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United Nations; Africa: Action Against Child Trafficking Urged

(Dec. 2, 2007) Speaking at an international meeting on trafficking in children and armed conflict, Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, urged West and Central African states to protect their children. He described child trafficking as something “which not only harms innocent lives but also efforts to secure […]

Liberia: Anti-Rape Campaign Launched

(Dec. 2, 2007) The Liberian government, with assistance from the United Nations, has undertaken a national campaign to prevent and punish the crime of rape. The project was launched by Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the slogan "Stop rape – it could be your mother, your daughter, your sister, your niece." The United Nations […]

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 […]

Maldives: Parliament Passes Draft of Constitution Chapter

(Dec. 2, 2007) The draft constitutional chapter concerned with procedures for amending the Constitution was passed by the Majlis, the Parliament of Maldives. The language written by the Drafting Committee was entirely retained. Under this chapter, parts of the Constitution may be amended by a three-fourths majority vote in the Majlis. The chapters on the […]

Nigeria: Vice-President Calls for Review of Constitution

(Dec. 2, 2007) Nigeria's Vice-President, Goodluck Jonathan, on November 20, 2007, said that the country's Constitution is inadequate and in need of amendment. Speaking at the International Conference on Federalism being held in New Delhi, he argued that the 1999 document does not accommodate current developments. Jonathan further said that most Nigerians see the current […]

United Nations: Advancing Rule of Law Deemed Vital

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 20, 2007, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that upholding the rule of law is "crucial to the cause of peace." He was speaking to parliamentarians from many nations at the Annual Parliamentary Hearing, sponsored by the United Nations in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The speech stressed the importance of […]

Sri Lanka: Ban on Arms Deals Proposed

(Nov. 2, 2007) The Sri Lankan government has issued a special provision under the existing Emergency Regulations on Arms Trading. According to Basil Rajapaksa, a new Member of Parliament, the provision will eventually be enacted as law. The purpose is to prohibit any Sri Lankan from taking part in arms deals, whether within the country […]

Mali: Cabinet Abolishes Death Penalty

(Nov. 2, 2007) L'Essor, a government newspaper in Mali, reported on its Web site on October 18, 2007, that the Cabinet had passed a bill on the abolition of capital punishment, replacing it with life imprisonment. It had been a penalty that could be imposed under article 4 of the August 20, 2001, penal code. […]

Nigeria: Publisher Charged with Sedition

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 10, 2007, in southern Nigeria, the publisher of a private newspaper was arrested by officers reported by some to be agents of the State Security Service, even though the local authorities denied they were involved. On October 16, Jerome Imeime, publisher of a newspaper in the State of Akwa Ibom, […]

United Kingdom: Highest Court Reviews Terrorism Control Orders

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 31, 2007, the United Kingdom's highest court, the House of Lords, gave broad support to the controversial government control-order regime for terrorism suspects. At present, there are 14 individuals subject to such orders, but three can no longer be located. The court also created new rights for those accused of […]