus company in the north of the city has called a strike. One of their drivers was shot and they hope the strike will put pressure on the government to provide more armed guards on the buses. Rhodes and Haan visit the driver in hospital. Despite being shot nine times in the attack, he survived. He says that every Monday he pays the equivalent of 40 US dollars in extortion money to the gangs and so has no idea why they would shoot him.

    Luis Gomez, the head of the inner city bus association, explains that the extortion of buses began nine years ago. The gangs send mobile phones to the bus drivers or company owners, which they then call, demanding payment. He says that there are two main gangs in Guatemala: Mara Salvatrucha and Gang 18. Over the years, these gangs have evolved into highly organised criminal networks, which infiltrate the bus companies in order to protect their interests.

    The crew arrive at the scene of another bus shooting, where the driver's wife passes out when she realises what has happened. The driver's colleagues are so angry they block Calle Martí, one of the main routes out of Guatemala City, in protest. The result is total chaos.

    Extortion is so lucrative for the gangs they don't stop at the bus companies. Practically any business in Guatemala City is a target. The team meet two businessmen who have received death threats from Mara Salvatrucha. One wants to flee the country because he's so terrified for his family's safety. The men have found out that the man responsible for attempting to extort them is actually in prison.

    That weekend, the team hear that El Boquerón, one of the two main prisons in Guatemala City, has been raided. Eddie Morales, the director of prisons in Guatemala, gives the team exclusive access to what the raids confiscated: grenades, guns, mobile phones and cash, all used by the gangs to run their extortion rackets.

    A former gang member, JJ, takes the crew round the neighbourhood he used to control for his gang. Every business was pressurised into paying extortion money. If they didn't comply, they would be killed. He thinks that ordinary people in Guatemala have to pay three taxes: one to each of the main gangs and then one to the government. As a result, many go bankrupt.

    The real strength of the gangs then becomes apparent. In direct retaliation to the raids on El Boquerón prison, the bodyguard of one of the country's most senior law enforcers is assassinated. Guatemala's gangs are evolving. They're extending their influence into all areas of life, from business to the law. The authorities appear powerless to stop what is happening.

    This is confirmed at the funeral of the driver killed at the start of the team's investigation. His widow explains that they had been married for just 10 days before her husband was murdered. She believes there's nothing the government can do to end this culture of violence that has become part of everyday life in Guatemala City. Extortion is expected and murder accepted.

  • Jenny Kleeman

    Liberia: Stolen Childhood

    Unreported World reveals how Liberia is facing a child rape crisis.

    Six years after the end of a brutal civil war in which rape was routinely used as a weapon, children still face the daily fear of being attacked, and the West African country's hospitals are overwhelmed with child victims, a quarter of them under four years old.

    In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Matt Haan meet Mercy, a six-year-old girl who was abducted and raped by a stranger two weeks previously. Mercy is taking a course of drugs to try to stop her from contracting HIV. She lives in a safe house run by a Liberian charity, which is filled with other child rape victims.

    Maryam, Mercy's social worker, tells Kleeman many of these children can never go home. Child victims are often ostracised by their communities, she says, and when the perpetrator is a relative, which is often the case, the child is seen to have disgraced the family by reporting the rape.

    The team visits a children's hospital run by the charity Médecins Sans Frontières. Elias Abi-Aad tells Kleeman that his unit saw 771 child rape victims in 2008 and in the first six months of 2009 had already seen 422 victims, but he estimates this is only a small fraction of the total number of cases in Liberia. Victims suffer serious medical problems as a result of their ordeal and the hospital saw three recent cases where children died as a direct consequence of rape.

    Tikka, a nurse, tells Kleeman she thinks the crisis may be caused by Liberia's years of civil war, when both government forces and rebel factions terrorised communities by raping at will. Liberians had become used to living in a lawless and violent world, she says.

    Lofa County saw some of the war's most intense and prolonged fighting and rape was one of the weapons most commonly used. In the town of Voinjama, Kleeman meets Finda, who doesn't know her age but looks around 14. She says a relative raped her last year but when she told the rest of her family, they wouldn't take it seriously. She is still suffering physically from the attack but has no choice but to remain with her family, and wake up every morning in the same house as her rapist.

    In the border town of Foya, Kleeman and Haan meet two sisters, aged 16 and 15. Oretha and Sarah were orphaned during the war and say they survive by begging for food and money, but the men they ask often demand sex in exchange for it. They tell Kleeman they often have sex with charity workers, for as little as 40 pence a time. They say they also beg UN peacekeepers for food, and claim the peacekeepers demand sex in return. The say they have been doing this since 2003, when Oretha was only nine.

    The UN acknowledges there have been problems of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers in Liberia, including a few that allegedly involve underage girls. They say they take allegations very seriously and have promised to investigate Oretha and Sarah's claims.

    In a Monrovia clinic the team meet 14-year-old Blessing, who says she has been gang raped by ten strangers. Blessing can hardly walk, is very disorientated and can't remember much of what happened to her. Blessing was so badly injured she had to be carried to the local police station in a wheelbarrow. Kleeman and Haan discover that, although the police took her to hospital, incompetence and communication failures mean Blessing's case was never investigated and no one has been brought to justice.

    At Monrovia Central prison Kleeman is shocked to discover there is only one inmate who has been convicted of raping a child. The government claims to be serious about tackling child rape, but justice for victims seems agonisingly slow.

    Liberia's civil war has left the country with a culture of impunity, and a culture where men want to have sex with very young girls. Until that changes, Liberia can't escape its tragic past.

  • Peru: Blood and Oil

    Peru: Blood and Oil

    Unreported World travels deep into the Peruvian jungle to investigate how the government's auctioning off vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest to global corporations has led to violent clashes with thousands of indigenous tribal people.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and director Alex Nott begin their journey travelling for three days up the river Corrientes into the homeland of the Achuar people, who've lived in one of the Amazon's remotest areas for thousands of years. They find the community of Jose Olaya almost deserted. Despite its remoteness, oil companies have been drilling in the area for years. The drilling has frightened away the animals and the men of the village have been forced to take work with the oil companies to feed their families. One villager claims that families have become sick after drinking water from the polluted river. A government study has shown that two thirds of all children tested had above safe levels of lead in their blood. The company involved denies the allegations, and says it's unaware of any credible data to support them.

    The team are taken to visit another area of land more than six kilometres long, which has become seriously polluted by oil residues. Despite a clean-up operation, a thick, black tar-like substance lies just beneath the soil, emitting a powerful stench.

    Navai and Nott travel to the city of Iquitos, Peru's largest jungle town, to meet with an environmental group. Its spokesman tells Unreported World that indigenous people are becoming increasingly angry about the pollution and breaches of their basic rights by a government that is proposing to open up huge areas of the Amazon to oil, gas and mining companies. He says that native Indians have begun staging protests against further exploitation of their land. One demonstration a year ago in the oil town of Andoas had turned bloody. Scores of protesters have been arrested and 25 are on trial, all in relation to this incident.

    After travelling up the Pastaza river to Andoas, the team talk to some of those involved. One man claims he witnessed police chasing one of the protestors into the jungle two weeks after the demonstrations. The man was found the next day beaten and stabbed to death. His wife tells Navai that she believes her husband was killed by police in a revenge attack, because a policeman was shot dead during the riots. A local man has been arrested for the murder of Carlos Curtima. The police have not responded to allegations that it was a policeman who killed him.

    The team travels to the north-western town of Bagua, where, in June 2009, 3000 demonstrators blockaded a major road. They were demanding the government halt its plans to exploit their ancestral land. The protesters clashed with police and more than 100 of them are now facing criminal charges. One of those involved tells Navai that the blockade had been peaceful until a heavily armed police force was sent in. He claims they started firing at the protesters. Another man says that three of his friends were killed and that he himself had been shot. The Peruvian president, Alan García, has insisted the police acted properly and the government claims it acted in self defence in Bagua. But President García has admitted to a series of errors in the handling of the protests and public outrage over the incident has forced the prime minister to resign.

    Following the violence in Bagua, the Peruvian government was forced to revoke two proposed decrees that would have given big companies more access to the Amazon. However, nine others remain. After years of growing frustration over exploitation of their land, indigenous groups are rebelling. They say they will not give up the fight until all the decrees are overturned. If the government does not concede to their demands, Peru could be facing an escalation of violence.

  • Peter Oborne

    Philippines: Holy Warriors

    Unreported World uncovers a deepening sectarian conflict between Muslims and Christians in the Philippines. The battle for land on the southern Filipino island of Mindanao has already claimed 100,000 lives and created a humanitarian disaster with 600,000 people being driven from their homes.

    Reporter Peter Oborne and director George Waldrum arrive in Cotobato City just after a blast has injured nine people, eight of them young children. Locals claim the attack was carried out by the Filipino national army. The area has been the scene of six bomb attacks in 2009 and, just weeks before, a device exploded outside the cathedral on a Sunday morning, killing six, including a 12-year-old boy. The security forces blame the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, a long-standing Muslim separatist movement, which they claim has formed links to the Indonesian terror network behind the 2002 Bali bombs.

    Unlike the rest of the Philippines, which is officially Christian, Mindanao has been a predominantly Muslim island for centuries. But the arrival of Christian settlers after World War II has led to escalating sectarian conflict.

    The team travels deep into the jungle to a Christian enclave to investigate a recent attack. Carmela tells Oborne that she'd been cooking breakfast here when suddenly she heard gunfire. She went to the door and saw her husband rushing towards her, pursued by armed men. The family ran away as fast as they could, but, she says, her father and mother were shot dead and her brother abducted and killed later. The only reason she can think of for this is that her parents were Christian.

    The team decides to put these allegations to the MILF, and travels by foot deeper into the jungle to a training camp for around 400 fighters. Many of them are under 18, and some as young as 13 years old. They tell Oborne their villages were burnt down and they have joined the MILF to fight for the land, with the encouragement of their parents. The spokesperson denies targeting innocent civilians and claims the army is to blame.

    The team find a scene of total devastation in Nunungan, a Muslim village deep in MILF territory, with civilian houses apparently shelled and systematically burnt just a few months before. They are told that the suspected perpetrators of this attack were the military, because this village was known as an MILF area.

    There are many deserted villages across the province. In one evacuation camp in Datu Odin, Oborne and Waldrum find 1800 people living in dire conditions. Even reaching the camp doesn't guarantee safety. One terrified woman claims her husband was seized by the army, suspected of being a Muslim rebel. She says he was hit with rifle butts, slashed with blades, handcuffed and shoved into a vehicle. Five days later she found his dead body at a river bank. When asked about this and similar cases, the army said 'it's not in their rules of engagement to engage the enemy inside their communities'.

    The Muslims don't just fear the official forces of the state. Aleosa is a Christian town that has formed its own vigilante group after the MILF burnt 200 houses. The Mayor says that the conflict 'is just like Israel and Palestine'. One old militia man tells Oborne he makes no distinction between ordinary Muslims and Muslim combatants and it's the same for the other side.

    A few kilometres further south, the Ligawasan marsh covers 3000 square kilometres of central Mindanao. It's at the heart of the war, and is home to many of the MILF units. And here Unreported World reveals that the conflict is not just about religious hatred - it's also a fight over land and mineral wealth. The area includes vast deposits of natural gas and oil worth billions of dollars. With so much at stake, Muslims and Christians are equally determined they will never surrender. Unless there is a permanent peace deal, the conflict looks set to grow.

  • Ingushetia

    Ingushetia: Russia's Dirty War

    Unreported World uncovers the largely hidden but bloody conflict in the Russian Republic of Ingushetia. In a country to which few Western journalists have been able get access, Unreported World reveals allegations that hundreds of innocent civilians are disappearing and being tortured and murdered by the security forces in an increasingly violent campaign that threatens to turn into another Chechnya.

    Shortly after reporter Evan Williams and director Clancy Chassay arrive in Nazran, the largest town in Ingushetia, they are taken to a house and met by a crowd of grieving women. One of them tells Williams that, just a few days earlier, 400 heavily-armed Russian soldiers had surrounded the house before dragging her outside. She claims the troops killed her son Musa and blew up his body with a grenade. In the cellar of the house, the team is shown blood and flesh on the bricks and signs of a blast. Musa's father tells Williams that his son, who was training to be an architect, had just got married and had a one-month-old baby.

    The team travels to a graveyard just outside Nazran to meet Rashid, Musa's cousin. He tells Williams that the family has suffered other deaths. He claims his brother and three friends had been picked up and tortured by government security services because they had unintentionally witnessed a security operation, and to hide the signs of torture security services had blown their bodies up in a car. The security officials said they were rebels but Rashid denies this.

    The following day, the team is stopped while passing through a checkpoint. They are taken in for questioning first by the local police, and then by immigration officials, and the FSB - the Russian secret service. After they are released, a contact says she has information that security officials had decided they should be considered 'enemies of the state' and, if caught, to be prevented from working and have their material confiscated.

    Outside of Nazran, the family of another victim show Williams photographs of 24-year-old Batheer. His mother says a few weeks earlier the police took him to Nazran police headquarters. Ten days later she found out on the internet that a man with her son's name was killed in the forest. The authorities claimed he was a rebel who was carrying a weapon and who was killed in a clash with government forces. His mother says he was an aircraft engineer who'd been given security clearance. She claims that when she finally received Batheer's body it was covered with what appeared to be signs of torture.

    The team meets the head of Ingushetia's main human rights group, who shows Williams pictures of hundreds of people he claims have been tortured and killed by security forces. He claims even his own deputy was kidnapped and tortured by state security. He says people can be arrested on suspicion of being a rebel, being related to a rebel or even just being seen with a suspected rebel.

    It is estimated that the Ingush rebels have killed around 200 Russian and Ingush police and soldiers over the past seven years. Civilians have also been injured and killed in those attacks, which Moscow says are motivated by militant Islam. While the FSB didn't respond to specific allegations uncovered by Unreported World, Russia says strong military action is needed to maintain the integrity of its southern frontier. It says its actions support the war against Islamist terror and if it did not take these steps Ingushetia could become a new home for global jihad.

    More people contact the team. One of them, a local journalist, tells Williams that a charity worker and close friend of hers has just been kidnapped by men in uniform in the nearby Chechen capital, Grozny, and that nobody knows where she is. Just as the team prepares to leave the country, they receive another call from her. She says the bodies of her friend and her husband have been found been dumped in a car boot on the outskirts of Grozny.

  • Evan Williams

    Brazil: The Killables

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Paul Kittel travel to the Brazilian city of Recife, a beach paradise visited by thousands of British tourists every year. They uncover allegations that the police are involved in death squads that have murdered thousands of 'undesirables', including hundreds of street children, every year.

    The Unreported World team is immediately confronted by the murder of an 18-year-old boy on the side of a street. Police officers say it was an execution, a close-range shot to the head, typical of many of the city's nearly 3000 murders a year.

    The team meets some of the city's estimated 4000 street children. Using crack and sniffing glue, many of these street kids turn to prostitution and petty crime to survive. One social worker claims that 600 street children have been killed over the past few years, and that 60% were murdered by police death squads.

    At the city's Homicide Squad headquarters, a senior detective tells Williams that at least 30% of the killings are by death squads. Down in the cells, the team finds a young man who says he is on the run from a death squad known as the Thundercats. 'The Death Squads can kill you for anything - a drug debt, a robbery - they have been around since I was a child,' he says.

    The murder rate is so high a group of activists has erected an electronic sign that gives a running total of the number killed. Last year it revealed 4525 people had been killed in the state and 2600 in the city of Recife alone. The sign's organiser tells Williams the killing continues because many of the dead are from the slums and so the middle class just don't care.

    The team interviews a state prosecutor who says just 3% of the city's homicide cases ever get to trial and that 50% of all the murders are by death squads, which he claims include police officers who feel they have to take the law into their own hands.

    Williams meets one shopkeeper who claims that due to the lack of police presence it's common for people to pay death squads to kill suspected criminals, and, he claims, the death squads include many police officers.

    Back on the wealthy beach strip, the team is called to another murder. Police officers at the scene say the dead boy had allegedly stolen a laptop, a woman reported him to the police station and he has been found dead on the beach. 'Middle-class people often hire death squads to kill those they suspect of stealing from them,' one officer tells Williams. 'This fits the pattern. It is most likely a death squad killing."

    Williams and Kittel meet a death squad member who says he is a serving police officer and that he has personally killed about thirty people. He says he's performing a social service by cleaning up the 'scum' because the justice system is failing. He claims he doesn't fear arrest because at times he is killing alleged criminals on the orders of his superiors in the police force. 'This is how it works. The senior police officer will call us in, in the course of that meeting he says there is a guy we want you to kill and we want it done, say, by Friday. We go and do the job, so, a lot of police are involved.'

    Senior police commanders admit there are police officers in death squads, and say they are trying to close them down. They say they have broken up dozens of death squads in the past two years and arrested 411 suspected members. In one muddy slum, the team meets Albetina, the mother of one of the men police say was executed. She says no one from the police had asked her any questions nor had there been any investigation into the killings.'The evil is everywhere,' she says, 'It is so hard to deal with the loss of a son, I have not even told his children yet. I now have nothing here.'

  • Ramita Navai

    Papua New Guinea: Bush Knives and Black Magic

    Unreported World travels to one of the most remote parts of the world, to investigate the growth of 'witch' murders in Papua New Guinea. More than fifty people accused of being witches were tortured and murdered last year in two provinces alone and the programme reveals that the problem is now spreading from remote highland areas into the towns. Reporter Ramita Navai and producer Katherine Churcher meet the victims, the so called witch hunters and the police struggling to keep order.

    The Unreported World team begins their journey in the Highland province of Simbu, a hotspot for witch-related murders. In the remote village of Koge, they uncover a number of burnt-out huts where locals tell them that more than thirty people were forced to flee after two of their female relatives were accused of being witches and killed

    Moving on to the neighbouring province, Navai and Churcher meet a grandmother who says she was accused of being a witch after her husband died. She reveals that in the Highlands when someone dies the community thinks they must have been cursed by a witch and then looks for someone, generally a woman, to blame. Umame says she managed to escape after being slashed with a bush knife, but she has lost everything.

    Still deep in the Highlands, the team tracks down a witchdoctor. She says her job is to deciding who in the community is a witch. But in a chilling twist, Navai uncovers that this witchdoctor is herself a survivor of a witch-hunt. She claims she was set free after she revealed, under torture, her skills at determining other witches.

    The team travels to the capital of Simbu Province to meet the homicide detectives at the police station serving the whole of the area. They reveal that at least two-thirds of the murders they deal with are witchcraft-related. Navai and Churcher accompany the police to Giu village where in Nov 2008 a woman was accused of being a witch and murdered by an entire community. The police say they are under-resourced and lack the manpower to deal with the problem. People won't come forward as witnesses, as everyone backs the witch-killers, they tell Navai.

    In Goroka, the capital of the Eastern Highlands Province, Navai meets Jack Urame - a leading expert on witch-killings. He explains that the belief in witches is an ancient custom, but that killings are on the increase. He says the changes occurring to traditional Papuan society with the introduction of western goods, money and education haven't been matched with a corresponding, modern form of social control provided by the government. Jealousies arise as some do better than others and people have resorted to their own ways of resolving disputes and resentments - namely through accusations of sorcery.

    The team travels to a community meeting in Simbu Province set-up to try to resolve witch-hunt accusations peacefully. Navai sees local justice at work. It's raw and tense and the team is forced to leave as the meeting heats up.

    Still in the Highlands they manage to track down two 'witch hunters'. Appearing anonymously, disguised by traditional headwear, one of them produces a skull which he claims is of one of his victims and tells Navai that he is a guardian angel, protecting his community, and has no fear of police repercussions.

