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Sweden: Public TV and Radio Service Fee System Reformed, New Tax Introduced

(Dec. 14, 2018) On November 14, 2018, the Swedish Parliament voted to replace the Swedish public service fee (tv-avgiften), which, under current rules, is paid only by households that have a television set. As of January 1, 2019, the fee will be replaced by a public service tax equal to 1% of the annual income […]

Brazil: National Policy on Reading and Writing Enacted

(July 25, 2018) The first National Policy on Reading and Writing (Política Nacional de Leitura e Escrita) was established in Brazil on July 12, 2018, through the enactment of Law No. 13,696. (Lei No. 13.696, de 12 de Julho de 2018, Presidency of the Republic website.) The policy was instituted as a permanent strategy to […]

Tajikistan: Law Prescribes Observation of National Traditions

(Apr. 2, 2018) On March 12, 2018, members of the Tajikistani legislature approved amendments to the Law of Tajikistan on Regulating Traditions, Celebrations, and Rituals in the Republic of Tajikistan. (Law of the Republic of Tajikistan No. 272 of June 8, 2007, Spinform website (in Russian) (by subscription).) Provisions of this Law, which allow government, […]

Uzbekistan: Rules for Observing Family Events

(Mar. 30, 2018) On March 15, 2018, the Senate (upper chamber) of the Oliy Majlis (Uzbek legislature) adopted the nonbinding Resolution on Regulating Celebrations of Weddings, Funerals, Family Festivities, and Other Events and published it for public comment on the government website. The Resolution is expected to enter into force on March 30, 2018, and […]

Switzerland: Voters Reject Proposal to Abolish Public Broadcasting Fees

(Mar. 7, 2018) On March 4, 2018, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 71.6% to 28.4% a popular initiative to abolish public broadcasting fees. Voter turnout was 54.4%. (Vorlage Nr. 617. Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse. Volksinitiative vom 11.12.2015 “Ja zur Abschaffung der Radio- und Fernsehgebühren (Abschaffung der Billag-Gebühren)” [Proposal No. 617, Preliminary Official Results: Popular […]

Kyrgyzstan: A Hat May Become a National Symbol

(Feb. 22, 2018) On January 8, 2018, Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament, the Zhogorku Kenesha, registered and opened for public discussion the recently introduced Bill on Recognizing the Traditional Headgear Ak kalpak as a Cultural Symbol. (Bill No. 6-220/18 of January 5, 2018, on Recognizing the Traditional Headgear Ak kalpak as a Cultural Symbol, KENESH.KG (Parliament’s website) (Jan. […]

Italy: New Legislation Regulating the Audiovisual Sector

(Jan. 26, 2018) On December 28, 2017, three new Legislative Decrees (L.D.s) regulating the film and audiovisual sector were published in Italy, with an effective date of December 1, 2018. (L.D. No. 202 of December 7, 2017, Provisions on Employment in the Film and Audiovisual Sector; L.D. No. 203 of December 7, 2017, Reform of […]

Indonesia: Province Drafts Regulation Banning Provocative Clothing

(Dec. 28, 2017) Bengkulu Province, located on the southwestern coast of the large Indonesian island of Sumatra, is considering adopting regional legislation on the protection of women and children that includes rules on proper dress. As now being drafted by the Provincial Legislative Council, the regulation would ban the wearing of “sexy clothing” in public. […]

Netherlands: Human Rights Institute Rules Police Administrative Staffer Can Wear Hijab with Uniform

(Dec. 1, 2017) On November 20, 2017, the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (College voor de rechten van de mens), an independent supervisory body established in 2002 that took over the tasks of the Dutch Equal Rights Commission, issued a non-binding ruling to the effect that the Dutch police were wrong to prohibit a Muslim […]

Switzerland: Referendum on Burqa and Niqab Ban Will Go to a Vote

(Oct. 24, 2017) On October 11, 2017, the Swiss Government announced that a proposed referendum on a ban of the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) had achieved the required 100,000 number of signatures to be put to a vote. (Eidgenössische Volksinitiative, “Ja zum Verhüllungsverbot” [Swiss Federal Popular Initiative, “Yes […]