Names, Photos, ID: First Registry of Sex Offenders out Today
The Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 9/20/2018
India officially rolled out the National Registry of Sexual Offenders on September 20, 2018, becoming the ninth country in the world to set up and maintain such a database. The Indian registry includes names, photographs, residential address, fingerprints, DNA samples, of convicted sexual offenders. According to official sources, the database contains more than 4.5 lakh cases, including profiles of first-time and repeat offenders. The registry will be available only to law enforcement agencies in India, unlike in the US where the database can be accessed by the public. The decision to set up such a database was taken in April 2018, following nationwide outrage over cases of sexual assault on minors, including the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
'Speak Up to Prevent Sexual Harassment': Chinese Feminists Hail Beijing Subway Ads as Sign of Progress
South China Morning Post - Beijing, China, 9/18/2018
A campaign on the Beijing subway encouraging people to speak up against sexual harassment has been hailed by feminists as a sign of progress – a year after authorities in another Chinese city blocked an activist group’s bid to display a similar poster. The signs on the passenger straps read: ‘Speak up together to prevent sexual harassment. Don’t be a silent victim.’ Photos of the signs were widely shared across Chinese social media after their debut last week and garnered an overwhelmingly positive response. Although the signs on the Beijing subway did not specify any guidelines or pointers for reporting cases of sexual harassment, Chinese feminists have welcomed the move as a positive step towards raising awareness around sexual harassment and abuse.
‘Love Wins’: Hong Kong Changes Same-Sex Spouse Visa Policy after Historic Ruling
Hong Kong Free Press - Hong Kong, China, 9/18/2018
Hong Kong’s Government has changed its visa policy for same-sex spouses following a historic legal ruling. The new policy means same-sex spouses will be able to apply for dependent visas to stay with their partners in Hong Kong starting from September 19, 2018. As same-sex unions are not recognised under Hong Kong laws, same-sex spouses were not previously eligible to hold visas as dependents. This changed when the Court of Final Appeal upheld a lower court’s judgment in favour of lesbian expat QT, affirming what legal experts deemed a ‘landmark decision’ for Hong Kong’s LGBTQ community. The new policy applies to those who entered officially recognised same-sex civil partnerships, unions or marriages overseas, but is still a major step towards recognising rights of LGBTQ couples.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Backs Same-Sex Marriage
BBC, Cuba, 9/17/2018
The Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said that he is in favour of recognising ‘marriage between people without any restrictions’, implying that he backs same-sex marriage. In a TV interview, he said doing so was ‘part of eliminating any type of discrimination in society’. This comes while Cuba is in the process of updating its constitution, which had previously defined marriage as between ‘a man and a woman’. Activists have been pushing for the inclusion of LGBTQ rights in the new constitution, which is currently under consultation and will be put to a national referendum in early 2019. President Díaz-Canel's endorsement of same-sex marriage is a welcome move in this regard, a stark contrast to the persecution homosexual people previously suffered in Cuba.
Tobago Agree to Sexual and Reproductive Rights Framework
Daily Express, Trinidad and Tobago, 9/17/2018
The Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development (DHWFD) at the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and the Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) have agreed to a framework for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights for men, women and young people in Tobago. On September 16, 2018, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Division’s Head Office, which established an agreed framework for the coordinated operations involved in the process. All the stakeholders involved in signing the MOU expressed their delight with the agreement and made a commitment to fulfil their respective roles to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for the people of Tobago.