    Ending up in Mt. Hagen, the third largest city in Papua New Guinea, the team discovers that witch-hunts are now spreading to towns. A witness reveals a shocking case of a woman burnt alive on tyres at a rubbish dump. It is the first case in the town. Perhaps more disturbing, the belief in witchcraft appears already well developed in the area. While the witness found the incident disturbing, he believes the woman needed to be killed or she would be a threat to the community. The practice of witch-killings appears to be going from strength to strength.

  • Peter Obourne

    Afghanistan: Waiting for the Taliban

    Reporter Peter Oborne and Director Alex Nott travel to the Afghan capital to find a city under siege, with suicide bombings, shootings and kidnappings on the increase. As Kabul spirals into the type of violence and chaos that tore apart Baghdad, Unreported World goes beyond the politicians to reveal what everyday life is like for ordinary people imprisoned in the city.

    Until recently, Kabul had largely escaped the violence that has plagued the rest of the country. But resurgent Taliban and increasingly powerful criminal gangs are creating levels of instability and lawlessness that many liken to the period before the Taliban's rise to power.

    Afghan security forces have shut half of the city's main roads and erected checkpoints on the others in an attempt to stop the attacks. However, Taliban insurgents are closing a noose around the city and launching regular attacks inside it. The team arrives at the site of the latest suicide bombing at a bus depot, which has killed two people. One injured boy tells Oborne that the bomb was aimed at an international convoy, but, as usual, it's ordinary Afghans who make up the majority of victims.

    One local taxi driver tells Oborne that, like the majority of the population, he is a prisoner in the city. If he tries to drive out of Kabul, he'll be stopped by the Taliban and killed. At a lorry depot to the south of the city, one driver reveals the dangers his colleagues work under. He's been attacked several times while driving to Kandahar and in the last year, seven truck drivers, all close friends of his, have been murdered. And, he alleges, it's not just the Taliban who are attacking convoys. He claims that at each police checkpoint, demands for money are made, and that after dark, the police themselves conduct armed robberies.

    The team hears claims from other residents that the authorities are involved, together with criminal gangs, in kidnapping and extortion. One doctor tells Oborne that he was kidnapped by men who identified themselves as intelligence officers. They tortured him before demanding a $200,000 ransom. He claims the authorities never investigated the abduction, and he believes the police and government officials were involved. He now lives under armed guard and has moved his family to Pakistan for their own safety, telling Oborne that life was much better under Taliban control.

    The team talks to a police chief about these allegations. He says officers are not involved in kidnappings, and says that some kidnappers use police vehicles and uniforms to kidnap their victims. He says there is some corruption, but it is being cracked down on as much as possible.

    Driving back, the team's car is surrounded by children begging for money, saying that they have no other way of feeding their families. Oborne and Nott travel with one girl, seven-year-old Solama, to her house. Her mother says things are so desperate because there are no jobs in the city. Her husband has been reduced to picking up rubbish for a living. And, she says, life was better under the Taliban.

    Improving women's rights in Afghanistan is a key plank of UK and US policy. However, pupils at a girls' school tell the team that the security situation is reversing advances, with many parents now unwilling to let their daughters leave their houses to go to school, for fear of kidnap, rape or suicide bombing. As the Taliban gains strength, many girls who took off their burkhas are now putting them back on.

  • India

    India: Children of the Inferno

    Unreported World reveals a vision of hell in North East India, where the earth is literally on fire as vast subterranean coal fires burn out of control beneath towns and villages, children mine coal day in day out, and half a million people are being moved out of their ancestral villages to make way for the coal mines fuelling India's growth.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and director Edward Watts begin their journey in the Jharia coalfields in Jharkand state. The air is filled with smoke and poisonous gas as fires smoulder in the ground all around them. The flames are from underground coal seams which are spontaneously combusting over an area of several hundred square kilometres.

    Huge open cast and underground mines produce hundreds of millions of coal to feed the electricity and steel industries. But these mines are also threatening the health and homes of millions as the fires they've caused encroach on towns and villages. The team visits Bokapardi village, where hundreds of families live above the fire. The land beneath their feet is hot and, everywhere they look,smoke and sulphurous gases escape from thousands of fissures and cracks.

    Locals tell Hartley that, despite these terrible conditions, they are so poor they have no choice but to stay in the village. The only way to make a living is by scavenging coal, and the team films hundreds of people, including young children. One young girl, Dolly, says she works every day of the year gathering coal. She tells Hartley that she makes less than a pound a day - and has to walk shoeless across sharp stones and hot coals to do it. Like the rest of her family, she's never been to school.

    Other locals tell Hartley that this wasteland was once a place of forests, rivers and farms. But mining is destroying the environment, forcing farmers to become coal scavengers. The team finds entire families working together in precarious shafts they've dug by hand. A local doctor describes how villagers are now suffering from a collection of lung diseases caused by air pollution. One woman tells Hartley that her husband and a daughter were killed by respiratory illnesses. Now she is very sick, and her surviving daughter is suffering regular nosebleeds.

    The team moves on to the village of Hutchuktar. Locals tell Hartley that just two years ago everything was green. Now, everything is black, and cracks are opening up in homes as the fires advance beneath the village.

    Hartley meets with the state-owned Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) company, which runs the mines, to discuss the situation with villages where locals are being asked to leave their ancestral lands. He discusses BCCL plans to move up to 500,000 people out of fire-affected areas to make way for new mines. Moving on again, the team travels to Belguria, a housing scheme funded by BCCL to accommodate people it wants to move. They are shown the one bedroom houses where families, often numbering up to 10, are expected to live.

    BCCL managing director T.K Lahiri tells the team that compensation is offered to anyone who qualifies for it under the company's guidelines.

    But in another town, Kasunda, the risks of staying are clear. A former resident tells Hartley that two years ago the ground beneath his home just collapsed and several houses were engulfed. He and his family survived, but his brother and six others of his family were all killed. What was once a thriving place with 500 houses, a school and a temple is now a ghost town.

    Everywhere the team travels in Jharia the fires are burning. The effect India's reliance on coal could have on climate change in the future is causing global concern. But, here on the ground, it's clear that for locals, a nightmarish existence is already a reality.

  • Oliver Steeds

    China/North Korea: The Great Escape

    Unreported World travels to the remote Chinese - North Korean border, where few journalists have ever set foot. The team is there to report on the plight of thousands of North Korean women who have been forced into prostitution or sold as brides after fleeing persecution and starvation in one of the most secretive and repressive regimes in the world.

    The majority of those who try to escape from North Korea to China are women. If they make it past the border guards, who operate a shoot-to-kill policy, they risk being forced to work as prostitutes or sold off by brokers as wives for Chinese villagers. But the women regard this as a 'lesser of two evils' because if they are caught and rounded up, they face being sent back to forced labour camps for interrogation, torture or at worst, public execution. They have no choice but to live under the radar and on the run from people looking to turn them in for a reward.

    Reporter Oliver Steeds and Director Sam Farmar begin their journey on the frozen Tumen River, which marks the border between China and North Korea and is used as a crossing point by North Korean escapees. They then meet two young North Korean men who have recently escaped. Like all other North Koreans the team meets, the men ask for their identity not to be revealed, fearing arrest and repatriation. They know the consequences all too well having been caught on a previous attempt and would rather kill themselves than return. Many escapees try to reach South Korea, where they can claim housing benefit and some financial support ¿ but it¿s a 3,000 mile trip and only five per cent ever make it to the South. The team meets a broker who helps people along this journey. He explains that many carry a knife, not for protection, but to kill themselves if they are arrested.

    Moving on, the team arranges to meet secretly a North Korean woman near Yanji who has experienced the horror of the detention centres where more than 8,000 others were processed in the first six months of 2008 and sent back to an uncertain future.

    She tells Steeds that male guards strip-searched her, before shackling her and transporting her back to North Korea with her husband and 18-month-old baby. She says her husband was brutally tortured and died, and her child died of malnutrition. With no other choice, she fled back to China, risking her life once more.

    The team travels through worsening winter conditions to meet a North Korean woman and her Chinese husband. She says a broker claimed she would get a well-paying job but instead tricked her into a forced marriage. Her Chinese husband explains that with more women leaving rural areas to work in cities, he had little choice and paid £200 for his wife.

    Filming undercover and posing as tourists, Steeds and Farmar meet the manager of a karaoke bar in Shenyang that is a front for prostitution. He explains how North Korean prostitutes are sold at a premium, as they are highly sought after by rich Chinese men and South Korean tourists. To stop them fleeing, the pimps pay them in small instalments to keep them hanging on and force them to keep working.

    The team moves on to a small village near the border, where he meets a young boy whose North Korean mother has been repatriated. The Chinese Government sends all North Korean economic migrants back across the border, even though they face torture and hard labour. This is in breach of the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, to which China is a signatory. However, he's lucky enough to live with a Chinese guardian who spent his life savings on buying him registration papers after his own daughter died.

    Before leaving the country, the team finds one 71-year-old woman who has fled North Korea and been sent back to harsh labour camps three times. Her story underlines just how desperate the situation has become.

  • Haiti

    Haiti: The Island That Ate Itself

    Haiti hit the headlines last year when it was hit by yet another hurricane. Unreported World returns to the island to find that it's still in a state of emergency.

    Locked in a vicious cycle of environmental disaster, hunger, poverty and reliance on international aid, it's perhaps the most extreme example of what is happening to many of the world's poorest countries.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and Producer Alex Nott begin their journey in the village of Baie D'Orange, where 26 children died of hunger after the most recent hurricane. The team is surrounded by starving children as a crowd waits for a United Nations helicopter to deliver food supplies that will keep them alive. But as they queue up for grain farmers tell Hartley they want help to rebuild their lives by growing food, rather than constantly relying on handouts.

    From the air, the team can easily see the hardships faced by farmers. Huge gullies have formed over the island, as the rain washes away all the top soil until just limestone rock remains. Everywhere the team visits, the last patches of forest are being cut down to make charcoal, which most poor people use for cooking fuel. Haiti used to be at least 80% forested, but today it has less than one percent tree cover.

    In one story that sums up Haiti's misery Hartley and Nott meet Irene, a young mother. She is chopping down trees to make charcoal to sell even though they are the only thing protecting the soil on her smallholding from being eroded by wind and floods. Irene explains that one of her children recently died of starvation, while she is so poor she was forced to give away two others to relatives who could better care for them. On many days Irene and her remaining six children go without food.

    Many Haitians accuse the relief agencies of not assisting them to move on from crisis relief to development efforts to end poverty. But efforts to end poverty in Haiti, which once fed itself, are in reverse instead of progressing.

    In the rice paddies of Artibonite farmers tell the team that whatever rice they grow these days cannot be easily sold. In the food markets of the capital Port au Prince, Unreported World finds that locally produced Haitian rice is twice as expensive as cheap American rice imports.

    Globalisation's bitter result for Haiti is that not only is local food production inadequate due to erosion and population growth, but peasant farmers have little incentive to grow more because the USA now dominates the market.

    The team moves on to the slum district of Cite Soleil in the Island's capital, Port-au-Prince. There are just 25 Haitian police officers to keep law and order amongst the 400,000 in the slum and UN peacekeepers have been deployed to end the chaos partly brought about by hunger as people fight over food.

    The team travels to another village with a UN aid mission. Even though it's only 30km from the capital, they¿re forced to fly by helicopter as the roads are so bad. The UN says hungry mobs have pillaged similar flights and it's again clear that the country is chronically dependent on aid. It seems as if the entire village of farmers has turned up for the flight and nobody is working in the fields.

    One man says that everybody is dependent on food aid and they do not want the United Nations to go. In fact, he tells Hartley, they are praying to God for the food aid to continue forever.

  • Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone: Insanity of War

    This Unreported World comes from Sierra Leone where, ten years after one of the most brutal conflicts in recent history, thousands have been left severely traumatised. Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director George Waldrum find that the population, which has witnessed rape, torture and public executions, is served by just one psychiatrist.

    The Unreported World team begin their journey in the capital, Freetown, at a physiotherapy centre for amputees.

    Hacking off limbs was used by rebel groups in the war to instil terror across the population. The patients say that despite being treated for their physical injuries the horrific memories still haunt them. They find it hard to express themselves as there are no words in Krio for depression or anxiety - all they know is that sometimes things get so bad their lives just grind to a halt.

    Rhodes and Waldrum move east to the former rebel stronghold of Kailahun. There, Laurence, a local charity worker, takes them to a former rebel prison known locally as the 'Slaughter House' which is still covered in bloodstains from the numerous murders that happened there. He says that 50 per cent of those he helps have attempted suicide.

    One of them, Sion, is an ex-child solider who was forced to kill at just 10 years old. He says he still hears the screams of the people he murdered - and last year he tried to take his life. Thousands of other former child soldiers have fallen into substance abuse as they try to blunt their memories.

    The team returns to Freetown to discover a government mental health system that is almost non-existent, revolving around the country's sole psychiatrist working in the only psychiatric hospital. Most patients are chained to their beds and heavily sedated.

    The doctor says that 80 per cent of people needing help believe that mental illness is caused by evil spirits, so they turn to the church and traditional healers. With an estimated 400,000 mentally ill people in the country, offering a cure has become good business. Most visit one of the country's 4000 traditional healers.

    The team visits one of them on the outskirts of town, where an extremely disoriented patient is chained to the ground. Patrick's memories go back only as far as the war, everything else is a blur. Rhodes watches as the healer administers his daily treatment - perfume poured in both his eyes and nose. It may seem like harsh treatment but Pa Barrie is incredibly popular and gets through 15 patients a day.

    The team ends their journey in the village of Bombali and the home of 20-year-old Almani. His family have run completely out of options. They don't know what he is suffering from but he has been violent and abusive since the war. They've spent large sums of money on traditional healers and have nothing left to take him to the psychiatric hospital. They tell Rhodes the emotional stress has ripped the family apart and they are so desperate they would abandon him if they could.

    Alamni's family, like so many in Sierra Leone, are damaged to the point of despair. Even though a decade has passed, it's clear the nation hasn't yet begun to cope with the psychological consequences of its civil war.

  • Ramita Navai

    Turkey: Killing for Honour

    Unreported World travels to Turkey to investigate honour killings, which have now reached record levels with more than 200 girls and women killed in the past year alone. The programme highlights a chilling new development in which a new law outlawing honour killings may have led to a huge increase in girls being forced to commit suicide instead.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and Producer Matt Haan begin their journey in the south east of Turkey, an ethnically Kurdish region. They've been invited to a traditional Kurdish wedding between two 18-year-old-cousins, arranged by their families. One guest tells Navai that Kurds have their own marriage traditions, and that marriage changes the way a woman behaves.

    The team moves on to Karacada, an area renowned for its blood feuds, where there have been several honour killings over the last year. One local tells Navai that a woman can dishonour her family by standing too close to a man she is not related to and that some women aren't allowed mobile phones in case they receive a call from a man.

    He says women can be killed for violating the rules of honour. When a woman is accused of dishonour, a family council will decide her fate. He says that honour killings are really effective in sending out a strong message to everybody. Local women tell Unreported World that they live in constant fear and that their brothers would beat them over mere rumours.

    The team meets Husna, who is willing to talk openly about an honour killing that happened less than five weeks previously. She says she suspects her niece's new husband was unable to consummate the marriage and killed her to spare his honour. She claims that these killings are common and three have happened in the area recently.

    Moving on to a village close to the Iranian border, the team hears about Nazime Alir, who was 21 years old when she was murdered. Her father-in-law tells Navai that his son gouged out her eyes, cut her tongue off and put her remains in a plastic bag before burning her. Nearly all the men in the village say they would kill their wives and daughters for honour - life without honour is not worth living.

    Until recently, under Turkish law honour killers could get a reduced sentence by claiming provocation. However, four years ago, as part of Turkey's campaign to join the European Union, it introduced a mandatory life sentence for the crime. But the change in the law hasn't reduced the killings. Instead, as Unreported World reveals, it appears to have given rise to a sinister new twist.

    The team travels to the city of Batman, nicknamed 'suicide city' because in the last few years hundreds of women and girls have committed suicide. Like other areas of the country, female suicides rocketed after the change in the law. Batman's chief prosecutor tells Unreported World that he believes many of the suicides in the town are forced, but that they're almost impossible to investigate. Those women who escape the attempt flee into hiding.

    One young woman, Elif, claims that when she was 18 years old, her parents wanted to force her into marriage. When she refused, she claims her family told her that if she didn't marry him, she would have to kill herself. She says her father told her if he, or her brother, was forced to kill her they would go to prison so she should think of them and kill herself. She said she considered doing it because she loved her father so much, but she realized she didn't want to die. Instead, she ran away.

    Ending up in Istanbul, the team finds that even the most modernised city in Turkey hasn't escaped the tradition. According to a government report, it now has one of the highest levels of honour killings in the country, with one happening every week. The Government has condemned the killings and launched a commission with the aim of reducing them. Yet, the Unreported World team see twelve cases in the press as the murders continue unabated.

  • Cambodia

    Cambodia: Selling the Killing Fields

    Unreported World reveals how 30 years on from the fall of the Khmer Rouge, and at the same time as Pol Pot's accomplices are being put on trial for war crimes, Cambodia's people are once again being brutally driven from their land. This time, however, it is capitalism, not communism, that is displacing them - as growing numbers of tourists fuel a property boom that is having devastating results.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and Producer Andy Wells report from Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, where land is now worth three times as much as two years ago. They're investigating allegations that the Cambodian authorities are behind a policy of violent evictions of the country's poor from their homes.

    Their journey begins in the slum district of Dey Krahorm, which is home to 120 families and right next to central Phnom Penh's plush new hotels, embassies and new National Assembly. Vichet Chan, the community's leader, tells Kleeman that the government is forcing them to leave so the land can be sold to a property developer, even though they are legally entitled to be there. Other residents claim to have been arrested and brutally beaten for resisting the developers.

    Kleeman and Wells move on Sianoukville on Cambodia's coast. Its white sand beaches are an increasing draw for foreign tourists, but the people of Kom Penh Chit fishing village tell Kleeman they are barred from the adjoining beach because it's been sold off to developers. The team discovers a group of people living in shacks along a roadside who claim that they used to own farms close to the beach until they were evicted by the police and army two years ago.

    The team moves on to Andong, a 'resettlement village' where the government has relocated people it has evicted from the capital. In a chilling echo of the suffering of those evicted from Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge, they find the residents living under tarpaulin in appalling conditions. A doctor tells Kleeman that diseases including typhoid, dengue fever, pneumonia, tuberculosis and dysentery are endemic, and many children have died. There are just 12 toilets for nearly 2,000 families, but residents have to pay to use them and most can't afford to do so. Instead they defecate in plastic bags, which litter the site.

    Kleeman and Wells are tipped off that the people of Dey Krahorm are going to be evicted that night. They rush back to Phnom Penh and find Vichet Chan, who is terrified that the authorities are planning to take everyone's house at dawn. He says he has been forced to go into hiding in a nearby hotel for the sake of his family.

    A stand-off between the villagers and a line of military police begins. Suddenly, the armed police and an army of construction workers advance on the villagers, firing rubber bullets and bulldozing all the homes in their path. The team films as local residents try to grab hold of whatever possessions they can.

    Eventually, the team is ejected from Dey Krahorm by the military police. They find Vichet in his hotel room, distraught and inconsolable. He has witnessed the violence from his window and has no idea what has happened to his family, who are still inside the site.

    Three hours later, the site where Dey Krahorm once stood is now flattened. The Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh gives a press conference on the rubble, saying the residents were making unreasonable demands and they will all be safe and happy in their new resettlement village. Two metres away from him, a villager kneels on the ground, sobbing.

