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Morocco: Law Aimed at Protecting Domestic Workers Adopted

(Apr. 20, 2017) On August 10, 2016, the King of Morocco issued a decree approving the Law on Fixing the Conditions of Employing and Employment of Female and Male Domestic Workers.  The Law will come into effect, pursuant to its article 27, “one year after the necessary texts needed for its implementation have been published […]

Kenya: Parliament Ordered to Enact Legislation Related to Increasing the Number of Female Members

(Apr. 19, 2017) On March 29, 2017, the Constitutional and Human Rights Division of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi found that the two houses of the national legislature, the National Assembly and the Senate, failed to perform their constitutional obligation to ensure that not more than two-thirds of their members be of the […]

Mongolia: Domestic Violence Made a Criminal Offense

(Apr. 12, 2017) On February 1, 2017, Mongolia’s newly amended Law to Combat Domestic Violence entered into force. The new Law was adopted on December 22, 2016, although it had originally been approved by the Great Hural (the parliament) on May 13, 2016, and scheduled for entry into effect on September 1 of that year. […]

Australia: Northern Territory Parliament Passes Bill to Decriminalize Abortion, Improve Access

(Mar. 28, 2017) On March 21, 2017, Australia’s Northern Territory Parliament voted to pass the Termination of Pregnancy Law Reform Bill 2017 (NT) (Northern Territory Legislation website). The Bill amends part VI, division 8, of the Criminal Code Act (NT), which currently criminalizes the administration of a drug or use of an instrument with the intention of […]

Germany: Parliament Debates Burqa and Niqab Ban for Civil Servants and Soldiers

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated a draft act that would prohibit federal civil servants performing official duties and soldiers in general from wearing full body and face veils (burqas) and face veils (niqab).  Exceptions would be allowed for medical reasons (protection against infections) or for official purposes.  The […]

Switzerland: Upper House of Parliament Rejects Burqa and Niqab Ban

(Mar. 15, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the Swiss Council of States (upper house of Parliament) rejected by a vote of 26 to 9, with 4 abstentions, a parliamentary initiative to ban the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) and amend the Swiss Constitution accordingly.  The Council of States is […]

Iran: Charter on Citizens’ Rights Signed

(Feb. 28, 2017) With the aim of “recovering and promoting citizens’ rights,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, under his constitutional authority to “determine the program and policies of the government,” signed the Charter on Citizens’ Rights in a ceremony on December 19, 2016.  (Rouhani Unveils Charter on Civil Rights; Vagueness Regarding “Enforcement Guarantee,” VOA (Dec. 19, […]

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 […]

India: Decision Not to Sign Hague Treaty on Child Abduction

(Jan. 23, 2017) In a decision made by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister, Maneka Gandhi, and agreed to by the Ministry of External Affairs, the government of India has decided not to ratify the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. (Shalini Nair, India Will Not Ink Hague Treaty on Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, […]

Germany: Government Proposes Law to Reduce Gender Pay Gap

(Jan. 18, 2017) On January 11, 2017, the German government agreed on a draft act that aims to ensure equal pay for work of equal value for women and men in the same workplace. (Gesetzentwurf der Bundesregierung, Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Förderung der Transparenz von Entgeltstrukturen [Draft Act of the Federal Government, Draft Act to Promote Transparency in […]