China Considers Measures to Curb Workplace Harassment: Xinhua
Reuters - Beijing, China, 8/27/2018
China is considering introducing measures to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace in a civil code draft submitted to the country’s top legislature, state news agency Xinhua reported. The draft code will have ‘clear rules’ focused on the ‘intense problem of sexual harassment’, according to which, victims can demand perpetrators to ‘assume civil liability’ for sexual harassment through words or actions, or by exploiting someone’s subordinate relationship. The rules would also require employers to take reasonable measures to prevent, stop, and deal with complaints about sexual harassment at the workplace, and a failure to do so will hold employers accountable. The draft, which is part of a wider civil code, was presented to the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
New HIV Treatment and Prevention Guidelines Out
The Star, Kenya, 8/25/2018
The Health Ministry of Kenya released its new National HIV-ART Care and Treatment Guidelines and training documents on August 24, 2018. The documents include provisions and guidance for healthcare providers to effectively carry out HIV treatment and to create awareness around the infection. ‘With this plan, we will ensure 80 per cent of Kenyans are tested and aware of their HIV status,’ said Kenya’s Health Minister, ‘We acknowledge that as the world changes, we should be continuously rethinking and considering ways to promote HIV prevention, treatment, and for services to be of high quality and accessible to all.’ The guidelines are based on recent evidence that shows 43 per cent (four out of every 10) of the people living with HIV remain undiagnosed worldwide.
Bill Bars Divorce on Grounds of Reproductive Health
Himalayan Times - Kathmandu, Nepal, 8/25/2018
The bill on Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Rights, which has been registered at the Parliament Secretariat of Nepal, has a provision which bars anyone from filing for divorce citing reproductive health issues of the spouse. Anyone convicted of filing for divorce or expelling spouse from the house on grounds of reproductive health will be liable for one year imprisonment and fines. Similarly, the bill has also made provisions for taking action against the health workers deliberately referring emergency delivery and neo-natal cases to another health institution despite the facility being available in one’s health institution. It also guarantees the right to safe abortion, and makes it mandatory for the Government to allocate an annual budget for other reproductive health programmes.
With New DNA Labs, India Tackles Backlog of Sexual Assault Cases
Reuters - Chennai, India, 8/23/2018
India is bringing in new measures aimed at strengthening investigations into sexual assault, as well as reducing a backlog of cases awaiting DNA testing, a senior official said. The Government has pledged to build more labs specialising in examining DNA evidence in sexual assault cases, and has issued new guidelines to help ensure that investigators do not contaminate evidence. Less than half of the cases that go to DNA labs each year are processed, while 20 percent of lab reports do not hold up in court due to contaminated evidence. Hence, the new guidelines, released by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), emphasises the proper handling of samples like vaginal swabs, condoms, pubic hair and clothes to plug investigative gaps.
Saudi Arabia Seeks Death Penalty against Female Human Rights Activist
The Guardian - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 8/22/2018
Saudi Arabian prosecutors are seeking the death sentence for five human rights activists, including a woman who is thought to be the first female campaigner in the country facing execution. Israa al-Ghomgham, a Shia activist arrested with her husband in 2015, will be tried in the country’s terrorism tribunal even though she was arrested for engaging in peaceful activism. Charges against her include ‘incitement to protest’ and ‘providing moral support to rioters’. Saudi Arabia, a monarchy where public protests and political parties are banned, has recently enacted some social and economic reforms, including giving women the right to drive. They have, however, cracked down on dissent, with dozens of activists arrested in the past year, including women campaigning for their rights.