    The team ends their journey at the resettlement village on Borei Santhipeap, where the Dey Krahorm residents have been relocated. Their homes have not been completed and residents are left without sanitation, running water or shelter.

    Kleeman speaks to a woman she saw defending her home during the eviction. The woman says she has already survived the Khmer Rouge regime, but after this eviction she feels her life is over.

  • Congo

    Congo: Forest of the Dead

    In the jungles of North East Congo, the Unreported World team uncovers evidence that the Lord's Resistance Army - one of the world's most brutal rebel groups - has begun a new campaign of terror, and talks to survivors with stories of unimaginable horror.

    Reporter Nima Elbagir and director Edward Watts begin their journey in the town of Dungu, which is now home to tens of thousands of people who have recently fled there from their villages. Aid groups estimate that the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted up to a thousand children in Congo since it restarted operations at the end of last year, and refugees in the town confirm that children from outlying villages have been taken.

    The team joins a UN mission flying into a nearby village, Duru. It's been under attack for the past six months and this is the first time anyone has succeeded in reaching it. It's deserted, but suddenly groups of people start appearing out of the jungle. They tell the team that LRA fighters attacked the village, abducting nearly a hundred children before burning their homes and killing several villagers.

    On returning to Dungu town, the team find a 15 year old who had been taken from the school in Duru before escaping his captors. He tells Elbagir that another group of boys attempted an escape and were recaptured by LRA soldiers. They were laid face down and then the other children were forced to club them to death. Another victim says he was captured on the outskirts of his village, tied to a tree and then hacked with machetes.

    Elbagir and Watts head to Doruma, hemmed in by fighting on all sides. They are escorted through the jungle to Batande village, which was attacked on Christmas Day. One local says villagers had come out of church to eat Christmas lunch when the LRA surrounded them, tied them up and marched them into the bush to slaughter them.

    Heading out through the jungle once more, Elbagir and Watts witness at first hand the horrors which have befallen the villagers. They begin to find bodies every few yards, first that of a pregnant woman, and then more and more - face down in the mud with their hands tied together and their skulls smashed in.

    These victims are just some of the estimated 900 people the LRA massacred over Christmas and Boxing Day in this area. At least 300 have been slaughtered around Doruma alone. One local investigator tells Elbagir that when the LRA enters a village his assumption is that everyone there will die.

    One of the children who escaped from the LRA tells the team that they were never told why they were fighting. To try to get an answer, Elbagir and Watts travel to Gulu in Uganda. They meet Brigadier Simon Odongo who was abducted as a child by the LRA and who fought with them for more than 18 years.

    He tells Unreported World the group was waging a campaign of terror designed to scare people into leaving their villages so the LRA could take over the territory. He also reveals how the group's leader, Joseph Kony, convinces his child soldiers that they are engaged in a fight to the death against the whole world.

  • Nigeria

    Nigeria: Child Brides, Stolen Lives

    A report on the devastating effects of child marriage and pregnancy in Nigeria, where nearly half of all girls in the country's northern states are married by the age of 15, often to much older men.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and director Julie Noon travel to Nigeria to investigate why there has been resistance to outlawing child marriage and what this has meant for thousands of young girls.

    Nigeria has one of the highest rates of child marriage and pregnancy in the world and the federal government has tried to ban marriage under the age of 18 by passing the Child Rights Act in 2003. However, five years later, only one northern state has adopted the act and even then replaced the age of 18 with 'puberty'.

    The team's journey begins at a village in Kano State on the wedding day of one young bride. The bride's friends tells Navai that it's traditional for girls to get married from the age of 12 and start having babies. But they also reveal the devastating consequences of having babies at such a young age, with mothers whose bodies are physically incapable of going through childbirth suffering horrible injuries and being left physically and emotionally scarred for life. In many cases, their child also dies.

    Navai and Noon move on to Katsina State to visit one of the world's largest clinics dealing with one of the most severe consequences of child pregnancy, fistula. Dr Kees tells Unreported World that hundreds of thousands of women suffer from the condition. If nothing is done for them they are left crippled medically, socially and mentally for life. Often left incontinent, they are ostracised and alienated from their husbands and society.

    Navai talks to Zulai, who breaks down as she describes having fistula twice and losing six babies. Her condition is so severe that she may be inoperable and have to carry a catheter for the rest of her life.

    Fistula isn't the only medical condition the girls face. The team visits a charity in Kano city that helps divorcees and discovers that young married females are at much higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDs from their older, polygamous husbands.

    Unreported World also reveals that many girls fleeing early marriage end up working in brothels. The team visits a sex district where most of the prostitutes have run away from forced marriages. One, Hadiza, tells Navai how she was made to marry when she was 15 years old and then fled after her husband brutally raped her.

    In some villages visited by the team, half the men have lost young wives and sisters in pregnancy and childbirth. Yet, despite this, there is considerable opposition to implementing the law banning child marriage in northern Nigeria.

    In Kaduna state the team speak to one cleric who tells Navai that Northern Nigeria will never accept a law stipulating a minimum age for marriage, as child marriage is permissible in Islam, and that there would be violent uprisings should an attempt be made to enforce it.

  • Mexico

    Mexico: Seven Days in Hell

    Unreported World travels to Mexico where international demand for cocaine in the US and Europe has led to the deaths of thousands in a brutal war between gangs fighting for control of cocaine trafficking routes. Reporter Evan Williams and Director Alex Nott provide a snapshot of seven days of death in Culiacan, capital of the northern state of Sinaloa.

    As soon as the team arrives they are confronted with victims of the cocaine cartel executions that have become a daily reality for the city's 600,000 inhabitants. The killing is relentless. It includes gang members, police officers and innocent victims. Every few hours the team is called to another killing, dumped body, kidnapping or victim of a shoot-out.

    The team visits the State Prison, where cartel members have used grenades and automatic weapons to attack each other. They go on to meet a member of the State Parliament, who is too afraid of cartel spies to talk to them inside the State Parliament. She tells Williams her life is in danger but she wants to speak out rather than surrender to cartel violence. She claims the cartels make billions of pounds a year from the drug trade and use some of it to buy protection from local politicians.

    At Sunday Mass the team meets the spokesman of the Culiacan Diocese. He tells them the gangs have so much money they are buying off those who are meant to be fighting the drug trade: the police. This allegation is repeated by a local TV producer, who claims that some police are working for the cartels as spies, informers and even hit men.

    Williams confronts the state police co-ordinator, Commandante Manuel Hernandez. He tells Unreported World that these claims need evidence - but with so much money around from the drug trade the existence of corrupt officers can't be ruled out.

    The team moves on to the foothills of the Sierra Madre, a mountain range where the cartels rule virtually unchallenged by the authorities. Here they discover the bodies of five men killed in a cartel-style execution. The father of two of the dead men is there but he doesn't want to speak about who might have been behind the killing or why the men were killed.

    The violence has become so widespread that Mexico's Federal Government has declared an all-out war against the cartels and called in the army to take them on.

    In Culiacan, the team follows some of the 3,500 troops as they mount house-to-house raids searching for senior cartel members. But Williams also talks to a human rights investigator who tells him that since the troops arrived in Culiacan the murder rate has doubled, and she doubts they are taking on the drug gang bosses.

    Unreported World also shows how many people, unconnected to the drug trade, are caught in the crossfire. Williams meets Conseulo, who says her son was shot dead by a state police officer for allegedly having a weapon. She claims the police shot him by accident and are now trying to cover up, refusing to hold a full inquiry.

    The team also meet Alma, who lost her 16-year-old son when he was killed with eight others in crossfire at a local garage. She claims the police are too afraid of the gangs to hold a proper investigation.

  • Yemen

    Yemen: Exodus

    Unreported World reveals an unseen human catastrophe unfolding in Yemen as thousands of desperate refugees fleeing the chaos and carnage in the Horn of Africa suffer terrible ill-treatment as they cross the Gulf of Aden on their way to the Promised Land of Arabia.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and Director Edward Watts begin their journey on a remote beach near the village of Husn Balayd in Yemen, where people smugglers have just dumped a fresh cargo of refugees. It's immediately clear to the team that the crossing has taken a terrible toll.

    The body of a refugee who just died minutes before lies nearby. The survivors, still covered in sand and sea water from the journey, are terribly dehydrated and desperate for food and water.

    Local villagers prepare the body of the dead refugee ready for burial. Officially, 1400 boat people died or went missing last yea - but nobody knows the real number. One local tells Hartley that he has buried ten or fifteen people and shows him several graves down the beach.

    The team moves on to the town of Ahwar to meet more refugees. They tell Hartley that the boats are often so crammed with people that nobody is allowed to move for days on end. On arrival, some can barely walk and others are badly injured after brutal mistreatment at the hands of the smugglers.

    One man says that his boat was cut adrift for about six days and six people died. Another says fifteen died on his boat. A woman says she was beaten by the smugglers and another man stabbed. Abdullai says he was stuffed in the tiny hold normally used for fish and it was so hot and close down there that his brother suffocated to death.

    The team are informed that the boat Abdullai was travelling on has capsized and the smugglers on board have been arrested by Yemeni authorities. The team race to the isolated coastguard base where the smugglers are being held and secure the first television interview with the people responsible for this brutal trade.

    The smugglers deny that they mistreat their passengers - but Hartley and Watts witness the appalling conditions on the stranded boat, its tiny hold awash with human excrement.

    Moving on to the capital, Aden, the team finds the streets full of refugees doing menial jobs. They tell Unreported World that virtually all of the money they earn is spent on buying the narcotic plant qat, which staves off hunger and helps them forget their desperate situation.

    On the outskirts of Aden is the slum of Basaatin, where many of the Somali boat-people end up. The slum's population is estimated at around 40,000 and thousands more arrive every month - many of whom have congregated around a large rubbish dump, searching for food and other goods to sell. Women in the slum tell Hartley that single mothers find it hard to get work and some of them are forced into prostitution to survive.

    The team follows the route taken by migrants as they attempt to get through the "Empty Quarter" on their way to Saudi Arabia. Hartley and Watts find dozens of groups of men walking through one of the world's harshest environments, with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and small bottles of water. If they're caught, they risk being sent back to Africa by the Saudis.

    As the team leave the country, it seems clear that until there is some resolution to the conflict and starvation in Ethiopia and Somalia, thousands more will attempt to cross the Gulf of Aden in a human tide of misery.

  • thailand

    Thailand: Lessons in Terror

    This Unreported World reveals how just several hours drive away from the tourist hotspot of Phuket, Islamic extremists are waging a murderous campaign against Buddhist teachers in a largely hidden conflict that has turned hundreds of primary schools into bloody battlegrounds.

    Southern Thailand is home to one of the most violent conflicts in South East Asia, with more than three thousand people killed since 2004 out of a population of just two million.

    Armed Islamic separatists are targeting state schools because they regard the education system as an attempt by Bangkok to impose Buddhist Thai culture on a region that is mainly Muslim and ethnic Malay. Human Rights Watch describes the violent campaign, which also targets doctors and monks, as ethnic cleansing.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and Producer Andy Wells begin their journey at the home of 36-year-old teacher Deeranan Sairee in Yala, one of the most dangerous areas in the region. Many areas are under curfew and attacks by insurgents, including roadside bombings, are a daily occurrence.

    Deeranan and her fellow teachers at Grong Pi Nang Primary School are escorted in convoys of heavily armed troops on the daily school run. In a graphic illustration of the risks they face, one of their colleagues has just been shot dead, on the day before the team arrives.

    The insurgents have killed more than 100 teachers and forced the closure of more than 900 state schools, following a sustained campaign of bombing and shootings. Teachers now routinely carry pistols to protect themselves.

    The team visits teacher Nangnoi Janaphiban, a colleague of Deeranan and the wife of the school's principle. Nangnoi and her husband Sittichai were attacked by insurgents as they drove home from school last year and he remains in a coma after being shot through the neck. Nangnoi tells Unreported World that Buddhists in the south are being driven out of the area and she's not going back.

    Rhodes and Wells move into the 'Red Zone', one of the areas of regular insurgency activity, to visit Bongorsinair village. As in most of the villages in the south, the army has armed local 'village volunteers' with weapons to defend themselves from attack. Fifteen-year-old Hamdi Worka tells Rhodes how he patrols with other boys of his age and recently came under fire from an insurgent attack.

    Returning to Sai Buri district the team visits Pondok Bamrung Musliman school. Its principal tells Unreported World that his school is being unfairly targeted by those who believe local Imams are fuelling radicalism and separatism in some schools.

    Rhodes and Wells end their journey back in Yala, at the funeral of teacher Totsatid Samitamuksik, who was shot and killed close to the gates of Grong Pi Nang primary school. As they leave the area, it seems clear that, unless something is done, schools will continue to be the frontline of a vicious battle for hearts and minds.

  • Venezuela

    Venezuela: Cult of the Thugs

    Unreported World reveals how Venezuelans are increasingly turning to a mystical cult that worships the spirits of dead Robin Hood-style gangsters, as they seek supernatural protection from a crimewave the police seem unable to contain.

    Reporter Nima Elbagir and producer James Brabazon join thousands of pilgrims on the slopes of Quibayo mountain as they converge for a mass 'spiritist' ceremony - the holiest night of the year for a religion that seeks the protection of local gods and invokes the healing powers of ancestral spirits.

    But the team discovers that adherents of spiritism have turned gangster-ism into an act of veneration, legitimising violent criminals with the trappings of mainstream religious belief. Murder is so commonplace that infamous gangsters are invoked - not as criminals but as saviours.

    From Quibayo, the team travels north to Caracas, where they meet Santiago Rondon, a leading self-styled Venezuelan witch. He tells them that increasingly large numbers of Venezuelans are turning to gangster-worship as a result of the country's unprecedented rise in murders - and the failure of the police to stem the tide.

    Venezuela, the world's fourth largest oil producer, has seen its murder rate triple after nine years of leadership by President Hugo Chavez. At least one person is murdered every 40 minutes and the government's own statistics show it now has one of the world's highest murder rates.

    The team visits one of Caracas's largest hospitals, where they are told by staff that between 80 and 90 per cent of the patients they treat have gunshot wounds. In spite of massive state revenues from oil, a senior doctor tells Elbagir that hospital facilities are bad and getting worse - and they don't have the capacity to deal with the constant influx of casualties.

    Investigating the causes for the huge rise in murders, the team gains unprecedented access to El Rodeo Uno, one of the most violent prisons in the world. Inside, they discover that the prisoners govern themselves. One inmate, a knife-wielding gang-member and self-appointed 'security guard', tells Elbagir he's witnessed around 500 of the 4000 murders that have taken place inside the prison itself.

    Outside the jail, the team visits entire neighbourhoods in Caracas where police presence is rare or non-existent, and illegal weapons are rife. The residents increasingly rely on the advice and protection of spirit mediums claiming to be possessed by the souls of criminal-saints. In one secretive ceremony, the crew films a teenage boy as he produces an automatic pistol to be blessed according to the rites of the gangster cult.

    The Venezuelan government tells Unreported World that crime is a capitalist problem - and that they have eliminated the causes of crime after nine years of socialist policies. 'In Venezuela,' the National Director of the Prevention of Crime tells Elbagir, 'there is no such thing as a nine-year-old criminal.'

  • Philippines

    Philippines' Dirty War

    Unreported World travels to the Philippines, where a war over control of the country's resources is raging between rich and poor.

    On one side are the 135 families who hold economic and political power in the country, supported by the government and military, and on the other an armed rebel group. Caught in the middle are students, activists and left-wing politicians - hundreds of whom have been killed or have disappeared without trace.

    Reporter Evan Williams and Director George Waldrum begin their journey in the remote northern highlands. After weeks of negotiations, they are allowed to travel to the camp of some of the Marxist rebels who have waged a 40-year civil war for a Communist state.

    Their leader, 'Simon' claims that left-wing leaders are being routinely eliminated by the state security services and that armed resistance is the only option. Many in the camp seem to be just teenagers - and the team watch as new recruits are put through weapons training.

    The team moves on to a village nearby, where the military are camped out. A local chief tells Williams that, after the village had protested against an international company exploring for gold nearby, the army had arrived with a list of groups alleged to be fronts for terrorist rebels, and had threatened local leaders. Williams finds the list tacked up on a building. It includes the anti-mining groups and other organisations working for the peasants.

    Moving on to the capital, Manila, the team meets Ghay Portajada who helps the families of those who have disappeared. She claims that since 2001 some 193 people have disappeared and more than 900 social activists have been assassinated.

    Ghay introduces the team to Nanny Chris, who is searching for her husband Abner. He was a lifelong activist working with poor farmers, who was abducted off the street by a group of men in camouflage and carrying M16 weapons. Nobody has heard anything since.

    The team also meets the family of Karen Empeno. Karen had been studying social reform at university and was interviewing farmers for her thesis when she was abducted two years ago. Sworn statements appear to suggest the military was responsible for her disappearance, but the family have met with a wall of silence.

    After tense negotiations, Williams is able to talk to one ex-army corporal, who claims there is a special group within the military that is specifically targeting civilians, suspected left-wing people and human rights workers. He claims they have a safe house inside a military camp where they bring detainees for interrogation and torture.

    The team meets a representative of the army's human rights division who says that the allegations that the military are behind the extrajudicial killings and disappearances are untrue. He tells Williams that there are some 'scallywags' in the military but that his team is coordinating with the department of justice to arrest members of the military accused of murder.

    Just as the Unreported World team is about to leave the country, they receive a call to meet up with Karen Empono's parents and a man who has come forward claiming he has seen their daughter.

    He claims he was in military custody when two girls were brought into the same camp. He says he could hear soldiers torturing the girls by beating their bodies, legs and chests, and that Karen was raped.

    Then the words that Karen's parents fear most: the man says he is almost certain Karen is dead - because the military told him that he and his brother were the only two left alive out of this current investigation.

    As Williams and Waldrum leave the Philippines, it seems that many more parents across the Philippines will be waiting in vain for their children to come home.

  • Paraguay

    Paraguay's Painful Harvest

    Paraguay has become one of the world's biggest suppliers of genetically modified soya - much of it destined to feed cattle that ends up on European plates. This episode of Unreported World reveals how our demand for meat is driving the industrial farming of soya to epic proportions.

    This industrial farming has led to violent clashes between peasants, foreign landowners and the police. And accusations have been levelled that insecticides sprayed on the crops are causing serious birth defects.

    Reporter Tanya Datta and director Andrew Carter begin their journey at a land invasion where hundreds of landless peasants take over part of a soya farm.

    The team discover that the protest is part of a nationwide peasant uprising, pitting ordinary Paraguayans against a wave of soya farmers - mainly Brazilian - who they claim are colonising their country, pushing people aside and contributing to the almost total deforestation of the eastern provinces.

    Nearby, the team meets Pedro Silva, a 71-year-old peasant who was shot five times by unknown assailants after he refused to sell his smallholding to a soya farmer. Two Brazilians are currently awaiting trial for attempted murder.

    The team moves on to the region of Ca'aguazu where locals are concerned that the intensive use of chemicals in soya farming is affecting their health. One man blames the soya farming for causing babies to be born with deformities, while a woman claims that many locals suffer from diarrhoea and vomiting due to the chemicals.

    The team discovers that two of the chemicals applied to soya plants in Paraguay are banned in Europe and decides to investigate further.

    Datta meets Roberto Gimenez. He tells her that his three-year-old son, Jesus, died after the soya fields around the family's home were sprayed with chemicals. The morning after the spraying Jesus had started to complain about irritation in his eyes. He developed a rash, then serious breathing problems. Eight days after the spraying he died.

