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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 […]

United States: Same-Sex Marriage Ban Held Unconstitutional in California

(May 2, 2008) On May 15, 2008 the California Supreme Court ruled that provisions in the state’s marriage statutes disallowing same-sex marriages violate the California Constitution. The opinion arose from six consolidated proceedings involving the City of San Francisco’s issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples during a period in 2004. The issuance of such […]

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 […]

European Court of Human Rights: France Condemned in Lesbian Adoption Case

(Feb. 2, 2008) On January 22, 2008, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that France violated Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) in conjunction with article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights by refusing to authorize a lesbian woman to adopt a child because 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 […]