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South Africa: Constitutional Court Confirms Right of a Child not to be Detained Except as a Measure of Last Resort

(Aug. 26, 2016) On August 11, 2016, South Africa’s Constitutional Court found unconstitutional the arrest and detention of a 15-year-old child by the police and upheld her claim for damages for wrongful arrest and detention against the Minister of Safety and Security.  (The Right of a Child Not to Be Detained Prevails, BUSINESS DAY LIVE […]

United Nations: Ban Ki-moon Decries Increase in Child Soldiers

(June 10, 2016) The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, expressing shock at the marked increase in violations of children’s rights, has called for changes in law and policy to better protect young people. His concern was focused on the use of child soldiers in a number of countries, particularly Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, and […]

Indonesia: Regulation on Sexual Violence Against Children Issued

(May 27, 2016) On May 25, 2016, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo issued a regulation in lieu of law (called a perppu in Indonesian) on sexual violence against children; the plan to issue the regulation had been announced about two weeks earlier. (Ayomi Amindoni, Govt Issues Perppu on Sexual Violence Against Children, JAKARTA POST (May 25, […]

Indonesia: Harsher Punishment for Sex Crimes Considered

(May 16, 2016) On May 11, 2016, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Puan Maharani, announced that a new regulation on sexual violence against children will be issued in the near future. According to Maharani, “[i]t is the commitment of the President, who believes that sexual violence is an extraordinary crime and the […]

France: New Legal Protections for Children

(Apr. 1, 2016) On March 14, 2016, the French government promulgated a new law on child protection. (Loi no. 2016-297 du 14 mars 2016 relative a la protection de l’enfant (1) [Law No. 2016-297 of March 14, 2016, Regarding the Protection of the Child], LEGIFRANCE.) It amends existing French legislation with the overall goal of increasing protection for children, especially […]

Uganda: Parliament Passes Amendments to Children Act

(Mar. 17, 2016) On March 2, 2016, the 388–member unicameral Ugandan Parliament passed the Children (Amendment) Bill, 2015, the goal of which is “to amend the Children Act, Cap. 59; enhance protection of a child; provide for the guardianship of children; provide for inter country adoption; prohibit corporal punishment and provide for related matters.”  (The Children (Amendment) […]

Germany: Allowing Juvenile to Stop Medical Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Constitutes Torture

(Sept. 11, 2015) On August 4, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that letting a 12-year-old boy decide if he wants to continue treatment for the genetic disease cystic fibrosis, from which he had suffered since early childhood and for which he needed constant medical treatment, constitutes neglect of the custodian’s […]

Indonesia: Death of Child Brings Calls for Reform of Child Protection, Adoption Legislation

(June 18, 2015) An infamous case of violence against a child has led to calls for reform in child protection and adoption legislation in Indonesia. On June 10, 2015, the body of an eight-year old girl was found in Bali; she had been buried in the backyard of her adoptive mother’s house. (Unlawful Child Adoption […]

Iceland: Family Fined over Daughter’s Name

(Mar. 20, 2015) Icelandic parents of a young girl are facing daily fines of ISK1.47 (about US$0.01) because they gave their daughter a name not previously used in Iceland for a girl. (Anita Rienstra, Icelandic Parents Facing Daily Fines over Daughter’s Name, ICE NEWS (Mar. 15, 2015).) Iceland’s Personal Names Act requires all names to […]