    The team visits a paediatrics hospital on the outskirts of the capital, Asuncion. They meet Dr Stela Benitez, who tells Datta about her research into the link between birth defects and agricultural chemicals used in soya farming. Her work, which has been published in a respected American paediatrics journal, shows that mothers who live within a kilometre of a sprayed field were twice as likely to have a baby with a defect.

    Datta meets young mother Rosa, who grew up close to soya plantations, and her baby Sabino. He's one month old but his head is the size of a nine month old. He's suffering from a huge cyst which has stopped his brain from developing, making his chances of survival slim.

    To hear the other side of the story, the team talk to a prominent Brazilian soya farmer. Erni Schlindwein champions the use of the latest farming technology and GM crops. He says locals don't like the fact that foreigners are making a success of soya farming in Paraguay and that the chemicals used wouldn't harm a chicken.

    Paraguay has become reliant on soya and the global food business. With food prices increasing, the industry is going to become ever more important and powerful - and the harsh truth is that the global food business doesn't need peasant farmers.

  • Abkhazia

    Abkhazia: Valley of the Lost

    Fighting in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia grabbed the headlines in the summer of 2008. But Unreported World reveals that in Georgia's other breakaway republic, Abkhazia, a tragedy was secretly unfolding.

    Arriving in Abkhazia, reporter Aidan Hartley and director Alex Nott hear reports of fierce fighting taking place in the Kodori Gorge, high in the Caucasus mountains. After being forced back at checkpoints by militia commanders, the team talk their way onto a helicopter taking mainly Russian journalists on a government organised trip to the valley.

    From the air, the destruction is quickly apparent through the landscape of ruined, abandoned villages.

    Hartley and Nott manage to slip away from their minders and enter the deserted village of Ajara, where they find almost all of the houses ransacked and looted. Nearby villages have suffered the same fate, with virtually none of their inhabitants anywhere to be found.

    Heading south, it's clear that the bitter ethnic conflict which led to this latest outbreak of fighting and that has cost thousands of lives over the last decade, still continues. Georgians and Abkhazians lived side-by-side for centuries, but following the break-up of the Soviet Union, ethnic conflict broke out in the Abkhazia region of Georgia, home to Abkhazians as well as Georgians.

    Around 250,000 Georgians have since fled their homes. Attending one young Abkhaz soldier's funeral, a family member says they used to break bread with the Georgians - but then Georgians started attacking Abkhazians.

    Moving on to the capital, Sokhumi, Hartley asks the republic's president, Sergei Bagapsh, if ethnic cleansing of the Georgian residents of the Kodori Gorge has taken place. The president blames the Georgian leadership for the current conflict and says that Abkhaz forces had given people in the gorge three days' warning before fighting started.

    The team returns to the gorge to test the President's claims, driving through derelict towns that are reverting to forest.

    In a ransacked village called Chkhalta, an Abkhaz militia commander tells Hartley that all the Georgian civilians have fled into the forest. The team finds one elderly civilian who says they received no warning about the fighting and while her daughter and grandchildren had fled, her husband refused to leave. He tells Hartley that there are only ten people left from a population of 3,000.

    The team decides to travel back into Georgia and the town of Kutaisi, where they have heard that refugees have arrived from the Kodori Gorge. On arrival, they track down the elderly couple's granddaughter who tells them she is too afraid to return and that Georgians should not go back to Kodori Gorge.

    Hartley and Nott find another refugee whose ransacked house they had seen in the village. Tserediani claims that the Russians arrived in Kodori pretending to be peacekeepers but turned out to be their enemies, and had attacked them. His wife Tariel says they had virtually no time to escape and when the Russians saw their car lights they started shooting at them.

    As the Unreported World team leaves Georgia it's clear that the country has little money and no jobs to offer the refugees of Kodori. They face poverty while their rich farms turn to ruin back home. Kodori Gorge has become a frontline in the new Cold War.

  • India

    India: God's Own Country

    The popular South Indian tourist destination Kerala sells itself as 'God's own country'. It is home to hundreds of ashrams - spiritual retreats where thousands of pilgrims from India, Britain and the rest of the world seek salvation through a growing number of gurus. But, as this Unreported World reveals, Kerala's 3,000 'godmen' are facing allegations of varying degrees of seriousness - ranging from fraud to physical and sexual abuse.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and Producer Edward Watts begin their journey in Amritapuri, on India's south western coast. This is home to one of India's most famous - and richest - women. Amma is famous around the world because she blesses her followers by giving them a hug. It's estimated she has hugged 30 million people worldwide to date. Ten thousand devotees from many countries, including the UK, live in pink tower blocks at Amma's ashram, worshipping her as a living god.

    The ashram receives more foreign donations than any other organisation in Kerala - and is big business. However, officials tell Kleeman that most of the money is spent on charities and Amma's work does appear to be benevolent compared to other spiritual businesses the team investigates.

    Kleeman and Watts move on to Cochin, a popular stop on the tourist trail and home to a godman called Santosh Madhavan. Neighbours tell Unreported World that his guest house was recently raided by the police after one of his devotees claimed he'd cheated her out of thousands of pounds.

    After the raid, two young girls came forward to say Madhavan had sexually assaulted them. He has been charged and is currently in jail awaiting trial. The police tell Kleeman they fear there are many other corrupt godmen still at large in Kerala.

    Heading further north, Kleeman and Watts arrive in the town of Trichur. Here, a family of 'chathan' swamis claim they can harness the power of evil spirits to solve their followers' business and health problems - for a price. Devotees tell Kleeman they have spent hundreds of times the average daily wage in exchange for the godmen's help. The chathan's publicity brochure says they live very simple lives, but their family home seems far grander than the other houses the team have seen.

    Moving on to Calicut, the team meets Gopal Swami. He claims to be able to perform miracles, including curing the terminally ill and giving infertile couples children. But they hear disturbing reports about his methods.

    One man, fearful of revealing his identity, tells Kleeman he and his wife had spent months praying at Gopal Swami's temple after trying unsuccessfully for a baby for eight years. Eventually, he claims, the guru told his wife that she had a snake inside her and then kicked her three times in the stomach, with such force that she had to spend five days in hospital recovering.

    When the team tries to put these allegations to Gopal Swami, his minders threaten them, saying that unless they go away they will destroy the camera.

    Even though India is modernising, religion is still central to life in Kerala. As the economy booms, spirituality is being turned into big business - not just for Indians, but also for the spiritual tourists who visit. And it's clear that business that relies on this customer base of vulnerable and desperate people is open to abuse.

  • South Africa

    South Africa: Body Parts for Sale

    An eye-opening and horrifying investigation into 'Muti Murder' in South Africa.

    Despite the country's increasing modernisation, Unreported World reveals how hundreds of people, including children, have been killed for body parts destined for the booming practise of traditional medicine and talks to a `healer¿ who claims he tortures and kills people for his trade.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and producer James Brabazon begin their journey in the Eastern Cape. Eighteen people have been brutally murdered in a nine month period and, because the victims' body parts have been removed, the deaths have been blamed on Sangomas, traditional medicine healers.

    Nearly everyone the team speaks to knows someone who has been affected, and though the police have arrested 14 men, locals are convinced the masterminds are still at large.

    The team moves on to Limpopo province in the north of the country, where Muti murders are ravaging one of the country's poorest areas. Few people survive Muti attacks, but Navai finds one a woman who has. Nyelisani tells her that she played dead while her lips were being cut off to save her life after she had watched her boyfriend's mutilation and murder.

    And she's not the only local victim. Other villagers claim that a mother and a son were ritually killed - the son was found hanged, his intestines had been ripped out - and that a pregnant woman was found with her intestines and breasts removed to supply traditional healers with ingredients.

    South Africa is the continent's most developed state, but traditional medicine is still part of everyday life. Most of the people interviewed by the team say they visit Sangomas to treat illness or attract good fortune. One Sangoma, who says he does not use human body parts, tells Navai he treats more than 100 patients a week, half of whom have HIV or AIDS.

    In the local capital, Thohoyandou, the police captain tells Unreported World that the trade in body parts is big business. More horrifying still is the revelation that children are often sought out, as their body parts are believed to be more powerful.

    Back in Limpopo province, the team meets Fortune, a nine-year-old boy. His father tells Navai how his son was attacked and held down while his genitals were removed in a Muti assault. The assailant was caught the next day, most probably on his way to sell his Fortune's testicles on the booming body parts market in Johannesburg.

    Unreported World talks to one policeman who says the belief in Muti is so strong that some Sangomas have even killed their own children to increase their powers. Navai is shown photos of a Sangoma who allegedly butchered his son, arranging the child's head, hands and feet in front of him.

    Sangomas who use body parts rarely, if ever, speak about what they do. But the team manages to find one in a small village in Limpopo. He tells Navai that he has personally killed three people, taking the lips from one, the intestines from another and the genitals from the third. He explains that the victim needs to be alive when their bodies are mutilated and that if they are tortured in the process, their body parts become more powerful.

    Confirming what Unreported World has previously heard, the Sangoma claims that if he needed things to go successfully, he would do it to his own children or relatives.

    Navai and Brabazon leave the country having found compelling evidence that the number of ritual murder victims is growing. In South Africa, Muti killings and mutilations are now commonplace.

    Traditional healers who use human body parts promise health and good fortune - but the truth is this perversion of traditional medicine brings many desperate South Africans only fear and misery.

  • Kenya

    Kenya's Human Time Bomb

    Kenyan born reporter Aidan Hartley and director George Waldrum report from Kenya on the exploding population problem, one of the root causes of the country's recent violence.

    Kenya's population crisis may yet lead to the complete implosion of what has been Africa's most stable democracy. The link between terrible violence and the fact that the land just cannot sustain Kenya's growing numbers has gone almost unnoticed by the international media and NGOs.

    Hartley and Waldrum begin their journey in the Rift Valley, western Kenya, where long after the political agreement the killings go on. Much of the violence is driven by a land-hungry mass of frustrated young men who resort to crime rather than accept poverty and hunger. In the Rift Valley, the battle for land has spiralled out of control.

    Arriving at a smouldering village just hours after one massacre the team finds the bones and the skull of a small child who was burnt in the attack. Locals tell Hartley that 13 other people were slaughtered and the local police could do nothing as they were outnumbered by the attackers.

    The team visits the hospital where the survivors were taken. Hartley finds 10-year-old Miriam, whose mother was decapitated, and 12-year-old Emma, both with severe burns. The doctors are working overtime to save lives but cannot cope with their increasing number of patients. The ongoing conflict is stretching already severely limited facilities - as a result the two badly burned girls have to share a bed.

    The team moves on to a nearby slum where they find a school buckling under the weight of the population explosion. One class has 120 children and there's only one toilet for 1400 boys.

    A failure of family planning lies at the heart of the population crisis. Tradition and a lack of health care are the reasons why poor Kenyans are having large families - leading to an ecological collapse.

    In the rural area of the Rift Valley the team find one family that is the size of a small village. The river at the end of this family farm has now become nothing more than a trickle and the land has been sub-divided so many times between male offspring that it's now failing to support the family.

    Hartley negotiates access to one tribal militia group called the Saboat Land Defence Force or SLDF. No international journalists have filmed them before. This violent criminal gang based in the forests of Mount Elgon is reportedly responsible for more than 500 killings.

    The boys who make up the gang claim a lack of land and employment has led them to take up arms. They demonstrate their AK-47's and training in the undergrowth, vowing to fight the government to the death until their claims are recognized.

    Kenya is a country often described as a 'stable democracy'. But as the population rises and too many people draw on too few resources, Kenya's future looks uncertain.

  • Brazil

    Brazil: The Amazon's Golden Curse

    Unreported World travels to the heart of the Brazilian rainforest to reveal how some of the earth's most isolated people are being affected by the world's financial crisis, which is causing the price of gold to rise to record levels.

    As the price of gold rises, thousands of miners are illegally mining in remote territory set aside for the indigenous Yanomami people, who have had little contact with the outside world. The miners bring disease, alcoholism and prostitution, as well as ecological devastation. Reporter Jenny Kleeman and director Paul Kittel ask whether this gold rush could mean the Yanomami tribe die out completely.

    Kleeman and Kittel begin their journey in Boa Vista, still a thriving Amazon gold town, despite the 1992 ban on mining in the Yanomami Reserve that outlawed all gold mining in the region. Kleeman meets a miner who is currently working illegally in Yanomami territory. He says he can earn up to ten times the average monthly wage here, and has no other way support himself financially.

    The team accompanies the Brazilian Airforce on a mission into the Amazon in search of illegal mines. Flying just above the treetops, the crew spot a perilous landing strip cut into the jungle by wildcat miners. The Colonel promises to report the landing strip to the Federal Police.

    After an arduous trek through the jungle, they arrive in a remote Yanomami village where a third of the villagers recently contracted malaria. Miners had diverted the course of a nearby river, leaving it stagnant and attracting mosquitoes that caused the outbreak. If medical treatment had not arrived in time, the outbreak could have spread across the region and turned into an epidemic.

  • Benin

    Benin: Voodoo Children

    In the tiny West African country of Benin, voodoo is trapping thousands in poverty and causing some families to sell their children into slavery.

    Benin is the home of voodoo. The ancient animist belief was taken by slaves from this tiny West African state to Haiti and New Orleans. Benin is the only country in the world that officially recognises voodoo as a state religion, affording it the same national status as Christianity or Islam.

    But, as Unreported World reveals, voodoo is trapping thousands in poverty and causing some families to sell their children in to slavery.

    Seen by its adherents as traditional belief that connects them to their land, culture and ancestors, voodoo is a complex set of beliefs and obligations that, it is claimed, has helped enforce religious and social order for more than 4,000 years. However, as reporter Evan Williams and director James Brabazon discover, it is frequently perpetuated by threats, fear and even the kidnapping of young children.

    The team travel to Abomey, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey and a traditional centre for voodoo worship. Here they discover that children as young as two have been identified by priests as the next generation to be initiated into secret religious rites.

    Many are forced into voodoo 'convents' for expensive initiation ceremonies fuelled by animal sacrifices, and their impoverished parents must pay if they are ever to see their children again.

  • Gaza


    Unreported World travels across Israel, Gaza and the West Bank to discover whether Hamas's strategy is working despite Israeli assaults, a siege on Gaza and international isolation

  • Sudan

    Sudan: Meet the Janjaweed

    This report comes from Darfur, where the team secured unprecedented access to a key Arab armed group accused of being part of the infamous Janjaweed militia

  • Bangladesh

    Bangladesh: The Drowning Country

    A look at how flooding caused by climate change has made ten million homeless in Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest and most densely populated countries.

  • Russia

    Russia: Railway of Bones

    As Vladimir Putin prepares to hand Russia's presidency to his successor, reporter Sam Kiley travels deep into the country's Arctic north to examine his legacy.

  • Nicaragua


    In 2006 Nicaragua's government banned abortions in all cases. Unreported World reveals how this has led to an increase in dangerous backstreet abortions.

  • USA

    USA - The Devil's Highway

    The Sonora desert in Northern Mexico, one of the most hostile places on earth, is where thousands of migrants die a lonely death as they try to reach the USA

  • Egypt

    Egypt's Rubbish People

    A startling film exposing a dark side to Egypt: that of a secretive society of 40,000 people literally living in rubbish in a Cairo ghetto

  • Afghanistan

    Afghanistan: Never Mind the Taliban

    Reporter Kate Clark and director Tom Porter discover a fractured country and an economy dominated by the drugs trade. Commanders from the old Northern Alliance, some of who have been accused of human rights abuses, are in positions of power everywhere -- in the police, the parliament and controlling districts and provinces. This is the country that British soldiers are now dying to defend against the Taliban.

    Unreported World travels to northern Afghanistan where there is no threat from insurgents, and where the post-2001 democratic state is supposed to be safe and flourishing. Yet Kate Clark has to wear a burqa to get through areas where it is too dangerous to travel openly as a foreigner. The team finds a recently burned-down school. The culprits, claim local people, aren't Taliban, but local commanders angry with the NATO forces stationed in the province.

    The father of a child killed in an attack on NATO peacekeeping forces says civilians have no one to turn to -- commanders are powerful in the local administration and foreign peacekeepers are seen to be working with them.

    The team accompanies a police raid to an area that aid agencies deem too dangerous to visit. Two hundred police loyal to police chiefs who have been accused publicly of serious abuses by the UN have been sent to arrest two rogue commanders. They have started to fight each other in a local vendetta. Later, Clark and Porter manage to interview one of the commanders in custody. He says he was arrested because he's just a bit player in the drugs market. Those controlling the trade, he claims, are senior members of the police force with links going up to the heart of the Kabul government.

    Allegations of corruption are rife - a farmer growing opium poppy claims he has to pay 10 to 20% of the sale price to the local commander, who's also the district governor. An arms dealer says commanders from the old Northern Alliance are importing weapons, re-arming themselves and selling weapons to their old enemies the Taliban. The market, he says, is buoyant, because of the insurgency in the south and because there is serious money to be made.

    The team returns to Kabul to try to find answers about the parlous state of the provinces, but the rot appears to be at the heart of the new state. A disgruntled policeman and former foot soldier with the Northern Alliance shows the palaces that commanders and cabinet ministers have built on government land. Another man, who survived a massacre carried out by factional forces during the civil war, warns us not to broadcast his interview on Afghan television. 'I'd be killed for talking to you,' he says. The team meets a woman MP in her 20s who, almost alone, has publicly criticised the warlords. Her bravery has made her a magnet for those wanting to complain about abuses, but has meant she is subject to constant death threats.

    To Afghan civilians it looks like the Northern Alliance did well out of the 2001 US invasion. However, one of the old factional leaders said they were unhappy with the level of foreign aid and the way they had been disarmed. He warned they could re-mobilise swiftly and were fully capable of kicking out the foreign forces, as they had kicked out the British and the Soviets.

  • Bolivia

    Bolivia: Anarchy in the Andes

    A report on Bolivia's indigenous peoples, who are exercising political power for the first time since the Spanish conquest. The situation is now threatening to escalate into armed ethnic conflict.

    Bolivia's indigenous peoples are exercising their political power following the election of President Evo Morales. But his pledge to redistribute land and resources in a country where 7% of the population own 90% of the land has rapidly led to confrontation between whites and indigenous groups.

    Reporter Hamida Ghafour and producer Ed Watts begin their journey in Cochabamba, which is the centre of the country, and the dividing line behind the two competing cultures - white descendants of Spanish colonialists and indigenous Bolivian tribes.

    More than 2000 police officers and soldiers are stationed in the town following a demonstration by indigenous groups against the regional governor alleged to be biased against them. One local claims that a peaceful protest turned into a street battle when police allowed white militants to descend on the demonstrators. An indigenous farmer was killed and a white teenager strangled, slashed with machete and then left hanging in the street.

    The team visit the teenager's family. They tell Ghafour that the whole family were out on the streets because they were angry that so many indigenous people were marching through their city. They say that the President is only interested in looking after the indigenous peoples and is dividing the country in two.

    Ghafour and Watts move on to El Alto, the slum district of La Paz that is home to 800,000 indigenous Bolivians and a power base for President Morales. Javier Limanche, President of the Residents' Association, tells them that now the indigenous groups finally have power they want their share of the country's natural resources. And he threatens violence if the whites who control these resources stand in their way. The foreigners - as he calls them - will have to be kicked out of the country.

    This is no idle threat. In Achicaci, the team meet members of the Ponchos Rojos - the armed wing of the indigenous revolutionary movement. Their leader, Roberto de Quespe, says that he can call on 90,000 members to defend the rights of the indigenous people against their white oppressors.

