NIA to Investigate Human Trafficking Cases Soon
The Tribune - New Delhi, India, 2/28/2018
With Union Cabinet giving its nod on February 28 to a draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, the National Investigation Agency will soon become the nodal authority for investigating cases of human trafficking. The federal anti-terrorism investigation agency will receive financial aid under Nirbhaya Fund for safety of women in order to set up a cell for investigating human trafficking. Aggravated offences will include forced labour, bonded labour, forced surrogacy, use of narcotics to induce forced labour, trafficking in the garb of marriage and those that lead to a pregnancy or infections such as HIV and AIDS.
Health Minister JP Nadda Rolls Out Free Viral Load Tests for HIV
The Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 2/27/2018
Health Minister JP Nadda on February 26 launched free Viral Load Tests, which measure the quantity of virus in the body. The move is likely to benefit 12 lakh people living with HIV and AIDS in the country. Calling it a ‘historic day,’ Nadda said the viral load test is a ‘big step’ towards the treatment and monitoring of people living with HIV. ‘This test is of immense importance to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of patients taking lifelong anti-retroviral therapy,’ he said. He added that ending the stigma towards people living with HIV was essential to enable them to access health services.
Education Department Enforces Policy to Tackle HIV/AIDS in Schools
IOL - Johannesburg, South Africa, 2/26/2018
The Department of Basic Education has implemented a policy to help fight challenges brought by sexually transmitted diseases in schools including HIV and AIDS. The department said Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) and the provision of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services are some of the key levers in the policy which are also recognised globally as key strategies to prevent new HIV infection amongst the youth. ‘We further urge parents and the community to partake in parental and community dialogues in their respective locations and to continue engaging in crucial conversations with their children on sexual and reproductive health,’ said Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
Second Chance for Teens - Diversion Programme Keeping Children Who Experiment With Sex Out of Custody
The Gleaner, Jamaica, 2/25/2018
More than 200 children who have committed sexual offences in 2016 and 2017 have been spared criminal charges as a result of a diversion pilot programme that was introduced by the Ministry of Justice. According to police records, 104 adolescents under the age of 16 were diverted in 2016 and another 109 were referred to the programme in 2017. They were all found to have had sexual contact with a person under 16, which is a criminal offence. They must first agree to complete a three-month counselling programme at the Women Centre of Jamaica Foundation and receive the approval of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Pakistan Acquits 12 Men Accused of Child Sex Abuse
The Times of India - Lahore, Pakistan, 2/24/2018
A Pakistani court acquitted 12 men of child sexual abuse and blackmail charges on February 24, the latest verdict in a massive paedophilia scandal that rocked the country in August 2015. The abuse and extortion scandal, which authorities have called the largest in Pakistan's history, allegedly involved hundreds of victims in Punjab province. Two of the accused were jailed for life in April 2017. Judge Chaudhry Ilyas acquitted the men of ‘sexual abuse of a young boy and making a video to blackmail his family,’ a court official told AFP. Prosecutors produced 16 witnesses against the accused men, but could not prove the charges, the official said.