News Archives

Tough Laws Sharply Reduce Bangladesh Acid Attacks on Women

Straits Times, Bangladesh, 11/4/2019

Acid attacks on women have declined dramatically in Bangladesh in recent years as tough laws and the closer monitoring of chemical sales have cut down the grisly crime, officials and activists said on November 4, 2019. According to the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), there have been just eight such attacks in 2019 - well down from the 494 cases reported in 2002 when new laws were enacted. The crime first emerged in the 1990s, with scores of jilted men throwing sulphuric or nitric acid in the faces of women who rebuffed their advances to ‘spoil them’ for anyone else. Victims sustained lifelong injuries, and faced social stigma. Officials and experts attributed the declining rate of this crime to a coordinated social, legal, and administrative campaign.

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Women Help Desks, More Anti-human Trafficking Units to be Set Up Using Nirbhaya Fund: Smriti Irani

News18 - New Delhi, India, 11/2/2019

The Women and Child Development Minister of India, on November 2, 2019, said that women’s help desks will be set up in police stations across the country and more anti-human trafficking units will be established in all districts using the Nirbhaya fund. The Nirbhaya Fund was announced by the Centre in 2013 after the December 16, 2012 case in the national capital. Its aim was to support initiatives of the government and the NGOs working towards preventing sexual violence and ensuring the safety of women. On October 22, 2019, the Empowered Committee (EC) under Nirbhaya framework had favourably appraised two proposals to develop systems for operationalisation of Women’s Help Desks (WHDs) in police stations at various levels, for dealing with crimes pertaining to women and children.

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Army Wants Homosexuality, Adultery to Remain Punishable Offences: Report

Asian Age - New Delhi India, 11/1/2019

The Indian Army wants homosexuality and adultery to remain as punishable offences to ‘ensure discipline’ and has made a representation to the Defence Ministry, a year after the Supreme Court decriminalised both, sources said on October 31, 2019. The Army Act earlier had a provision under which its personnel can be charged for homosexuality and adultery, but now it will be under another provision of the same Act - i.e, still remaining punishable. An officer, who faces charges of homosexuality, will now be tried under section 45 of the Army Act for ‘behaving in a manner unbecoming of his position and character expected of him’. Also, in its parlance, the army prosecutes officers for adultery on charges of ‘stealing affection of a brother's wife’.

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