    To get the other side of the story, the team travel to Santa Cruz, and the centre of the country's oil and gas reserves. Ghafour attends a meeting of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee, a powerful political movement backed by landowners and business leaders. Their newly elected leader tells Unreported World that the people of Santa Cruz want more control over the money and resources their region produces. The movement claims to be peaceful, but Ghafour finds that a quasi-fascist movement blamed for attacks on local indigenous people is based in the same offices. A human rights activist, Dr Aldaberto Rojas, claims that the big landowners in Santa Cruz are arming themselves, hiring mercenaries and trying to provoke a civil war.

    Back in the old capital, Sucre, a constituent assembly is attempting to write a new constitution for the country. But after six months, the two ethnic groups have been unable to agree on a single article. As Ghafour and Watts leave the country, it's unclear what will happen next, but the most likely outcome is yet more suffering for the poorest members of society.

  • Central Africa

    Central Africa: Genocide's Children

    Reporter Sam Kiley travels to Central Africa's Great Lakes region to reveal that extremist Hutu groups behind the murder of a million people in less than 100 days in Rwanda now hold bloody control over an area the size of Belgium.

    Once known as the Interahamwe, or 'those who kill together', the militia who carried out the Rwandan genocide now call themselves the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). But, as Unreported World reveals, their methods are still brutal and they are being blamed for a pandemic of rape.

    The team begin their journey in Bunyakiri, in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is now controlled by the Hutu militia. Since 2005, more than 1000 women in the town have reported being abducted and raped by militia men living in the forests. They tell Kiley that after the trauma of the rape and then escaping, they have been rejected by their families.

    It quickly becomes clear that these rapes form just the tip of an iceberg. The team moves on to a hospital in South Kivu province, which has recorded 4500 rapes this year, most of them blamed on the militia.

    Kiley and Watts then trek deep into the mountains in South Kivu to meet the leaders of the FDLR. The camp is bizarre: no women, no children but well-run with gardens and decent food. The FDLR leaders lay on a military drill, telling Kiley that they will return in triumph to their homeland of Rwanda, and it's clear that these militia leaders are indoctrinating young soldiers with hatred for Tutsis - the logic of mass murder.

    These suspicions are confirmed by deserters from the Interahamwe who admit, once safe from their senior officers, that they were drilled on what to say and think, faced execution for wanting to return home to Rwanda, and lived by looting ordinary Congolese civilians of their meagre rations.

    Meanwhile, another conflict is brewing in North Kivu, where local Tutsi warlord Laurent Nkunda has pulled his men out of the government army. Nkunda claims that the Hutu militia continue to pose a mortal threat to his Tutsi tribesmen.

    But, as Unreported World shows, while this fear might be justified Nkunda is now fighting the government forces and the team films UN peace keepers desperately trying to keep the two sides apart.

    In the regional capital Goma, the Congolese defence minister Chikez Diemu tells Kiley that the Rwandan Government is using Nkunda in a proxy war - an allegation that looks to be well-founded when Kiley discovers two teenagers who say that they were recruited in Rwanda to fight with Nkunda.

    And today, in this war-torn country where four million have perished in the last decade, the population - some of whom have been refuges twice before - are set to endure another cycle of violence in the civil war Rwanda has exported to the Congo.

  • China

    China's Olympic Lie

    When it won the Olympic bid, China promised to improve its human rights record. Instead, Unreported World reveals, things have got worse. In a world exclusive, reporter Aidan Hartley and producer Andrew Carter film inside one of Beijing's 'black jails' - which the authorities deny exist - with ordinary people inside, suffering the consequences of fighting eviction to make way for Olympic infrastructure.

    China has spent £19 billion on the Olympic sites, but this figure represents a fraction of the money that has gone into one of the swiftest and most radical urban redevelopment schemes in all of human history. Some 5000 old neighbourhoods, or hutongs, have been bulldozed to make way for avenues of high-rises and up to 1.5 million people have been forcibly relocated. Although many are happy to receive compensation and relocation to new apartments, the eviction packages are not negotiable and many who refuse to move have suffered terrible consequences.

    Everywhere the team travels in Beijing they meet desperate and angry ordinary Chinese, many of them elderly, who have been beaten, threatened and intimidated by developers and government officials who warn: 'The sooner you leave the more you win, the longer you leave it the worse you will suffer'.

    Unreported World films one family living in a 'nail house', so-called because it sticks out from the flattened landscape like a nail, and must be banged down flat. Liu Feng Chi had fought eviction for five years but died in August. His widow and her mentally handicapped son now live in a home, half-demolished despite a court order forbidding the eviction to go ahead. The police break up her husband's funeral to 'preserve public order', and for weeks afterwards they surround her home, preventing her from going ahead with the ceremony.

    And it's not just those protesting about eviction who are targeted. Chinese citizens are legally allowed to travel to the capital to present claims such as dispossession of their property and corruption cases to the state. Unreported World interviews many of them who've ended up living on the streets, sleeping rough in the subways, all of them desperate.

    Now the authorities have ordered provincial officials to get rid of these unsightly hordes because they spoil the image of the Olympic city. Many of them have ended up in 'black jails', which exist entirely outside Chinese law, but are run with the collusion of the state.

    In never-before-seen footage, the team gains access to one 'black jail' and interviews inmates, including the elderly and disabled. Many of them tell Hartley that they have been beaten - one of them cannot even walk. They are being held 20 or 30 to a room, sometimes for several weeks.

    However, filming is cut short when a dozen guards turn up, attacking the crew and smashing their camera before detaining them for six hours.

    When Unreported World asks city and Olympics officials to comment on these extraordinary scenes of suppression, they claim to have no knowledge of what is taking place. As the team leaves the country, it's clear that for those most affected by the games, the Olympic slogan of 'One World, One Dream' is more of a nightmare.

  • China

    Chongqing: Invisible City

    Little known outside China, Chongqing is the world's fastest growing city. Set to become a super city and home to 20 million by 2020, the government is spending billions building its infrastructure. But, as this edition of Unreported World reveals, China's economic boom comes at the expense of tens of millions of workers and dispossessed farmers.

    Forty kilometres outside Chongqing, reporter Ramita Navai and director Nick Sturdee begin their journey amongst the cranes and new buildings and that stretch for as far as the eye can see. Over the last seven years, the Government has spent a staggering 114 billion pounds on roads, bridges and dams to turn an area two thirds the size of England into a vast transport and manufacturing hub at the centre of the country.

    Chongqing is being built on the back of migrant labour. More than 50% of the city's population are migrants and half-a-million new labourers are drawn to it every year. But, as Unreported World highlights, these migrants are forced to endure years of cramped living conditions with no employment rights at all.

    Navai visits one apartment block and finds more than 40 men crammed into one flat, with 20 sleeping in just one room. They tell her that while they earn three times what they would in the countryside they're still too poor for their families to join them. If they're lucky they'll see their wives and children a couple of times a year.

    And their lack of rights means they are easily exploited by the factory owners. Navai meets one group of workers who have been demonstrating for 20 days. They claim that they are owed money and have been thrown out of their jobs and homes without compensation, and tell Navai that if the government doesn't act, mass anger cannot be stopped. Before they can film any more, the team are detained by the local police, anxious to prevent the outside world seeing pictures of the demonstration.

    As well as factory workers, farmers are also suffering as the government evicts them from the land they are farming, often without the compensation to which they are legally entitled. When they protest, the farmers are sometimes beaten.

    One female farmer, Yu Shu Rong, tells the team that the state had taken her land without any compensation; when she and her husband protested, they were severely beaten by security guards. Another group of villagers claim that when they protested against being thrown out of their houses, they too were beaten up, and the developers then bulldozed their crops to force them to move on.

    The power and confidence of the developers is illustrated shortly afterwards. While speaking to local farmers, the team are prevented from filming by two "security officials" whom the villagers claim are the same individuals who had beaten a group of elderly women for refusing to sign over their land to the developers.

    Hundreds of millions of migrant labourers and farmers are now being directly affected by China's development. Social unrest has rocketed with tens of thousands of protests involving millions of people and, as Unreported World concludes, unless the government starts taking account of them, the country could be heading for a crisis.

  • Colombia

    Colombia: Cocaine City

    Reporter Hamida Ghafour and producer James Brabazon travel to one of the strangest, wildest cities on earth - Buenaventura, on Colombia's Pacific coast.

    There is little running water or electricity in Buenaventura and housing is so scarce that people have constructed whole neighbourhoods of shacks built on stilts. Yet, over the last two years violent, death has become an everyday fact in this city of around 300,000 people. Everyone is affected - almost everyone has lost someone.

    Initially, people are too frightened to talk to the team, but with the help of Father Ricardo, a local Catholic priest, Ghafour begins to uncover what's behind the violence and the rules by which people in the city must live.

    The team is told that this rundown backwater is at the centre of the Colombian cocaine trade, controlled with private armies by the cartels who make millions of dollars shipping their drugs to America.

    Each neighbourhood is controlled either by Colombia's rightwing paramilitaries or groups associated with the left wing guerrilla organisation FARC. Each demands total obedience and any transgression is punished with death.

    Father Ricardo's church is a sanctuary and frightened women tell Ghafour how in the FARC areas they must even leave their doors open at night so that guerrilla fighters can move through their homes at will. Many have lost sons. One woman, whose son helps Father Ricardo run the church, takes Ghafour to meet his family. But within minutes the local FARC commanders arrive, angry that filming was taking place without their permission.

    The gunmen reveal that their job - and the job of the rival paramilitaries - is to keep open security corridors that run from the jungle through Buenaventura's waterways and out into the ocean. Colombia's drug cartels use these routes for the bulk of the cocaine that goes to the USA, bringing the drugs from jungle factories and transferring it to boats and ships.

    The cartels pay FARC and the paramilitaries vast sums for this safe passage. With shipments worth tens of millions of dollars regularly moving through the city's waterways the gunmen demand unquestioning cooperation from the city's population. One recently apprehended cartel boss was arrested carrying $80m in cash.

    Ghafour travels to the coastguard's headquarters. Amongst an array of recently captured speed boats she discovers two large submarines. In the last two years, the coastguard has captured fifteen submarines, built in workshops deep inside the jungle.

    The team investigates the efforts the authorities are making to regain control of the city, but find them to be largely ineffectual. The success of US-backed anti-drug operations elsewhere in Colombia mean the ordinary people of this impoverished city are now being enveloped by a flood of cocaine, with all the violence and corruption it brings, as the cartels entrench themselves around the city.

  • Congo: Magic, Gangs & Wrestlers

    Wrestlers are superstars in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In this vast and troubled country, wrestling is a passion, allowing fans to forget the poverty, violence and ongoing civil war for the duration of a bout.

    Contests are televised and reported on the sports pages and attract thousands of fans.

    In the capital, Kinshasa, Unreported World reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Wael Dabbous find some of the superstars of the sport practising 'black magic', and uncover allegations that many fighters are involved in gang violence and political intimidation.

    Like other countries where wrestling is popular, there's a tradition in Congo of fighters wearing masks and customised costumes.

    But alongside the theatrics common to wrestling elsewhere, Congo's version has incorporated the belief in black magic, or fetishe, which is genuinely feared by many.

    The film begins with an amazing scene. Rhodes and Dabbous visit a wrestling match in Kinshasa to watch Congo's champion wrestler, Nanga Steve, taking on Super Angaluma, a fetishe wrestler famed for using black magic to defeat his opponents.

    The street bout is held in a ring surrounded by hundreds of spectators, many of them young men. To the crowd's delight Super Angaluma uses fetishe to try and defeat Nanga Steve, sacrificing a chicken to help him unlock supernatural powers.

    Despite this, in a classic denouement, good triumphs over evil and Nanga Steve is victorious.

    In this city of eight million people - the third largest in Africa - Steve and the other star wrestlers aren't just celebrities: they're figures of power and influence.

    Steve tells Rhodes that some wrestlers are major forces in gangs called 'Kuluna' that are terrorising the city. While some fighters like him are celebrities, others struggle to make a living, which he says explains the attraction of the gangs.

    The team also meets Armand Lingomo, a veteran wrestler who's watched as his sport has become entangled in criminality and Congo's violent politics.

    Rhodes and Dabbous investigate allegations that the government uses gangs of wrestlers and other combat sportsmen to crush opposition protests. A local cameraman shows them footage of sportsmen, including a champion wrestler, physically assaulting opposition MPs during a crucial debate.

    The team also meets one of the most famous Congolese wrestlers, called Zombi. At his large house he boasts of his riches and influence. Zombi takes Rhodes to his power base in an area known as 'The Kingdom of Zombi'.

    Here the team find a dedicated group of young followers - would-be wrestlers - who regard him as their 'master'. Zombi reveals this group is in fact 'Kuluna' but denies they are criminals.

    However, it's clear that he has a huge amount of control over them as he hands them cash. Critics from the political opposition allege this money comes from the government, keen to buy the gang's loyalty. Zombi denies this.

    As well as champion fighters, the gang has someone who further intimidates their rivals - a fetisheur. This sorcerer tells Rhodes 'I give them magical medicines so they can demonstrate their strength, cut off their opponent's head, drain their blood and pull out their intestines.'

    The team find the huge popularity of wrestling has spawned violent and dangerous gangs. But the sport also provides a way for millions of people to escape the violence and poverty of everyday life.

  • East Timor

    East Timor: Birth of a Nation

    Eight years on from East Timor's bloody split from Indonesia, one of the world's youngest democracies is being ravaged by widespread gang violence and disorder as an Australian-led UN force tries desperately to keep the peace.

    Unreported World reveals that elements of the rebel group who spent more than 20 years fighting the Indonesian army are threatening to restart their armed resistance, putting the future viability of the fledgling state of Timor into doubt.

    Reporter Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and producer Nick Sturdee arrive in Timor just as the presidential elections are hotting up. Busloads of youths supporting the various parties are careering round the island, and police clad in full combat gear are trying to keep them apart. The Unreported World team is on hand as two groups of youths clash, stoning each other before the army manage to separate them.

    Election-campaigning in East Timor reveals more serious threats to the UN plan. A shooting in downtown Dili, the capital, ruffles the contingent of UN police, who worry this may be part of a plan to disrupt elections. The team travels to an Indonesian border police camp where they are told that a cache of weapons recently stolen from a police station were allegedly seized by a group of renegade soldiers, which the Australian military has sworn, and failed, to capture. Obaid-Chinoy and Sturdee run the gauntlet of checkpoints and Black Hawks to reach the mountain heartland of the rebels. Their leader has fled to Indonesia, but the soldiers on the ground say they are willing to wage a guerrilla war against the government who they see as having betrayed the victory of independence and the interests of the Timorese people, and against the international forces keeping the peace.

    Back in Dili, it's Easter Sunday, and at the Catholic Cathedral priests are calling for calm. Their fears of the effects of the violence are well founded. Obaid-Chinoy visits a camp for internally displaced people beside the cathedral. Scores of aid agencies serve the needs of the astonishing 50% of Dili's population that have fled their homes. Most of them are now living in camps for internally displaced people. Those in the camps tell the team that they've been forced out by turf wars between the numerous gangs controlling the various neighbourhoods in the capital. Anyone connected with an opposing gang can be beaten, slashed with a machete or killed when they're caught.

    In the absence of a national police force, life on the street in Dili is ruled by jobless young men, caught up in turf wars between neighbourhood gangs and two 'super gangs' - 7/7 and Sacred Heart. Obaid-Chinoy is taken on a clandestine drive throughout Dili to meet up with the 'master' of 7/7, Salomea. He admits his gang have been involved in killings, and tells her that his men use magic to make themselves invisible and invincible.

    The UN is aware of the problems, and has been here before. But for the mission chief Atul Khare, the very fact of an election is proof enough that progress has been made. People who have experienced the terror of eviction and machete attacks tell Unreported World that they believe otherwise. The scene of another shooting, to which the team travels with Khare, emphasises the point. The police chief then hunts down gang members, brandishing his shotgun as he sweeps through a banana plantation. But, as with much of the international community's effort, the results seem to be intangible. As Obaid-Chinoy is told by a 7/7 gang-member on the scene, they can gather their weapons for the next attack regardless.

  • Gang members posing for the camera

    Guatemala: City of the Dead

    Hours after landing in Guatemala City, reporter Ramita Navai and director Sam Farmar arrive at the scene of bloody execution-style killing of five members of the same family. The youngest victim is seven, and all have had their throats slit. A policeman tells Navai that it is probably a gangland killing over a personal vendetta, debt, drugs or because the family has not paid protection money to a gang.

    The following day the team accompany the security forces on a foot patrol into a gang-controlled area of the city. It's usually a no-go area for them and the patrol includes 50 soldiers and 30 policemen because the area is deemed so dangerous. This danger becomes obvious as Navai and Farmar head into another gang-controlled area to try and speak to gang members. Gang lookouts spot them and start shooting at them, forcing the team to flee immediately.

    The team then travel to Palin, an hour from Guatemala City, to see how locals threatened by gangs have taken the law into their own hands. A community leader tells them that he has set up a 250-strong vigilante patrol or 'protection group' to keep gangs out of the area. He claims that before, things were so bad that all boys over 13 had to pay protection money and all girls over 13 years had to pay a rape tax to the gangs to ensure that they weren't killed or raped. After beating up all the local gang members and lynching three of them, the community is now one of the safest districts of Guatemala.

    Navai talks to stallholders at a local market who have hired a group called the Avenging Angels to take on the gangs. The man who hired them claims that they kill four to five people in the market every week.

    Lynchings are becoming increasingly common and the team are shown shocking footage of one event where two people accused of stealing children were dragged in front of the town hall beaten severely with rocks and then burnt to death in front of a crowd of 3000 people. As well as these public lynchings, local officials tell Unreported World that up to 75 bodies a month are turning up multilated and with anti-gang messages pinned to them in what appears to be a campaign of 'social cleansing'.

    The team arrange another meeting with members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang in a safer location, at a park. They claim that, over the past eight months, up to a hundred of their friends have been taken away by the police in the middle of the night, tortured, mutilated and then killed with their bodies dumped around the city.

    Navai arranges a meeting with the national chief of police to put these accusations to him. He tells her that over the past year he has had to kick out 1200 policemen who were involved in extortion, homicide and other criminal acts. He tells her that it's possible that members of a Police Investigations Unit could have been involved in the social cleansing of gang members.

    The violence continues to spiral out of control, with more and more bodies piling up in the morgue.

  • Guinea Bissau

    Guinea Bissau: Cocaine Country

    Unreported World reports from Guinea Bissau in West Africa, and reveals the astonishing extent to which Colombian drugs traffickers have taken advantage of one of the world's poorest countries and turned it into the main transit point for hundreds of tons of cocaine smuggled into Europe every year.

    With chronic poverty, rampant corruption and almost no police or customs, the Colombians have virtually 'bought' the country, flooding it with drugs money and creating Africa's first 'narco-state'.

    Reporter Kate Seelye and producer Edward Watts begin their journey in the country's run-down capital, Bissau. Traveling at night and trying to avoid the ubiquitous armed security guards, the team is shown several mansions owned by Colombian drug dealers who are using Guinea Bissau as a warehouse - storing the drugs until they are distributed to various destinations in Europe.

    Much of the cocaine is flown into the Bijagos islands - just off the coast - and the team travel to one island in particular, Bubaque, which has an old, Portuguese-built airfield that they've been told regularly receives flights from Colombia carrying massive amounts of cocaine.

    The last journalist who tried to film the airfield was arrested and beaten, so Seelye and Watts have to stay undercover, posing as game fishers. They find the runway, which is several kilometers long. One local tells them that many villagers are involved in the operations, helping to unload the drugs to earn money. He also claims that the police are protecting the operation and that government officials often turn up to collect crates of cocaine.

