Assignment

Episodes

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Broadcast
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20070104

Current affairs series which looks at the impact major events and trends have on people's lives.

20070105
20070106
20120510

Investigations and journeys into the heart of global events from BBC correspondents.

20171102

Investigations and journeys into the heart of global events from BBC correspondents.

As they retreat from Northern Iraq so-called Islamic State has left thousands of women and children behind. Some are the abandoned families of IS fighters, others are being held as prisoners or slaves. There are also boys who were forced to fight for IS. A desperate effort is now underway to reunite these women and children with the families they have been separated from – and to rehabilitate those whose minds have been stolen by the group.

Tim Whewell reports from Iraq on the children left behind by the fighters of Islamic state.

(Photo: Heifa, aged 19, has just escaped from more than three years as a slave of so-called Islamic State)

10/05/20122012051020120511
10/05/20122012051020120512
A Death In Honduras2012050320120504

A profile of the People's Funeral Service in Honduras, the most murderous nation on earth.

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. The People's Funeral Service deals daily with the fall-out from these extreme levels of violence in the capital city, Tegucigalpa. Set up by the Mayor of the city, it distributes coffins, maintains two funeral homes, and even offers a mobile service where employees take everything necessary for a wake - including bread and coffee - to someone's house or local church. All of these services are totally free for poor people in the city.

In Assignment, Linda Pressly profiles this unique organisation, and meets some of the families using its services. Among them, is the family of Ramon Orlando Varela, a 26 year old gunned down in the street after dropping his children off at school. It isn't clear why Ramon was targeted. But a toxic mix of gangs, guns, drug cartels - and fear - pervades Honduras. And it's unlikely his killers will ever be caught. Police corruption is endemic, impunity almost a given.

But in spite of the everyday challenges, the workers at the People's Funeral Service offer what help they can. At least they can lend some dignity to proceedings for families who have almost nothing.

A Death In Honduras2012050320120505

A profile of the People's Funeral Service in Honduras, the most murderous nation on earth.