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Saudi Arabia: Law on Passports Amended to Allow Women to Travel Abroad Without a Male Guardian

(Aug. 23, 2019) On July 30, 2019, the king of Saudi Arabia issued Royal Decree M/134, amending Royal Decree M/24 of August 28, 2000, on Passports to allow Saudi women to travel abroad without a male guardian. The amendment also grants permission to Saudi women to obtain a passport without the approval of a male […]

New Zealand: Major Changes to Funded Family Care Policy Announced

(Aug. 13, 2019) On July 7, 2019, the New Zealand government announced several changes to the existing system for paying people who provide health and/or disability services to family members, known as the Funded Family Care policy. The current funding arrangements for Funded Family Care are contained in the Funded Family Care Notice 2013, which […]

Côte d’Ivoire: Bill to Amend Marriage Law Approved

(Aug. 9, 2019) On March 27, 2019, the Council of Ministers of Côte d’Ivoire approved a bill that would substantially amend the country’s marriage law. It must now be presented to the Parliament, where, if adopted, it will become law following its promulgation by the President. The bill, which was drafted as part of a […]

Turkey: Constitutional Court Rules Refusal to Allow Election of a New Patriarch a Violation of the Right to Freedom of Religion

(Aug. 8, 2019) On May 5, 2019, the Constitutional Court of Turkey issued its decision in Levon Berç Kuzukoglu ve Ohannes Garbis Balmumciyan, holding that the government’s failure to enable the election of a new Armenian patriarch in a manner conforming with Turkish-Armenian tradition and religious requirements constituted a violation of religious freedom. (Levon Berç […]

Canada: New Bill Prohibits Religious Symbols for Public-Sector Workers in Quebec

(Aug. 6, 2019) On June 16, 2019, Quebec’s National Assembly, in a 75–35 vote, passed Bill No. 21, which prohibits the display of religious symbols by public-sector workers in the work place. The controversial Bill was the government’s fourth attempt in the past decade to introduce religious neutrality to the province. (Bill No. 21, An […]

Japan: New Ainu Law Becomes Effective

(Aug. 5, 2019) A new act that legally recognizes the Ainu as the indigenous people of Japan was promulgated on April 26, 2019, and became effective on May 24, 2019. (Act on Promoting Measures to Realize a Society in Which the Pride of the Ainu People Is Respected, Act No. 16 of 2019 (Ainu Promotion […]

United Kingdom: First Successful Prosecution for Female Genital Mutilation

(July 31, 2019) Despite laws against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) being on the books in the United Kingdon (UK) since 1985, the first successful prosecution in the UK for FGM occurred in February 2019. The defendant in this case was convicted of carrying out FGM on her daughter when she was three years old, with […]

Ecuador: Constitutional Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage

(July 25, 2019) On June 12, 2019, Ecuador’s Constitutional Court (CC) upheld the right to same-sex marriage in the country, ruling in favor of two gay couples who had sued after their request to be married was denied by the country’s civil registry. (Corte Constitucional Aprueba Matrimonio Civil Igualitario en Ecuador, EL COMERCIO (June 12, […]