    Back in Bissau, the team meets a local human rights activist, in hiding after he received death threats when he accused the authorities of cooperating with the traffickers. Mario claims that he has information proving that the authorities are cooperating with the traffickers and tells Seelye that for foreigners to come in with hundreds of kilos of cocaine, buy large mansions and move freely around the city they must be receiving some kind of official protection.

    To check out his claims, the team makes contact with someone inside the secret services. He tells Unreported World that because of the poverty of the country, everyone is involved in drug trafficking - from businessmen through to government ministers, the military and the police. He says that with so much money at stake, different branches of the military are likely to fight over the spoils and an already failed state could fracture even further.

    The team arranges an interview with Prime Minister Martinho Ndafa Cabi who tells them that fighting drugs is priority, but, that as a fragile country with no resources, Guinea Bissau needs help from the international community to fight this growing problem. However, Unreported World shows that while the anti-drugs chief struggles to work without any usable vehicles, many government officials are traveling around in the latest Mercedes limousines.

    As the team leaves West Africa, it's clear that without intervention Guinea Bissau faces a future as a state effectively run by the narco-traffickers, and that Europe will be flooded with ever more cocaine.

  • Jamaica

    Guns, Votes and Money

    While tourist brochures show smiling locals living in paradise, Unreported World reveals a country where 30% of the population are trapped in crime-ridden slums, and uncovers allegations that political parties are arming and funding violent gangs in return for votes.

    Reporter Evan Williams and producer James Brabazon begin their journey in Kingston, where about a million people live in, or near, the 'garrisons' - the slums in the centre of the capital. Barricades mark the territories between violent gangs and a wrong turn can be a death sentence.

    They're taken to one of the most notorious garrisons - Majesty Gardens - by a local fixer who says if he wasn't with them, they'd be shot in minutes. Williams and Brabazon are quickly surrounded by angry, young gang members who tell them the men can't leave the area as they risk being shot by rival gangs. Alongside them, youngsters play in open sewers and the Unreported World team is told how most of these kids' fathers are dead. Astonishingly, Majesty Gardens is part of the Prime Minister's constituency.

    The team is then taken to a garrison in the area of Spanish Town, again facing the very real risk that they'll be attacked if gang members think they may be police informers. They've arranged to meet 'Father' Pedley, a key figure in the One Order gang which now controls the area after a gang war which cost seven hundred lives.

    Pedley claims that many of Jamaica's politicians are in league with the gangs - handing them government contracts for jobs such as sanitation and lighting in return for the gangs delivering votes. That night, Unreported World films other members of the One Order gang who have defected to the government and claim that the youth wing of the governing party regularly brings the gang food, ammunition and weapons in return for votes.

    Williams meets up with the Jamaican finance minister, Omar Davies, as his convoy passes through gang checkpoints and into a ghetto in his constituency called Angola. He says that some politicians do make deals with the gangs to 'enforce order'.

    But it's not just the gangs who kill to 'enforce order'. Per head of population the police kill more people in Jamaica than almost anywhere else in the world - more than 155 people so far this year. Williams witnesses the immediate aftermath of a police shooting, where locals tell him that the police execute gang members instead of arresting them.

    As the team leaves Jamaica, the country's political parties begin gearing up for a general election. Yet, all the signs are that in a country crippled by one of the highest murder rates in the world the politicians seem more concerned with holding on to power than doing anything to end the terrible violence that is trapping so many Jamaicans in despair and poverty.

  • Haiti

    Haiti: Showdown in Sun City

    A shocking report from Haiti, where the Unreported World team is given exclusive access to accompany UN troops, who face a daily battle to take back control of Cite Soleil (Sun City) from the armed gangs that have turned the country's capital into one of the most unstable places on Earth.

    The UN stabilisation mission was drafted in to restore security after President Aristide was violently forced out of office in 2004. But the violent battle they face and the danger to civilians is apparent as soon as they arrive in Cite Soleil to be confronted by a gun battle between UN troops and gang members. The importance of the anti-gang operation is brought home by one resident, Rosemary, who tells the team that she's been raped by the gangs. Her husband, son and daughter have all been shot and killed amid gang warfare and her family home has also been destroyed.

    Civilians are also being killed in the deadly crossfire. Another resident, Dario, tells Jordan that just four days previously, his nine year old son had been shot dead. Now he has to walk his seven year old daughter Selena to school every day. But even at school she's not safe. The previous week, the gangs used a building right next door to the school to ambush the UN troops in a gun battle.

    Jordan and Barnwell join a group of heavily armed UN troops on a night-time mission to try to retake an area of the slum. The soldiers are expecting heavy fire from the gangs. They've fortified their armoured personnel vehicles with sandbags to try and deflect bullets, but they still face a nervous night as they inch through the alleyways of the slum.

    Nervous local residents tell the team that they're worried that the presence of the UN at such close quarters would ratchet up the violence there even further. Their fears seem justified; Jordan is told that there have been casualties during another night-time operation and rushes to the scene to find the horribly mutilated bodies of two little girls aged four and six inside a shack. Their father, Mercius, claims that UN soldiers, firing from armoured vehicles nearby, killed them.

    In response, the UN says that gang members are unscrupulous in using women and children as human shields, directly and purposely drawing fire onto them. But it's impossible to tell what really happened that night. It's a no-go area for police, there's no rule of law and nobody to investigate the killings. As the news spreads, the team join a crowd peacefully demonstrating against the killings. But suddenly there's chaos as UN troops fire tear gas and plastic bullets into the crowd, one of which hits Barnwell.

    After spending time with the UN, the team decide to speak to gang leaders to get their side of the story. After several days of negotiation they are given permission to enter the Bellacu area, run by a gang lord called Amaral, who's had pits dug in the road to stop UN vehicles entering his turf. He tells Unreported World that he helps the local community and that the UN is making accusations against him because of his power. Only God has the right to judge him, he says.

    On the team's last day in Haiti, the UN launches its biggest operation yet - against another gang leader, Evens. Jordan and Barnwell ride with the troops during a twelve-hour gun battle before the UN captures Evens' base. But just as the Unreported Team arrive at the base, there's an eruption of automatic gunfire and they're caught in an ambush and another vicious gun battle. Back at their base following the battle, UN commanders ponder a mixed result, while the local people look ahead to another night of terror.

  • Honduras

    Honduras: War on Children

    Honduras has become one of the world's most dangerous countries to grow up in. Every day, the papers are full of images of children who have been found with their arms tied behind their backs and shot in the base of the skull. Unreported World reveals the shocking claim that police are carrying out hundreds of executions of children and the government is doing little about it.

    Honduras is a tiny country of seven million people, yet hundreds of thousands of children have to fend for themselves. Living on the streets and begging for food, they are blamed for a rising crime wave. Risking rape, beatings and scavenging to survive, they now face an even greater danger: death squads allegedly cleaning the streets.

    Reporter Jenny Kleeman and producer George Waldrum begin their journey at a dump on the outskirts of the capital, Tegucigalpa. Dozens of children are scavenging, climbing up into the garbage trucks to find anything they can sell to buy food or the glue and paint thinner they sniff.

    In parts of Honduras, family life has broken down. Fathers are often away, working illegally in the US and within families and there are high levels of physical and sexual abuse. Many children have left home and joined gangs. At night they congregate in some of the most dangerous parts of capital, not sure if they'll survive unscathed until the morning.

    At a local shelter, most of the children interviewed by Unreported World claim they've seen other children brutally murdered in front of them. Menin Capellin, who runs the shelter, says that many of these deaths look like executions; with children shot in the back of the head, their hands bound, and sometimes evidence they've been tortured. He claims that 90% of the time, it's the police that are responsible and while it might not be official policy to murder young, poor children, it's tacitly accepted as is indicated by the fact that these deaths are not properly investigated and are allowed to continue.

    The team moves on to the Aldea Nueva Suyapa district, where 16 children have been murdered recently. Ten-year-old Eddie tells Kleeman how he watched someone cut the throat of his best friend Dayron in broad daylight. A local man has been convicted of some of the killings, and at his trial the court was told that some businessmen hired him to get rid of problem children. But, none of them have ever been found.

    The team is again told that the police may have been behind some of the killing and Kleeman makes contact with the former chief of the Police Internal Affairs Unit, Maria Luisa. Maria says that when she tried to investigate police involvement in the executions she lost her job, received death threats and someone tried to shoot her husband on their doorstep.

    Maria Luisa claims that documents reveal the existence of a death squad called Los Magnificos inside the police force. High-ranking officers allegedly gave the squad lists of people, including children, they wanted killed. And she alleges that there is a conspiracy of silence to cover up the police involvement going right up to the President himself.

    Unreported World puts these allegations to the Chief of Police, Escoto Salinas. He denies that it's an unofficial state policy, saying he has no idea where we this information has come from and doesn't know anything about the allegations. He says the police investigate these crimes rather than carrying them out.

    Adults may be right to fear some children, but as Unreported World leaves Honduras, no one seems to be offering any solution in this terrible conflict between the country's generations.

  • India

    India's Hidden War

    Reporter Sandra Jordan and director James Brabazon begin their journey at a giant steel plant in Raipur, capital of Chhattisgarh State. Just weeks before, Maoist rebels known as Naxalites had attacked the company's mines in the nearby jungle.

    The team head deep into the 'Red Corridor', a 100,000 square kilometre tract of land which is infiltrated by the Naxalites. It is this ancestral land that the Naxalites claim the state is trying to take from the tribal villagers and hand it over to big corporations to develop.

    Over the last year, more than 100,000 people in the area have been forced out of their homes and into displacement camps. Their villages have been attacked, their homes burned by both the rebels and by the government-backed militia called Salwa Judum, which is headed by one of the state's most powerful politicians.

    Salwa Judum translates as 'peace mission', but at a mass rally deep in the jungle the team film armed Salwa Judum officials interrogating villagers as its leader threatens the crowd to give up suspected rebels.

    Unreported World travels to an abandoned village where they find a few remaining people, living in desperation. They claim that Salwa Judum officials had come there, ordered them out and burnt their homes. A local Salwa Judum member confirms that they believe that anyone who remains in these villages is a Maoist sympathiser.

    But even the displacement camps are not safe for the villagers. At one camp, a squalid home to more than 4000 people, inhabitants tell Jordan that Maoists had attacked them a few weeks before, burning more than 300 shelters and killing 32 people.

    The team make contact with the Maoists and arrange a rare meeting. After a four-day trek through the jungle, passing devastated villages and rivers polluted by mining effluent, they arrive at a rebel camp. Local villagers claim Salwa Judum members have committed terrible atrocities against them with the aim of forcing them off the land so that it can be opened up for development.

    One of the rebels' top commanders arrives to meet them. A university graduate, 'Ganesh' tells Unreported World that they are protecting the tribal villagers against big corporations - corporations supported by the state - who are forcing them from their ancestral land in order to plunder its mineral wealth. He refuses to apologise to the victims of attacks by the Naxalites, saying it is in the nature of war, and that their armed struggle will continue.

    Any resolution seems unlikely. Back in the city of Kanka, the team interviews the commander of the local government police training school, who tells Unreported World that the state is training the security forces to fight more like the Maoists and to come down on them 'like a tonne of bricks'.

  • India

    India: The Broken People

    India may have a booming economy with a soaring stock exchange, and fast growing technology and services sector, but Unreported World reveals a much more unpleasant sector of this dynamic society.

    Reporter Ramita Navai and producer Siobhan Sinnerton travel through India exposing the horrific plight of the country's 170 million Dalits - literally, 'the broken people' - and previously known as 'the untouchables', they are at the bottom of India's caste system and are some of the most oppressed people on Earth.

    Economic growth has done little to improve the Dalits' lot. Despite legislation, they still form 60% of all those below the poverty line in India. Now, as Unreported World reports, Dalits are starting to fight for political power in an Indian civil rights movement against segregation every bit as bad as apartheid in South Africa, and in the American South of the 1950s.

    The team begin their journey with Dalits who are manual scavengers - a polite term for those whose role in life is to clean latrines by hand. It's a practise which is officially illegal, but a million Dalits do it every day. Navai accompanies Sangita as she begins her daily job cleaning the latrines of upper caste families. She is the third generation to do this and tells Navai that she desperately wishes her children don't suffer the same role.

    Not only is it degrading, but the work can be dangerous. The team is told about a Dalit who has died after being overcome by fumes while cleaning a deep sewer. Other Dalits have dragged his body outside the municipality that hired him in protest. By law no Indian municipalities are permitted to employ manual scavengers, so the team goes to question the Chief Officer of the municipality. He denies that any scavengers are employed, despite the crowd outside who claim they are his employees.

    The position of Dalits at the bottom of the caste ladder is deeply ingrained and those who step out of line are often ritually humiliated or punished with violence. In Devaliya, an activist takes the team to a refuge full of Dalit families who have fled violence and harassment from upper caste families. Inside, Rudiben tells Navai that her husband had been standing up for the rights of Dalits in their village, angering the dominant caste and resulting in a horrific attack when he was speared to death by upper caste villagers. She says that when the case went to court, the villagers threatened to kill her children, intimidated the main witness and were subsequently aquitted.

    In Maharashtra, the team meets Bhayalal, whose wife, daughter and two sons were beaten to death after he complained about access to land. Eleven villagers are currently on trial for murder. The Indian Government introduced an atrocities against Dalits law to deal with caste crime 18 years ago, but its implementation has been abysmal, with a conviction rate of just 2%.

    Traveling to the eastern state of Bihar, the team finds a group of very young protesters - including school children who are forced by their teachers to clean toilets rather than study when they go to school. One boy tells Navai that when he asked to use the toilet, his teacher locked him in the cubicle for six hours.

    Just as black Americans did in the 1950s, educated Dalits are forming civil rights movements, challenging local governments and demanding equal access to services. As the team leaves the country, it's clear these leaders face an uphill struggle against such an entrenched system, but the price of failure will be to condemn millions to continuing misery and degradation.

  • Indonesia's Wildlife Warriors

    Unreported World travels to Indonesia to meet young environmental activists battling to save endangered species such as orang-utans and sea turtles. Reporter Aidan Hartley and producer Rodrigo Vazquez visit a vast market where critically endangered animals are sold as pets or for the Chinese medicine trade, and uncover allegations of corruption and harassment of the campaigners.

    Borneo has one of the planet's last big forests, but every hour an area the size of three football pitches is cut down to be used for palm oil production. The Unreported World team joins one team of young, local environmentalists who are trying to rescue the orang-utan, which, because of the loss of its habitat, is heading for extinction.

    They arrive at a rescue operation for orang-utans kept illegally by local people as pets. The local chief tells Hartley that the loss of forest has brought people into conflict with orang-utans. A farmer who captured one baby orang-utan says he thinks they are a nuisance.

    Environmental activist Ali tells Hartley that some palm oil farmers see orang-utans as vermin and that local people collect a $10 reward when they bring in an orang-utan's head or severed hand. He says the few infants that are spared end up in cages or are sold as pets in private zoos across Asia, and that middle men can pay just US$25 to a poacher or plantation worker for a baby orang-utan, which, if smuggled to Thailand, is worth about US$25,000.

    Local people tell the team that they want the forest to remain intact because they can get everything they need for their income from the forest, but it is being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations. They say the land clearances have taken away their livelihoods and they are now poorer than ever.

    At a rehabilitation centre for orang-utans, another activist called Hardi says his work has exposed corruption and criminal networks involved in the wildlife trade and brought him into conflict with the authorities. He claims the authorities are not interested in saving orang-utans and their objective is to see more palm plantations established.

    The team speaks to an official from the Forestry Ministry who insists it is guarding rainforests from illegal deforestation and protecting endangered species. The official says that if they obtain enough evidence they arrest and prosecute poachers or orang-utan traders.

    Posing as tourists, Hartley and Vazquez visit the huge Jatinegara animal market in Jakarta. Hundreds of animal species in Indonesia are on the brink of extinction and protected by law. But most of these species, the team is told, are on sale as pets or for body parts to be used in Far Eastern medicine in a trade worth millions of dollars. The team films numerous rare birds, reptiles, apes and a small primate called the slow loris.

    In Jakarta they met another campaigner, 31-year-old Irma Hermawati, who has been threatened and beaten by wildlife traders. They travel with her to Bali to investigate reports a turtle farm is keeping animals in appalling conditions, and then selling them for religious sacrifice.

    Later an informer shows Hartley photos and samples of souvenirs he claims are being fashioned from the shells of wild turtles. The team visits the farm, where staff say they are breeding turtles and that the sale of products here is legal under Indonesian law. Next to the farm, there is a shop selling souvenirs made from turtle shells.

    The team is told that there will be a surprise raid on the farm, but it turns out that the police had asked a local politician and turtle farm owner to guide them. Instead of freeing the turtles, the police officers spend their time taking photos of each other with the animals.

    It's clear that unless there's a change of public opinion and the government ends corruption and begins to enforce its laws, there will be very little to stop species like the orang-utans and green turtles from disappearing altogether.

  • Iraq

    Iraq: The Battle for Oil

    While Sunnis and Shias battle for control of Baghdad, Unreported World travels to northern Iraq, where Kurds are quietly consolidating their hold on 40% of Iraq's oil reserves and ethnic violence is fuelling a break up of the country.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Paul Kittel travel to Kirkuk, at the heart of the oil fields. It's claimed by three ethnic groups - Arabs, Kurds, and Turkomans. At stake is an area that sits on 40% of Iraq's oil reserves. If Iraq ever breaks up, the Kurds want to be certain this oil is theirs.

    Under a deal brokered with Baghdad, the Kurds have already been promised a referendum that could take Kirkuk into the Kurdish Autonomous Region. - a largely self-governing Kurdish region just twenty kilometres from Kirkuk. Arabs fear that if the oil-rich city joins the autonomous region it will allow that region to secede from Iraq as a fully independent nation.

    The only way for western journalists to work in this area is to embed with US Forces. Williams and Kittel join units based at Kirkuk air base. When Saddam Hussein was gassing the Kurds in the late eighties it was from here that some of his planes took off.

    Travelling with the US forces, the team enters Kirkuk city and finds half a million Kurds have returned to reclaim the area after being expelled under Saddam. They tell Williams how their homes were destroyed and relatives killed as Saddam turned Kirkuk into an Arab city.

    The government in Baghdad relies on Kurdish politicians to stay in power. Williams discovers they're funding a programme that gives $19,000 to every Arab who leaves the city - and $8000 to every Kurd who arrives.

    But as the Kurds move back in, tens of thousands of Sunni Arabs are increasing their resistance to Kurdish control. In a city hospital Williams meets victims of the latest suicide attack. The violence is nowhere near the scale of Baghdad, but the Clinical director says that every day a dozen people are injured or killed.

    Unreported World also discovers Arabs are boycotting the regional council that rules the area, helping smooth the way to Kurdish control.

    The team travels with US units as they mount night raids on villages in the heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency. US officers tell Unreported World that they don't trust Arab police and soldiers, who they say work with the insurgents. Instead they work closely with the Kurds. Since Kurdish troops took over guarding the main oil pipelines, insurgent attacks have dropped dramatically.

    As Williams and Kittel leave Iraq, it's clear that tension between the Kurds and Arabs is growing as extremists on both sides fan the flames of sectarian hatred.

  • Israel

    Israel's Wild West

    Israel's government is in disarray after its failed Lebanon venture. The Palestinian authority is tearing itself apart in Gaza. On the West Bank, where a quarter-of-a-million Israelis live cheek-by-jowl with over two million Palestinians, ideologically driven Israeli settlers are exploiting these political weaknesses to take back settlements the Israeli government expelled them from only two years before and are expanding into new areas.

