Costa Rica Becomes the First Central American Country to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage
CNN, Costa Rica, 5/26/2020
On May 26, 2020, Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to legally recognise same-sex marriage. The move to marriage equality followed an August, 2018 ruling by the country’s constitutional court, which ruled that laws preventing same-sex marriages was unconstitutional and gave the legislature a deadline of 18 months to enact marriage equality. Costa Rica’s decision also followed an opinion issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in January, 2018 where it had asked the court to determine whether it was obligated to extend property rights to same-sex couples. The decision was celebrated by couples who held weddings overnight. LGBTQIA+ organisations also celebrated the move, while adding that more work needed to be done to achieve marriage equality around the world.
Tanzania: Violence Against Women, Girls on Rise Amidst Corona Virus Pandemic
All Africa, Tanzania, 5/25/2020
Anna Kulaya, the Director of Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF) said in a joint statement by the Coalition Against (MKUKI) and Data Driven Advocacy – Working Group Two (DDA - WG2) that the number of gender-based violence (GBV) cases in Tanzania increased during the Covid-19 outbreak. According to Kulaya, crowded homes, substance abuse, limited access to services and reduced peer support were some of the contributing factors behind the increase. Kulaya said that while MKUKI and WG2 were struggling to gather data on current GBV, particularly violence against women and girls, emerging data showed such instances had intensified. She added that based on global case studies, Tanzania was no exception and that there was a need for interventions to curb the situation.
Delhi State Legal Services Authority Comes to the Aid of Domestic Abuse Victims
The New Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 5/24/2020
To help women affected by domestic violence during the lockdown, the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) is collaborating with Mother Dairy booths, pharmacists and chemists throughout the national capital. DSLSA has also tied up with Anganwadi and ASHA workers who might come across domestic violence cases in their areas. DLSA has now set up a phone number, in addition to its previous helpline, which can be reached through WhatsApp messages and SMS. DSLSA has also launched a mobile application called the ‘Vidhik Sewa’ to provide free legal aid to women affected by domestic violence, in addition to legal aid for missing children reports, civil and labour disputes etc.
Education Ministry Takes Flak for Child-Abuse Failings
Bangkok Post, Thailand, 5/23/2020
A network of 92 organisations on May 22, 2020 has called on the Education Ministry of Thailand to step up proactive measures to eradicate sexual abuse of school children following recent abuse scandals in three provinces of Thailand. Network representatives of the organisations handed a letter to the Education Minister, Nataphol Teepsuwan, urging him to take action. In addition, nearly 10,000 people signed a petition supporting the call. Waraporn Chamsanit, manager of the Women’s Wellbeing and Gender Justice Programme, urged that the ministry must file lawsuits against the offending teachers and come up with proactive measures to prevent sexual abuse in schools along with guidelines for teachers on protecting student’s rights.
StanChart Extends Staff Mediclaim to LGBT Partners
The Times of India - Mumbai, India, 5/22/2020
Standard Charter (StanChart) Bank has decided to extend medical and domestic relocation benefits to LGBTQIA+ partners of all employees in India. The employees can now declare an LGBTQIA+ partner as an eligible beneficiary under the bank’s medical reimbursement policy and domestic relocation policy. StanChart has been taking successive steps in ensuring an equal and inclusive workplace for LGBTQIA+ employees over 2019, such as the launch of an online resource group for LGBTQIA+ employees and allies, sensitisation sessions for employees with the help of activists and NGOs, and participating in the Mumbai pride in 2020. In 2019, another multinational bank Citi had extended family benefits to all domestic partners, including live-in partners and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender partners.