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China: Ban on Smoking in Indoor Public Places Takes Effect

(May 5, 2011) Effective May 1, 2011, smoking is banned in all indoor public places in China, according the Implementation Rules of the Regulations on Health Administration of Public Places, issued by the Ministry of Health. (Text of the Rules [in Chinese], the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China official website (Mar. […]

China: More Control of Smoking on Screen

(Feb. 23, 2011) On February 12, 2011, the General Office of China's State Administration for Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) issued a circular on controlling smoking scenes in movie and television productions. According to the circular, “[f]requent smoking scenes in films and TV dramas do not accord with China's stance on tobacco control and mislead […]

Fiji: HIV/AIDS Decree Approved by Cabinet

(Jan. 26, 2011) On January 18, 2011, it was announced that the Fiji Cabinet had approved the HIV/AIDS Decree 2011. (Press Release, Ministry of Information, 1-18-11 Cabinet Approves HIV/AIDS Decree 2011 (Jan. 18, 2011), This Decree “aims to safeguard the privacy and rights of persons infected or affected by HIV/AIDS,” (id.) including by: · […]

Taiwan: Amendment of National Health Insurance Act

(Jan. 11, 2011) On January 4, 2011, Taiwan's legislature adopted controversial amendments to the National Health Insurance Act, after opposition Democratic People's Party (DPP) legislators walked out in protest following the rejection by the “pan-blue”-dominated body of the DPP proposal to base health insurance fees on household income. (Flora Wang & Vincent Y. Chao, KMT […]

Ireland: Government Response to Loss in European Court Ruling on Abortion Law

(Jan. 4, 2011) On December 16, 2010, the office of the head of the government in Ireland issued a statement indicating that the government would study the issue of what steps the country needs to take in order to comply with a recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that found that […]

Switzerland: Decriminalization of Narcotics Consumption Proposed

(Oct. 20, 2010) On October, 15, 2010, the Committee for Social Security and Health of the National Council (Nationalrat), the representative chamber of the bicameral Swiss Parliament, resolved to initiate the legislative process for amending the Narcotics Act (Betäbungsmittelgesetz, Oct. 3, 1951, Systematische Sammlung des Bundesrechts No. 812.121, The purpose of this proposed reform […]

International Labour Organization: Global Labor Standard on HIV/AIDS Adopted

(June 21, 2010) On June 17, 2010, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations body devoted to labor issues, adopted a standard on HIV and AIDS. The action came during the ILO annual meeting and is the first time an international human rights document has focused on the disease and how it is handled […]

Peru: Anti-Smoking Law

(Apr. 21, 2010) On April 1, 2010, the Peruvian Congress passed Law No. 29517, which declares all closed facilities, health care centers, educational centers, public and private means of transportation, and the interiors of workplaces to be smoke-free environments. (Ley No 29517 [in Spanish], Congress of the Republic of Peru website, (last visited Apr. […]

European Union: Spanish Presidency Endorses Potential Agreement Between European Union and United States on Electronic Health Care

(Apr. 2, 2010) On March 4, 2010, the Spanish Minister of Health and Social Policy, Trinidad Jiménez, in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius, conveyed the support of the Government of Spain for a possible bilateral agreement between the two partners on digital healthcare. Spain holds the current Presidency of the European […]

Asia: AIDS Law Database Launched

(Mar. 10, 2010) On March 9, 2010, Asia Catalyst, “a resource for grassroots groups working for economic and social rights in Asia,” announced the launch of its free Asia AIDS Law Database, in a “public beta” version searchable in English and Chinese. An Asia Catalyst press release states that the new database, which has HIV/AIDS-related […]