    As reporter Sandra Jordan and producer Edward Watts find when a member of their own team is injured, violence in the West Bank is never far from the surface. As tensions escalate, the prospect of more widespread conflict across the West bank is growing by the day. If that happens, it'll make what's happening in Gaza look insignificant.

    Jordan and Watts get an early indication of how dangerous life has become in the West Bank as they begin their journey at the Palestininan village of Bi'lin, whose land has been divided by Israel's security barrier. It's Friday, and Palestinians, Israelis and international activists are protesting against the wall. Despite the peaceful demonstration, which takes place every Friday, Israeli soldiers decide to break it up with tear gas and rubber batons. The team's fixer, Massad Abu Toameh, is hit by a tear gas canister, sending him flying headfirst into some rocks. He's unconscious with a serious head injury and medics are forced to carry him off while the soldiers continue to fire rubber bullets at Jordan and Watts.

    The team continue on their journey along the divide between Israeli and Palestinian communities to Hebron. On the frontline in this segregated city, Jordan enters the 'Shalom House', a foothold just being established by Israeli settlers in the Arab area, and now guarded by Israeli soldiers. Their leader David Wilder tells Jordan that he believes the whole West Bank, including all the Palestinian areas, are rightfully part of the state of Israel given to them by God. Despite its illegality, the settlers are still living there and still protected by the army.

    While she's inside, there's a commotion outside as Yossi Belin, a member of the Israeli Parliament, arrives. He's come to condemn the settlers and tells Jordan that all the settlers should leave Hebron, but feelings are so high that he has to be protected from the settlers by armed guards.

    But the settlers also have to pay the price for their presence in Hebron. Jordan meets the family of Schmai Elazar Leibowicz, a young soldier shot by Palestinian gunmen as he left a pizza parlour. His father tells her that Palestinians target Jews indiscriminately, but that they are doing God's work by settling here.

    Jordan and Watts continue through the divided West Bank and arrive at one of the checkpoints in the separation wall. They arrive in time for a demonstration - this time by Palestinian trade unionists complaining that Israeli security measures make it impossible to work. As before, soldiers move in with batons. Again, Jordan and Watts seem to be targeted with tear gas canisters by the soldiers.

    The team are then told about a group of settlers heading for a settlement called Homesh, 15km inside Palestinian territory, which was evacuated two years ago by the government. The settlers have vowed to reoccupy it. Despite initially being prevented by Israeli soldiers from reaching the site, thousands of settlers risk their lives to travel cross country through Palestinian villages, to show their determination that the settlers will never leave the West Bank.

    As the world focuses on the fighting in Gaza and political scandals in Israel, the struggle for the West Bank is intensifying.

  • Ivory Coast

    Ivory Coast: Blood and Chocolate

    Blood diamonds may get all the media attention, but as this Unreported World highlights, there's a far cheaper commodity bought by millions of Britons every week, which is fuelling a violent conflict in West Africa: chocolate. Hundreds of men, women and children have been killed, villages razed to the ground and thousands forced to move into slum refugee camps. And all because the world loves chocolate.

    After four years of civil war between ethnic groups in the south and north of the Ivory Coast, which killed more than 2,000 people, there's supposed to be a UN-sponsored ceasefire. But reporter Evan Williams and producer James Brabazon need armed guards as they begin their journey driving through the west of the country up to the front line. All along the roadside are villages that have been burned down.

    The team walks into the village of Sada, where every house has been destroyed. The local militia chief tells them that 200 people used to live here. He claims that they fled when they were attacked by raiders - northerners from a neighbouring village.

    It's immediately clear that the raid was all about control of the village's cocoa crop. Ivory Coast provides around 43% of the world's cocoa, and it provides more than a third of the country's entire foreign exchange. Cocoa growers can make between £500 £1000 a year - an extraordinary amount of money for this part of the world.

    The team drives on to another village, Zéaglo, just in time to witness a show of strength by the main southern militia. Their leader, Mao Glofiei , claims to have ten thousand men under arms. According to the ceasefire his men should have disarmed. But Unreported World films Mao Glofei distributing a cache of automatic weapons, while his men sing that 'the rebels are bad, their mothers are bad, their fathers are bad, their children are bad and we've got to kill them.'

    Driving down the most dangerous road in the country and deeper into the disputed areas, the team arrives in the village of Duezone. Villagers say five thousand people used to live here, but only a handful have dared to return. One resident, Ferdinand, tells them that attackers burst into his house at dawn, slashing his father with a machete and killing his brother. He says it was all about who controlled the cocoa-growing land.

    Williams and Brabazon drive on to a village populated by the so-called northern immigrants. One of them tells the team that when they originally came to the area, they were welcomed by the local indigenous people, but as soon as they started profiting from the land by growing cocoa the locals started demanding it back. For this reason, he has to fight to protect himself and keep his land.

    A new peace deal between the two sides is meant to lead to an election later this year. Under the deal UN forces are already planning to withdraw. But as Unreported World films combatants on both sides rearming and retraining, localised attacks over land and cocoa threaten to spiral yet again into a full-blown confrontation.

  • Japan

    Japan: Red Sun Rising

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Edward Watts meet hardcore nationalist groups that are allegedly funded and controlled by an alliance of mafia bosses and nationalist politicians, and who have been accused of using intimidation, arson and physical violence to enforce their vision of a patriotic Japan.

    They're calling for Japan to become a military as well as an economic superpower - with an army freed from the constraints imposed by the Allies after World War Two and armed with nuclear weapons. And they want atrocities committed by the Japanese army written out of the history taught in the country's schools.

    In other countries they might be dismissed as a lunatic fringe. But their ideas are becoming increasingly influential. Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared his intention to adopt some of their ideas as policy, including discussing the idea of nuclear weapons and rewriting the constitution, which threatens to further destabilise the entire region.

    The nationalists are stepping up their campaigns - and the use of violence. The team travel with right wingers on their campaigns in the huge sound trucks they use to harangue opponents, and travel out to a secret martial arts centre deep in the Japanese countryside where right wingers train with samurai swords. They tell Williams about their willingness to use force to keep Japan on the 'correct' path.

    The team meet those who have been on the receiving end of this treatment: a newspaper editor whose writers have been attacked; a senior politician whose mother's house was burnt down by a nationalist in August; and a young woman whose politician father was murdered by a knife-wielding right winger.

    The victims claim that the right wing's apparent freedom to organise and carry out attacks is terrifying people into silence -- and severely threatening freedom of speech in Japan. Some also claim that right-wing groups are just the foot soldiers of nationalist politicians, who use them to promote their agenda and scare opponents into silence. Many of the right wing groups are bankrolled and supported by the Yakuza AKA the Japanese mafia. Unreported World interviews a senior boss who claims that the allegations are true and that politicians often pull the strings of right wingers on the streets.

    Ordinary Japanese people tell Williams that in their view there is no doubt that a ruthless new nationalist line is being pursued by the government and senior politicians. The team meet Japanese teachers who are rising in protest against new laws ordering students to salute Japan's wartime flag and sing the wartime national anthem. They meet one of the teachers who have been sacked for teaching students the true history of Japan's wartime past.

    They also talk to a leader of the North Korean community in Japan that has been the target of violent attacks by right-wing groups. They claim that the government has barely lifted a finger to protect them.

    On the last step of their journey the team gain access to manoeuvres by the Japanese self-defence forces. No one can tell where this new nationalism will take Japan - and what the implications will be for the world.

  • Kosovo

    Kosovo: State of Denial

    The United Nations is planning to make Kosovo Europe's newest state by granting it independence from Serbia. But, only eight years after a bloody ethnic conflict between its Serb and Albanian populations, Unreported World asks whether the two communities can ever forget the past and live together in an independent country.

    Reporter Sam Kiley and producer Robin Barnwell begin their journey in Krushe Madhe and come across the burial of three men murdered in 1999 by Serb paramilitaries, whose bodies have only recently been found. Seventy-four others are still missing and there are already more than 200 dead in the town's graveyard.

    It's clear that, although the fighting might have stopped, the war isn't over. Ethnic tensions are high, with 16,000 foreign troops patrolling the streets and countryside to keep the peace. Serbs, blamed for the ethnic cleansing of Albanians that provoked Nato's intervention, now find themselves in a tiny minority, scattered across the province in enclaves, unable to speak the language of the majority, and unwilling to join in the political process.

    The team travels on to North Mitrovica, a Serb-run enclave. Here the Belgrade-appointed local Tsar, Dr Milan Ivanovic, tells Unreported World that that the Serbs will ignore any attempt to establish Kosovo's administration in his town.

    As they continue to move across Kosovo, it's obvious that despite the 5.5bn Euros the international community has spent trying to stabilize this part of the Balkans, the infrastructure is in a bizarre mess. There is one postal service, justice system, education system and mobile telephone network for Serbs - and another for the majority Albanian population.

    The UN's plans guarantee Kosovo's Serbs will continue to be able to run their own schools and healthcare system. But facing near 80 per cent unemployment, they still rely heavily on subsidy from Belgrade, which is implacably opposed to Kosovo's independence for a province Serb nationals call their 'Jerusalem'.

    And few of the estimated 200,000 Serbs who fled their burned villages are prepared to go home and risk living alongside their neighbours. Kiley joins Milorad Radivojevic as he visits his reconstructed home in Albanian-dominated south Mitrovica. 'Even if we dared to come back here, we couldn't live in this house. The sewerage hasn't been plumbed into the mains, the waste backs up. This house is to show the media and the world that we can come home. But the message to us is, you're not welcome,' says Milorad.

    In another Serb village, Gorazdavac, Kiley asks how many children in the all-Serb school are learning Albanian. The answer - none. He's told 'the Albanians have purged their curriculum of all Serbs and Serbian, they must reach out to us before we learn Albanian'.

    As the team leaves Kosovo, it's clear that on the one hand the consequences of independence look like being poverty, fear and loathing and a resolute ethnic 'apartheid'. But, on the other hand, if Kosovo doesn't get independence, Unreported World is told by Albanian extremists they it is 'heading down a path to war.'

  • Lebanon

    Lebanon: Living with Hezbollah

    Reporter Kate Seelye and director Rodrigo Vazquez begin their journey in the ruins of Hezbollah's stronghold in Beirut's southern suburbs, finding signs of a state within a state. They film Hezbollah guards at gates into what they call their 'security zone', and Hezbollah 'volunteers' patrolling the neighborhood 24 hours a day on scooters, keeping an eye out for possible spies and infiltrators.

    In Lebanon's fragile mix of 18 sects, Hezbollah's power is creating new tensions. The team meets supporters of the Lebanese Forces, a Christian nationalist party, patrolling their neighborhood. They claim that Hezbollah supporters deface Christian shrines and tell Unreported World that they are ready to fight Hezbollah if it doesn't disarm soon. It's not a threat to be taken lightly. The Lebanese Forces carried out some of the country's bloodiest massacres during its 15-year civil war.

    Seelye and Vazquez travel to south Lebanon where - against a scarred landscape - the Lebanese government is trying to assert its authority over Hezbollah, which has long dominated the border region. But Hezbollah's presence is everywhere. Its members hand out crisp $100 bills to families who lost their homes, and tell the team that war with Israel always seems imminent.

    Traveling into the Bekaa Valley, Seelye and Vasquez find more signs of growing instability inside Lebanon. A Hezbollah MP rallies farmers to protest against what he calls a corrupt and pro-American government. The MP says this government must go. His followers say it's a government of Israeli and American collaborators.

    Back in Beirut, Hezbollah supporters protest the government's shooting of two children during clashes between the security forces and poor Shiites. They accuse the Sunni government of firing on Shiites on purpose, and threaten violence if it doesn't respect their rights. Tensions are clearly on the rise between Sunnis and Shiites, who find themselves on opposite sides of Lebanon' s political fence.

    High in the Chouf mountains, former Druze warlord Walid Jumblatt says Iran and Syria are using Hezbollah to stir up sectarian and anti-government tensions in Lebanon. He says Hezbollah has hijacked Lebanon and must be disarmed, and that a free and democratic Lebanon is at stake.

    Finally, after weeks of trying, Seelye and Vazquez meet a cadre of Hezbollah fighters. Although they claim that their weapons will never be used internally, one supporter tells Seelye that the Shiites of the southern suburbs are all arming and preparing for a fight. The current government of Israeli and American collaborators must go, he says. Hezbollah must use its power to assert its supporters' vision of Lebanon dominated by the pro-Iranian Shia. As the country struggles to rebuild itself, its political future seems more uncertain than ever.

  • Mexico

    Mexico: The Longest Journey

    A shocking expose of the harrowing three month, 3000km journey undertaken every year by thousands of Central American migrants desperate to reach the US. Reporter Sandra Jordan and director Nick Sturdee begin their journey at the Suchiate River, on the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Twenty four hours a day, migrants pay a few dollars to be ferried across aboard makeshift rafts and tractor tyres.

    Once across, they have to survive what they call 'la pesadilla mexicana' - the Mexican nightmare - evading immigration police and the armed gangsters and rapists who prey on the vulnerable migrants as they cross the country to reach the US border. Many risk their lives riding La Bestia - The Beast - a one-kilometre-long freight train that starts off in Arriaga in Chiapas State.

    In Arriaga, the team meets Said. A Guatemalan by birth, he has lived in the US since he was three. His home, his job, his mother and his son are all in Houston, Texas. He says he's been permanently deported for drunk driving and is travelling with his wife, Eugenia, who's dressed like a man to try to avoid being raped on the journey. Eugenia was deported from the US for not having the right work papers. Now all they want is to get back to their five-year-old in Houston, and the only way back is to travel on La Bestia then cross the desert in the north.

    There is no timetable for the train. After five days' waiting it finally arrives at night. By now the migrants, including girls as young as 12, have formed family groups to protect themselves from the unknown assailants who wait to attack the train. Travelling through torrential rain, as the train jolts and shudders forwards and backwards, and battered by branches from the trees lining the track, many migrants fall under the wheels and some lose limbs or their lives.

    Said's group has two machetes and the team are told that they may have to fight for their lives. What, Jordan asks, do we do if someone tries to jump on our wagon? Kick him off to his death she's told. The team hears voices and everybody fears that they're gangsters trying to attack the train and kill, rape or rob the migrants. Luckily this time the train is moving too fast for them to jump aboard.

    Dawn breaks and the train shudders to a halt. The locomotive has derailed and everybody is lucky that the rest of the train stayed on the tracks. The team leaves the train and the remaining migrants as they face several treacherous weeks riding to northern Mexico and the desert. Said tells Jordan that of the 40 people on their wagon, perhaps three will make it to the US, and promises to stay in touch with the team by mobile phone.

    The team then travel to Nogales in the Sonora desert. They meet Odelia. A Guatemalan, she was deported for letting her papers run out of date. Her two children, US born and American citizens, have been taken into foster care. She's crossing the desert to get back to them.

    Jordan and Sturdee are stopped by the police. 'Do not go into those hills', they're told, 'there are men there who will rob you and rape the women'. The team turn back as Odelia and her friends walk onwards into the hills. There's still no word from Said.

  • Mongolia

    Mongolia: Ninja Nation

    Deep inside the Gobi desert, one of the harshest and most remote places on earth, a nomadic Mongol horde known as the Ninjas are busy changing the landscape in the biggest gold rush of modern times. But, as Unreported World shows, their battle for survival comes at a terrible environmental and human cost.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and producer James Brabazon begin their journey in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, one of the most sparsely populated nations on earth. For seven decades until 1990, Mongolia was under virtual Soviet military occupation - but Moscow also paid the bills. After the fall of Communism, the Russians departed, and the Mongolian state all but collapsed.

    Life is harsh: unemployment is high and Mongolians drink 16 million bottles of vodka each month, an incredible statistic for a population of only 2.5 million. The victims of alcoholism and poverty are often children, and the team finds many kids on the street. During winter, when Ulaanbaatar gets colder than the North Pole, they have to burrow into sewers and underground hot-water pipes to avoid freezing to death.

    But it's outside Ulaanbaatar, on the steppe, that Mongolia's future is being radically reshaped. Gangs of jobless city dwellers, together with nomadic herdsmen (many of whom have not previously met Europeans), have struck gold in the rivers and mountains around the Gobi desert. Today it's reckoned that Mongolia has the second largest gold reserves in the world.

    The Unreported World team embarks upon a journey that will take them thousands of kilometers across the steppe and deep into the Gobi desert to meet some of the hordes of families digging for gold. They're known as Ninjas - named due to their use of large plastic bowls in the gold panning process which are supposed to resemble the shells of the children's cartoon characters, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    The Ninjas are able to eek out a living but the gold rush allows them to do nothing better than survive - and, as the Unreported World team reveals, it all comes at a terrible cost. Traveling deep into the desert, one of the remotest areas on the planet, Hartley finds that artisan miners and large-scale companies have diverted the rivers that run into the Gobi, causing water courses and entire lakes to vanish.

    The environmental catastrophe also comes with a spiritual dimension. In traditional Mongolian Buddhism, a religion that is enjoying a huge revival, mining is forbidden: a grave insult to the spirits of earth and water. The Ninjas tell Unreported World that the fact that they suffer illnesses, and that alcoholism, crime and prostitution are rife in the mining camps are an inevitable supernatural punishment. Buddhist lamas also tell the team that they believe the local environmental destruction is also linked to the global warming crisis.

    And the Ninja's harsh battle for survival is also against the government. Their way of life is officially illegal and the authorities are trying to evict them to make way for large multi-national mining companies.. As the team leaves Mongolia, it's clear that the country could become a very wealthy economy thanks to its mineral wealth - but at what damage to its environment and the poorest members of its population?

  • Nigeria

    Nigeria: Fire in the Delta

    The people fo the Nigerian Delta live in one of the country's most unstable regions: poor; polluted; and caught in the crossfire between armed gangs sabotaging the oil production and harsh reprisals from security forces. Reporter Matt McAllester and director Tim Hetherington begin their journey in the Delta Province of Ogoniland.

    They've found a burning well head, which has been blazing out of control for a month. Oil workers claim that the fire was no accident - someone had tried to steal the well head. There are as many as three hundred oil spills every year in the Delta, and many of them could be the result of sabotage or theft, with the crude oil being sold on the black market.

    The team travel to Port Harcourt on the Delta coast - a sprawling, booming metropolis built on the 2.5 million barrels of oil pumped every day from the region's wells. Last year the central government earned about 45 billion dollars from oil production, but 70% of the region's people live on less than one US dollar a day.

    Poverty has led to violence, with armed gangs infiltrating the city. They claim that they are trying to force the government to give more of the proceeds from the region's oil to the locals. But those they claim to be championing often end up as victims of their activities.

    The team visits the burnt-out remains of the Aker Base district, which was once home to 3000 people. Locals claim the district was burnt down by the security forces in a reprisal for a rebel kidnapping of an oil worker, although the army says the fire was started by militants dressed as soldiers. Most of its inhabitants were forced to flee, but some families are still there scavenging for food and so desperate that they ask McAllester to take their children.

    The team picks up an armed escort and travels further into the Delta to the Obigbo flow station, which is run by Shell. It's under constant threat of attack from rebels and kidnappers. Security costs have skyrocketed, and at least two companies have pulled out in recent months. McAllester meets an American oil engineer working for Willbros who was held hostage for twelve days deep in the swamps by a militant group. He tells them that there were up to a hundred well armed and well trained men at their camp.

    McAllester and Hetherington arrange to meet one of the rebel groups. They travel deep into uncharted territory through river creeks heavily polluted with crude oil, until they reach their camp. The rebels' leader tells them: 'I don't have anything to eat. What do you expect me to do? What belongs to me does not come to me. So I have to fight to get it. By all means. Even if it will take my life I will stand and fight and get my own.'

