Pakistan Issues Health IDs for Trans People to Improve Care
ABC News - Islamabad, Pakistan, 12/31/2019
Pakistan will issue special health ID cards for transgender people as a way to reduce discrimination in healthcare services. In Pakistan, where ‘transgender’ was officially recognised as a ‘third gender’ in 2012, trans people have often been denied treatment because doctors fail to understand whether to treat them in a ‘male’ or ‘female’ ward, because of which many have even died for lack of care. Recently, the Supreme Court ordered passed an order which would allow transgender people to change their gender on their ID cards and will be immediately given health cards by the health ministry. The government also plans to set up separate wards in hospitals around the country for transgender patients, according to Dr. Zafar Mirza, a special aide to Prime Minister for health services.
SC Asks UP, Bengal to Set up POCSO Courts to Cut Case Backlog
New Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 12/30/2019
Expressing concern over the backlog of child rape cases in Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court has set March 2020 as the deadline for setting up a POCSO court in every district where the backlog of cases is up to 300. The court has ordered the UP government to set up two courts in districts with 301 to 600 pending cases, three courts in districts with 601 to 900 pending cases, and so on. A similar direction was issued to West Bengal. The bench said that if special orders are not passed with regard to these two states, we may reach a situation where the judicial system comes to a halt and people resort to violence outside the courtrooms.
‘Stop Femicide’: Women Return to Streets to Mourn K-Pop Stars’ Death
Korea Times - Seoul & Provinces, Korea, 12/29/2019
Hundreds of protesters gathered on the streets of north-eastern Seoul to mourn k-pop idols Sulli and Goo Ha-ra who succumbed to suicide in recent months. Former k-pop idol Sulli, who committed suicide in October 2019, had been trolled online for sharing her feminist opinions. The following month, Goo Ha-ra, another former k-pop idol and a close friend of Sulli, also fell victim to suicide after a harrowing court battle with an ex-boyfriend who blackmailed her with revenge porn. ‘The Korean media blames these tragic losses on cyber bullying and trolling but that's not the fundamental cause,’ the organisers of the protest said in a statement. The protestors said their deaths were ‘social murders’ and clearly cases of ‘femicide’.
China Bans Custody and Education Punishment for Sex Workers
News 18 - Beijing, China, 12/28/2019
Chinese lawmakers voted to abolish the ‘custody and education’ punishment system for sex workers on December 28, 2019. The nearly three-decade-old system which allowed the police to hold sex workers and their clients without charge for up to two years, has little to do with education, critics say. Although China’s top legislative committee abolished its system of re-education through labour camps in 2013, authorities retained the right to detain sex workers and their clients. The arbitrary detention system will cease from December 29, 2019, and those held will be released immediately. Shen Tingting, director of advocacy and policy at Asia Catalyst, said that abolishing detention centres is only a small step towards safeguarding the rights of sex workers.
South Korea’s Top Court Dismisses ‘Comfort Women’ Petition Against Deal with Japan
CNA - Seoul, South Korea, 12/27/2019
On December 27, 2019, South Korea's Constitutional Court dismissed an appeal by a group of former ‘comfort women’ to strike down an agreement signed by the two countries to settle claims over the abuse. The agreement was made in 2015 and was considered a step towards reconciliation between Japan and South Korea. Comfort women is a euphemism for the thousands of girls and women, most of them Korean, who were forced to work in Japan's brothels before and during World War Two, when Japan occupied Korea. Surviving comfort women saw the agreement as unjust and argued that it violated their rights. As they were not consulted when the governments agreed to close the matter as ‘irreversibly resolved’ the agreement did not meet the needs of the women.