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Ascension Island/Bermuda/St. Helena/Tristan da Cunha/United Kingdom: Convention on Women Extended to Overseas Territories

(May 10, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom recently extended the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to some of its overseas territories, namely Ascension Island, Bermuda, St. Helena, and Tristan da Cunha. (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, opened for signature Mar. 1, 1980, […]

Italy: Right to Use Maternal Last Name

(Jan. 25, 2017) On December 28, 2016, a decision by the Constitutional Court of Italy declared unconstitutional several provisions of the Civil Code and other legislation, concerning the attribution of the maternal last name to children. (Decision No. 286 of November 8, 2016, Related to Provisions of the Civil Code and Other Legislation (Decision No. […]

ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

International Labour Organization: Forced Labor Protocol Enters into Effect

(Nov. 17, 2016) On November 9, 2016, the International Labour Organization (ILO) announced that its International Protocol P029 of 2014 to the Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (the Forced Labour Convention of 1930) had officially entered into force. On the same date, Argentina became the ninth country to ratify the Protocol. (Aaron Christenson, International […]

Cambodia: Plan to Reform Torture Prevention Committee

(Apr. 19, 2016) Although plans have not been made concrete, Cambodia’s Interior Minister, Sar Kheng, has announced that the government’s Committee Against Torture will be reformed. The announcement came on April 8, predating the April 13, 2016, release of the annual U.S. Department of State human rights report that criticized Cambodia on the issue of […]

Thailand/United Nations: Call to Investigate Disappearances, Ratify Treaty

(Jan. 8, 2016) On January 6, 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on the Thai government to criminalize enforced disappearances; to investigate the cases of over 80 individuals who have disappeared, including the prominent attorney Somchai Neelapaijit; and to immediately ratify the International Convention for the Protection […]

Sri Lanka: Human Rights Commission Recommends Ending Death Penalty

(Jan. 6, 2016) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) recently recommended in a letter to the country’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, that Sri Lanka take two related steps: ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and abolish the death penalty in domestic legislation. The letter was also […]

International Labour Organization: Forced Labor Protocol to Come into Effect Next Year

(Dec. 3, 2015) The Protocol to the Forced Labor Convention, first adopted at a conference held by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2014, will come into effect on November 9, 2016. That date is 12 months after the protocol received its second ratification, from Norway, following a prior ratification by Niger.  (Norway Ratification Clinches […]

Indonesia: Constitutional Court Ruling on Political Office

(July 13, 2015) On July 9, 2015, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court issued a decision revoking a provision of a recent law on regional elections. (Decision No. 42/PUU-XIII/2015, Constitutional Court website (July 9, 2015) (in Indonesian).) It found article 7 of the 2015 law, which prohibits individuals with blood or marital ties to incumbent regional leaders from […]

Fiji: Parliament Approves Ratification of Convention Against Torture

(Mar. 19, 2015) On March 16, 2015, the Fijian Parliament voted unanimously to support the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT). (Nasik Swami, Yes to UNCAT, FIJI TIMES (Mar. 17, 2015).) The Parliament voted on a government motion following a debate on a […]