    They return to the coast and a meeting with Peter Odili, the Governor of one of the main States. In his headquarters, which his spokesman said had cost 200 million US dollars, and over a bottle of Cristal champagne he tells Unreported World that the violence will soon die down and that he has plans to develop the area and bring in jobs for its inhabitants. Meanwhile, the violence continues, the pollution remains and for the Delta people this most precious commodity is not a blessing, but a curse.

  • Seyi Rhodes in Senegal

    Senegal: School for Beggars

    Unreported World investigates Senegal's Islamic schools.

    Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Simon Philips reveal how many young boys living in the religious schools are subjected to abuse, and forced by their guardians to beg on the streets for their survival. And they meet those trying to save the children from exploitation and abuse.

    Senegal is a modern, relatively wealthy African country yet the team meet huge numbers of boys in the capital, Dakar, who tell them they have to beg for their education.

    Yaro, like around 50,000 other children, is one of the 'Talibes': religious students whose parents have sent them to boarding school to learn the Koran. He tells Rhodes how he's only been home once in four years and has spent that time begging with his classmates from a religious school, known as a daara.

    Rhodes and Philips meet other boys who are in a similar position; many have quotas to fill for the day. They claim that if they do not return with the desired amount of money or food they will be beaten by the religious guardians, known as Marabouts.

    The team also meets Kahn, a community worker in a poor suburb of Dakar. He leads them through the back streets to a rundown house that turns out to be a school. The teacher tells Rhodes he is going to sell everything his boys have collected and hopes to make the equivalent of five pounds from doing so.

    Rhodes discovers how brutal some punishments can be for boys who don't make their targets. He meets two young boys who were so severely beaten they are scarred for life. They break down and tell him they would be tied up if they hadn't managed to bring back the correct amount required by their guardians. Their teacher was one of the few who was prosecuted and the boys are now cared for in a government-run children's home.

    Rhodes also talks to Professor Ndiaye, an Islamic scholar who blames the unquestioning trust Senegalese people have in their Marabouts. He explains that when children lived in the countryside villagers would support the daara by feeding its students, but as people moved into cities following successive droughts this rural system broke down.

    The team visits another Koranic school, which is formal but well run and clean. The teacher explains to Rhodes the main problem with bad schools is poverty. Families are keen for their children to receive a Koranic education but few can pay and few marabouts can afford to offer decent facilities.

    Rhodes and Philips also meet Babakar, a 16-year-old from Gambia. He was sent to Senegal to learn the Koran four years ago, but ran away when the begging and beating became too much. He's now sleeping rough, too afraid to return to his school and too poor to make his way home to his parents.

    Rhodes concludes that not all the boys from Senegal's daaras will end up living on the streets like this, but while the system remains harsh and largely unreformed, many of them probably will.

  • Somalia

    Somalia: Hearts, Minds and Holy War

    Westerners are completely absent from Mogadishu, with the situation even more precarious for journalists following the murder of cameraman Martin Adler, shot by an unidentified hit man at an anti-American public rally in June. Reporters Barnwell and Hartley are forced to work under constant threat of assassination from various factions.

    Beginning their journey in Mogadishu, it's immediately clear that militants, known as the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), have seized the capital and are extending their power using force and religious persuasion. While Western powers failed to bring law and order to even a few blocks of Mogadishu and rescue Somalia from years of anarchy - and 500,000 deaths - the UIC has been winning the hearts and minds of ordinary Somalis by quickly-brought, real improvements to their lives.

    Within weeks of taking control of Mogadishu earlier this year, the UIC ended the anarchy in both the capital and hinterland. Backed by the Somali business tycoons who are their main financiers, they have reopened the seaports, airports and roads that were closed for more than a decade by vicious rival clan gangs. Unreported World reveals how the economy appears to be reviving, schools are full, hospitals seem quieter, mosques are being repaired, piracy on the high seas is being stamped out and streets are being cleaned of battle damage.

    However, the programme also reveals that Wahhabi hardliners who dominate the Jihadist movement are starting to establish a Taliban-style state that is anathema to the moderate, mostly Sufi traditions of Somalia's Sunnis. A centralised Sharia court system is sending murderers to the firing squad, and the militants are attempting to force women to wear the veil, banning public entertainment such as TV, cinema and music, as well as trying to outlaw the stimulant leaf qat, cigarettes and long hair.

    The international community refuses to engage with the UIC because among its leaders are men linked to al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden has described the Islamic militia as an ally in his global jihad. Western intelligence fears they may also be radicalising young Somalis in preparation for terror attacks.

    For his part, the UIC's supreme leader, Shaykh Hasan Dahir Aweys, says that 9/11 was a legitimate military tactic of war. The Jihadists tell Hartley that their aim is to seize the rest of Somalia and expand jihad across Africa's Horn.

    In response, the Ethiopian government has deployed forces on a battle footing to the inland village of Baidoa. This pocket of territory, a few kilometres wide, is where Somalia's legal, pro-Western and secularist 'President' Abdullahi Yusuf has made his last stand together with his warlord allies. Peace talks between the warring sides have collapsed and the United Nations blames 10 separate nations for pouring weapons and troops into Somalia. This fresh Horn of Africa conflict has already started, and it pits Jihadists against Western-backed Christians in a clash which threatens the whole stability of the region.

  • South Africa

    South Africa: Children of the Lost Generation

    Cape Town is the darling of the jet set - the backdrop to fashion shoots and a tourist mecca. But as Unreported World reveals, behind Cape Town's ultra-glamorous image, it is now South Africa's murder capital, gripped by the devastating effects of a highly addictive drug which is tearing the city apart.

    Thirteen years of freedom in South Africa hasn't translated into prosperity for all, and Cape Town epitomises the problems still faced by the majority of South Africans. Expectations for the ANC government were high, but it's struggled to to raise basic living standards and combat violence in a country where someone is murdered every 30 minutes.

    Reporter Sam Kiley and director Paul Kittel begin their journey in Manenberg - one of the squalid townships which are home to most of Cape Town's two-and-a-half-million residents. It's one of the areas of the city where the devastating effects of methamphetamine - locally known as 'tik' - are driving a crime wave that has more than doubled in 12 months.

    With unemployment running at 40%, generations of mixed race 'Coloureds' are now in the grip of a 'tik' pandemic, which sees children steal the plumbing from their own homes to fund their addiction.

    Cheap and easy to produce from over-the-counter ingredients, 'tik' now threatens to undermine what small gains Cape Town's non-white communities have made since the end of apartheid. Ibrahim Rasool, the Western Cape's premiere, tells Unreported World that the province is in the grip of a 'low intensity war' against the drug.

    But he also insists that the drug has not yet spread into the predominantly white and wealthy areas of the city - which tourists are most likely to see.

    However, Unreported World discovers that he's wrong; 'tik' is spreading fast into the rich areas. In Long Street, the heart of the city's trendy downtown area, Kiley is able to score some 'tik' within minutes, and in Camps Bay, the luxury resort part of Cape Town popular with tourists for its beaches and bars, he's again quickly able to buy some of the drug. One local barman tells him that an increasing amount of people in the white community are taking 'tik', and it's becoming a real issue in several schools where teenagers are becoming addicted.

    As they leave Cape Town, it's clear that that the geographical separation of South Africa's races enforced by apartheid is being broken down by the highly addictive 'tik' and the city faces an uncertain future.

  • South Africa

    South Africa: The New Apartheid

    Reporter Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and director Robin Barnwell begin their film on the Zimbabwean border with a group of Zimbabweans beginning a long journey to Johannesburg. The South African police stop them, but let them go in exchange, it is claimed, for a bribe, which the people smugglers allege is routine.

    The Zimbabweans say they are fleeing a collapsing state, where President Mugabe's policies have driven the economy into crisis and where earning enough to feed their families is impossible. However, the South Africans blame them for a crime wave and accuse them of causing unemployment.

    White farmers in the Limpopo border region tell Unreported World that the immigrants are perpetrating brutal farm murders and poaching their game. The team films several farmers taking the law into their own hands by rounding immigrants up, tying them together and handing them over to the police.

    It's not just the farmers who believe these migrants are fuelling a crime wave. The team moves on to Johannesburg and films with police in one of the city's most dangerous areas. They accompany officers who routinely use plastic bullets to round up suspected illegal immigrants.

    Those they catch are sent to the Lindela detention centre. The team interview a group of Congolese men who accuse the guards of severely beating them. Another inmate laments that South Africans have forgotten the support that their 'African brothers' gave them during the days of Apartheid, and accuses black South Africans of being the 'biggest racists in the world'.

    The team then travel to the suburb of Diepsloot, where the local South African business community has written an extraordinary letter to Somalian shopkeepers asking them to leave. The shopkeepers - who say they're asylum seekers rather than illegal immigrants - fear they will suffer similar violent attacks to those suffered by other immigrant communities.

    A group of protestors gathers, demanding that South Africa should be for South Africans only. One woman tells Unreported World that black South Africans fought long and hard to gain their freedom and that these benefits are now being stolen by illegal immigrants.

    The team are then allowed to film on board a train returning 400 Zimbabwean illegal immigrants back to the border. Some are so desperate to remain that they throw themselves from the moving train during the night. Almost all say they will be back in the country within a few days. Given the ever-worsening economic environment in Zimbabwe, they say they have no other choice.

  • Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka: Killing for Peace

    Around 100,000 British tourists holiday in Sri Lanka every year, but thanks to a clampdown on the international media, few realise that away from its famous beaches, a new chapter in the country's 30-year civil war has opened, in which innocent civilians are paying a bloody price.

    Unreported World's Sandra Jordan and Siobhan Sinnerton are the first foreign journalists to travel to Jaffna, in the North of Sri Lanka, for many months, and they experience for themselves the heavy-handed tactics used by the government against ordinary people in the troubled parts of the country.

    Two years ago, a new hard-line nationalist government began a fresh phase of Sri Lanka's civil war, which has claimed more than 70,000 lives. The ceasefire signed in 2002 now exists in name only, with the Government declaring that the Tamil Tigers must be defeated militarily.

    A fierce military campaign has driven the Tigers out of their strongholds in the East, and the military are now turning their attention to the North. At the same time the Tigers have split, and former comrades are now working against each other in a shadowy war of abductions and disappearances.

    Jordan and Sinnerton begin their journey at a recently-abandoned Sea Tiger naval base in Mannar, scene of some of some of the most recent fighting. The Sri Lankan air force has dropped massive bombs on Tiger bunkers and weapons caches, leaving huge craters. The Tigers fled, but so did terrified civilians targeted by both sides. In this latest round of the conflict, more than 315,000 people have been displaced.

    In the current climate of fear, it is hard to get anyone to tell their story. The Bishop of Mannar gives the team photos of a local family horribly massacred by unidentified killers. But if the neighbours know who committed the crime, they aren't saying.

    The team moves on to the former Tiger stronghold of Batticaloa, and attends a Hindu festival in an area where the Tigers have been vanquished and refugees resettled. But again, terror is not far away. Locals tell them about extra-judicial killings and disappearances in the area, which they blame on the Sri Lankan Police's Special Task Force, and about masked paramilitary death squads, which roam at night, targeting those who denounce their activities. One young mother tells Jordan that witnesses saw her husband being abducted by the STF months earlier. 'I just want them to tell me if he's dead,' she says, 'so I can give my children away and kill myself.'

    Jordan and Sinnerton decide to travel to Jaffna to investigate more claims of disappearances and abductions, but, arriving at the airport, they are immediately intercepted by the military and forced to spend the night at a military base. The next day they are sent back to Colombo.

    Back in the capital, Colombo, Tamil politician and human rights activist Mano Ganeshan tells the team that every day his office is filled with the relatives of the disappeared, and points the finger firmly at the military.

    The team puts these claims to the leader of the Sri Lankan army, who denies the allegations. But, he says ominously, we have already taught the Tigers a lesson in the East. If they still don't listen, we'll have to teach them again.

  • West Papua

    West Papua: Rainforest Warriors

    Unreported World travels to one of the most remote places on earth, where journalists are forbidden to work and usually arrested when they arrive, and where a bloody conflict between government forces and locals is rarely glimpsed by the outside world.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Siobhan Sinnerton spend three weeks undercover in West Papua, an outlying province of Indonesia in the Western Pacific, which is home to the world's biggest copper and gold mine.

    Getting into West Papua is extremely difficult. Obtaining official journalist accreditation is virtually impossible, so the team have to film secretly. They begin their journey in Wamena, in the remote western highlands. Waiting inside a safe house, hiding from the Indonesian authorities, they meet a group of tribal warriors who have travelled for days to be there. They tell Unreported World that at least 12 of their friends have been killed by the security forces, and claim that thousands more have been killed in a campaign that could wipe out their ethnic group.

    West Papua's tribes lived in isolation until they were discovered by Europeans in the 1930s. Indonesia annexed the area in 1969 after a group of selected West Papuans voted for annexation, but the rest of the population were not allowed a chance to vote. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Indonesians have been subsidised to settle in West Papua, and they now control most of the commerce -- leading to seething resentment and conflict between the two groups.

    In the company of guides from the West Papuan underground, the team trek deep into ancient forests to tribal villages affected by the conflict. At one village they find the inhabitants crying and wearing mud as a sign of mourning for their children who have been allegedly killed or 'disappeared' by the security forces. Some mothers are so heartbroken that they have mutilated themselves by cutting off their fingers.

    But while some grieve, others have used their traditional weapons -- bows, arrows and poison -- against the Indonesians. Papuan students have been at the forefront of protests that have involved the deaths of Indonesian security forces, and scores of them are hiding in the mountains. Reaching them involves another long trek through the forests.

    The students are protesting against Freeport, the big US gold and copper mine in the south of the province. It's West Papua's biggest resource, but the students claim that Freeport does not pay enough of its annual revenues to help the native inhabitants.

    The team then risk immediate arrest by arranging to meet members of the West Papuan armed resistance -- the outlawed Free Papua Movement (OPM). The area is so remote they have to travel by plane; deep into the highlands and close to the Freeport mine. Some OPM members have trekked for a week to meet them, and finally, Kelly Kwalik, their leader and one of the most wanted men in the whole of Indonesia, arrives.

    He tells Unreported World that West Papua is rich in natural resources but that Papuans remain poor while Indonesians benefit.

    There seems little chance of reconciliation, and when the OPM members raise their flag the act is a potent symbol of how an argument over mineral resources has become a battle against the slow suffocation of a people and their way of life.

  • Congo

    Zambia and Congo: China's African Takeover

    Unreported World comes from Central Africa, where our demand for Chinese-made goods such as mobile phones, MP3 players and laptops comes at a terrible human cost.

    China's economic boom is resulting in the biggest scramble for Africa since the end of European colonialism. Trade between Beijing and Africa has more than quadrupled since 2000 and hundreds of new companies, many of them partly owned by the Chinese State, have set up. Thousands of Chinese workers are now in Central Africa, buying up copper and cobalt.

    Reporter Aidan Hartley and producer Tom Porter begin their journey at a Chinese-owned mining complex. It's in the heart of Zambia's copper belt, into which the Chinese are pouring billions of dollars of investment. Locals tell Hartley that Chinese investment is fuelling an economic boom in Zambia, bringing jobs and also skills that they can pick up.

    But many Zambians also accuse the Chinese of being so focused on making money out of Africa that they do not care about the local people. The team are shown a cemetery where 46 victims of one of Zambia's worst industrial accidents - an explosion at a Chinese-owned factory - are buried. Local residents accuse the Chinese management of failing to uphold safety standards. Other locals claim that the factory is responsible for environmental damage, and Hartley finds a stream heavily polluted by acidic effluent.

    From Zambia, Hartley and Porter travel to Congo, which has been torn apart by a civil war between armed militias fighting for control of its resources. Katanga province is one of the world's richest areas for mineral reserves, from where Chinese companies are exporting thousands of tonnes of heterogenite - ore rich in base metals.

    In the boom town of Lubumbashi, the team enters vast open cast mines where countless thousands of impoverished Congolese toil to earn a survival income. Hartley and Porter are confronted with an apocalyptic landscape in which many of the miners appear to be drunk or high on drugs, with fights frequently breaking out.

    Worst of all, the team discovers that a key aspect of the huge copper and cobalt mining industry is the exploitation of child labour. Many of the miners have to hand-dig tunnels into the hillsides, and because the shafts are small they use children to hack out the ore and shift sacks of rocks. When it rains, the tunnels are vulnerable to collapse and dozens of miners die every month. The children are also exposed to radioactivity because this area is close to the uranium mines that supplied the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    Around the mine, the team find dozens of Chinese brokers exploiting this chaotic environment by buying-up the ore extract. They react violently when Porter tries to film them. Local villagers tell Unreported World that although the Chinese are bringing enterprise, their business practices are making a profit at a tragic human cost. But, they say, they have no alternative but to trade with them.

  • Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe: Mugabe's Reign of Terror

    As Zimbabwe spirals ever deeper into repression and starvation, an Unreported World team just back from three weeks travelling undercover through the country reveals startling claims that the Mugabe Government is using the supply of AIDS drugs and food aid to gerrymander upcoming elections.

    Reporter Evan Williams and director Siobhan Sinnerton travel as tourists to avoid the scrutiny of Mugabe's pervasive intelligence service. They meet members of the political opposition, women who have been imprisoned and tortured, families desperate for food and struggling with 2000 percent inflation, and the tragic households headed by children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic.

    Williams and Sinnerton arrive just as the government intelligence service launches a new campaign of repression, abducting and beating scores of opposition members across the country.

    Arriving at the country's second largest city, Bulawayo, the team talk to church leaders and members of a new underground movement. The picture they are given is bleak: on top of the repression, a lack of food, jobs and medical services is causing massive hardship. Williams and Sinnerton interview women activists who say they were jailed for days with their babies and subjected to humiliating abuse.

    One opposition MDC Party MP claims that you're more likely to get access to government food and AIDS drugs if you are a supporter, or member of, the ruling Zanu-PF Party. She says if you are not a Zanu-PF supporter you will have more trouble obtaining these life-saving services. She claims this also includes the delivery of food from international aid organisations.

    Avoiding detection by Mugabe's ubiquitous secret police and intelligence services, the team are taken into rural villages rarely seen by the outside world. They find that severe shortages of food and medicine is particularly hitting the orphans left behind by the ravages of AIDS. One priest tells Williams that there are tens of thousands of orphans in the countryside struggling to survive. He's trying to set up an orphanage for some of them but can't afford food or clothes.

    Their team's final leg is a tense journey through the capital Harare. Here, a human rights lawyer tells Unreported World that the police are now systematically torturing suspected opposition members and preventing legal representation for those taken in.

    It's not just suspected opposition activists who are being targeted. One journalist describes suffering four days of brutal torture at the hands of senior police officers. His 'crime' was trying to report for an opposition newspaper, and he was warned he would be killed if he continued working. He was arrested at the same time as a TV journalist who was abducted and killed for allegedly sending TV pictures of the police beating of opposition leaders out to foreign broadcasters.

    In Harare's sprawling townships Williams and Sinnerton find plenty of brave but tragic child-headed house-holds struggling just to find food every day, following the death of both parents from AIDS.

    As the team leaves the country, it's clear that in what was once one of Africa's wealthiest, best educated countries, entire generations are being 'dumped to die' by a callous, corrupt government.

Unreported World synopsis

Critically acclaimed series on the lives of people in some of the fastest-changing areas of the world

Episode Guide >

Catch up on 4oD

63 Episodes

Next on TV

India's Electric Dreams

Reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and director Hugo Ward travel to India where the government's drive to help the country's development through widespread…

Channel 4 7.35pm Fri 31 Oct