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Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; International Criminal Court: Accusations Connected with Child Soldiers

(May 2, 2008) Thomas Lubanga Dyilo will be tried in June 2008 by the International Criminal Court (ICC). He is accused of recruiting child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The trial is seen by the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, as "a crucial step in […]

Israel: Assistance to Minors Who Are Victims of Sexual or Other Violent Offenses

(May 2, 2008) On April 2, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed the Assistance to Minors Who Are Victims of Sexual or Other Violent Offenses Law, 5768-2008. The Law is designed to determine by legislation the rights of minors subjected to these offenses to receipt of primary assistance in centers that will be established specifically […]

South Korea: Stricter Measures for Those Convicted of Sexual Violence Against Children

(May 2, 2008) Ten- and eight-year-old girls (Hye-jin and Yae-seul) vanished in South Korea on Christmas day in 2007. A suspect was arrested in March 2008. He confessed that he raped and killed the girls. In the same month, a man tried to kidnap a ten-year-old girl from an elevator in her apartment building by […]

South Africa: Child Law

(May 2, 2008) 41 of 2007, which includes provisions on “partial care of children, early childhood development, prevention and early intervention, foster care, child and youth care centers, protection of children, children in alternative care, and creates new offences relating to children.” (Children's Amendment Act, 513:30884 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE: REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA (Mar. 18, 2008), […]

Taiwan: Child and Juvenile Welfare Law Amended

(May 2, 2008) On April 22, 2008, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan approved amendments to the Child and Juvenile Welfare Law that impose fines on anyone who encourages the young to commit suicide. The revised Law stipulates that persons who “force, lure, allow, or act as a go-between for” a child or minor to end his or […]

Iceland: Child Sexual Exploitation Convention Signed

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 4, 2008, Iceland signed the Council of Europe's Convention on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201, available at Thus far, 27 states have signed the Convention, but none have ratified it. (Iceland Sings [sic] Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of […]

Switzerland: Child Allowance

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 22, 2008, Switzerland promulgated the Federal Act on Family Allowances (AMTLICHE SAMMLUNG 131 (2008)). This law increases the paid allowances for children to a minimum of 200 Swiss Francs (about US$181) in all the cantons, and it introduces an educational allowance of at least 250 Swiss Francs (about US$226) per […]

China: Protocol to Child Rights Convention Ratified

(Jan. 3, 2008) China's National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) adopted a decision on December 29, 2007, to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflicts. China signed the Protocol on March 15, 2001. The Optional Protocol entered into force on February […]

Chad: French Aid Workers Convicted

(Jan. 2, 2008) Six French aid workers from the organization Zoé's Ark have been convicted of attempting to kidnap more than one hundred children in Chad. The court in N'djamena, Chad's capital, sentenced them to eight years in prison with hard labor and ordered them to pay US$8 million in compensation. They were also found […]

Liberia: U.N. Report Calls for Improved Juvenile Justice System

(Dec. 2, 2007) A November 14, 2007, report issued by the United Nations mission in Liberia states that the country's juvenile justice system needs to be made stronger to protect children's legal rights. As a result of the 14-year civil war, many Liberian public institutions must now be strengthened, including those bodies designed to protect […]