News Archives

Chile's Bachelet Sends Gay Marriage Bill to Congress

Al Jazeera, Chile, 8/29/2017

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has sent legislation to congress seeking to legalise gay marriage, a move that follows a string of social reforms in one of Latin America's most conservative nations. The bill submitted on August 28 would allow gay couples to adopt children and would denote marriage as a ‘union between two people’ rather than between a man and a woman, according to reports. In March 2017, Bachelet, a centre-left politician, pledged to send a full marriage bill to legislators before the end of the year. But it was not immediately clear if Bachelet would be able to push the gay marriage bill through congress before she leaves office in March 2018.

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Nepal Police Plans to Set Up Anti-Trafficking Bureau

The Himalayan Times - Kathmandu, Nepal, 8/28/2017

Nepal Police is planning to set up a separate Human Trafficking and Transportation Control Bureau. Central Police Spokesperson DIG Pushkar Karki said the bureau would be formed as part of the security body’s efforts to fight human trafficking, which had become a growing problem in the country. The plan also ensures trafficking victims greater access to services through capacity building of the law enforcement agency. An 84-point Home Administration Reform Roadmap made public by Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma has also attached high priority to anti-human trafficking measures. As per the roadmap, the Ministry of Home Affairs is planning to depute police attachés to Nepali embassies in labour destinations with high number of Nepali migrant workers.

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DOH Seeks Immediate Tests, Treatment for HIV

The Philippine Star - Manila, Philippines, 8/27/2017

As the country’s HIV and AIDS cases soar at an alarming pace, the Department of Health (DOH) is implementing the ‘test and treat’ strategy to make sure that all infected individuals get immediate treatment. According to DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial, they are advocating for the ‘risk groups’ to get themselves tested for HIV so the DOH can provide them with free anti-retroviral therapy (ART). The department has decided to shorten the testing procedure to make sure that those who test positive for HIV will immediately receive ART. Based on the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Data 2017 report, the Philippines had the highest rate of new infections in Asia and the Pacific from 2010 to 2016 at 140 percent.

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Ram Rahim Singh: Fatal Clashes Follow Indian Guru's Rape Conviction

The Guardian, India, 8/25/2017

At least 30 people have died in riots and arson attacks that have broken out across two states in northern India after a flamboyant spiritual leader was convicted of raping two of his female followers. The Indian army was deployed in the city of Panchkula on August 25 shortly after the court found Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of sexual assault. The self-styled ‘godman’ and leader of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect has been taken into custody and will reportedly be flown by helicopter to a jail in Haryana state before sentencing on August 28. Authorities told the Hindustan Times that at least 30 people had been killed across the region, with a further 250 injured.

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Right to Privacy Judgment: SC Says Sexual Orientation Essential Attribute of Privacy and Must Be Protected

The Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 8/24/2017

The landmark Supreme Court’s verdict declaring the right to privacy to be a fundamental right has ushered in hope for the LGBT community that was dealt a blow by the same court when it criminalised sex between two consenting adults of same sex and brought it out of the ambit of Section 377. In a judgment on August 24, the apex court concluded that privacy includes at its core the preservation of personal intimacies and that sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy. The court held that privacy and protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.

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