New Law to Pave Way for Same-Sex Partnerships
The Nation, Thailand, 4/25/2018
After years of calls by sexual diversity groups, a new law that would allow registered life partnership for same-sex couples is in the making in Thailand – with supporters expecting it to be promulgated within the term of the present government. For proponents, the long-awaited legislation is viewed as the first important step towards legalising same-sex marriage in Thailand. A Justice Ministry subcommittee charged with drafting the bill is scheduled to convene on May 4, 2018 before presenting the final draft, through the justice minister, to the Cabinet for approval, said a source at the ministry’s Rights and Liberties Protection Department (RLPD).
Was There Scientific Assessment That Death Penalty is Deterrent to Rape: Delhi High Court to Centre
The New Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 4/24/2018
The Delhi High Court asked the Centre, on April 24, 2018, if it had done any research or scientific assessment before deciding on the death penalty for those who rape children below the age of 12. The High Court was responding to an ordinance passed by the Cabinet to amend the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Evidence Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to introduce this death penalty. The Centre's decision had come in response to the rapes in Kathua and Surat, but the High Court believes that such a judgement doesn’t address the ‘root cause’ and will be ineffective.
Gay Hotelier Moves SC Against Sec 377; Top Court Seeks Centre’s Response
The Times of India - New Delhi, India, 4/24/2018
Indian hotelier Keshav Suri, who runs the Lalit Group of hotels, approached the Supreme Court on April 23, 2018 to challenge Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code and to subsequently push for decriminalising gay sex. The court agreed to hear his plea and issued a notice to the Centre. Citing recent verdicts of the apex court upholding the right of choice and right to privacy of citizens, the 33-year-old businessman, who claims to be in a committed relationship with another man, said the penal provision was discriminatory and there was no logic for declaring intercourse between two individuals of the same sex as against the order of nature.
Rights Report Criticizes Chinese Companies Over Gender Discrimination
Daily Sabah, China, 4/23/2018
A new report by Human Rights Watch, titled ‘Only Men Need Apply: Gender Discrimination in Job Advertisements in China’, has recently exposed the stark gender discrimination in the hiring processes of a series of private and public companies – from issuing ‘men only’ job ads, to requests for women applicants to be ‘trim’ and ‘aesthetically pleasing’. According to the report, this discrimination is contributing to a drop in the female workforce and a widening gender pay gap. Although gender discrimination is illegal in China, the rules are unclear and rarely enforced. Some women have succeeded in taking employers to court over discriminatory job adverts, but the fines firms are made to pay as a result are nearly negligible.
Papua New Guinea's Critical HIV Drugs Shortage Sparks Warning that People May Die
ABC News, Papua New Guinea, 4/22/2018
Papua New Guineans living with HIV may lose their lives if critical anti-retroviral drugs used to treat the virus are not restocked soon, a member of the local HIV advocacy body has warned. The amount of available drugs has fallen to low levels, and the country's medical facilities have begun eating into its emergency stock. The Health Secretary has said that the government is maintaining close contact with donor partners for help with the restocking. Papua New Guinea has disproportionately high rates of HIV for the region, comprising of 95 per cent of the cases in the Pacific, but the country’s 2018 budget allocated only 3.6 million to HIV and AIDS treatment drugs, down from 8 million in 2017.