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Brazil : Nonbinary Person Authorized to Change Birth Certificate to Indicate ”Unspecified” Sex

(Sept. 30, 2020) In August 2020, at the request of the Public Defender’s Office, the justice of the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro issued an unprecedented decision that authorizes a nonbinary person, meaning someone who does not identify as female or male, or identifies with both genders, to amend their birth certificate to have […]

Sudan: New Law Amending Penal Code Takes Effect

(July 23, 2020) On July 13, 2020, the Sudanese Official Gazette published Law No. 12 of 2020, which amends 15 provisions of the Penal Code of 1991. According to Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari, the new provisions are part of Sudan’s efforts to eliminate all laws that violate human rights and “demolish any kind of discrimination […]

Brazil: City of São Paulo Enacts Law Punishing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

(Feb. 26, 2020) On January 24, 2020, the mayor of the city of São Paulo enacted Law No. 17,301 (Lei No. 17.301 de 24 de Janeiro de 2020), which provides for administrative sanctions to be applied to discriminatory practices that are based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Under the new Law, any form of […]

Sweden: Government Announces Truth Commission at Sami Repatriation Ceremony Following Official Sami Request

(Dec. 12, 2019) On August 12, 2019, the Swedish government repatriated 25 skulls belonging to the Samis, an indigenous group living in an area known as Sápmi, which is spread over northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The skulls had been excavated during the 1950s during an archeological dig and sent to the […]

Pakistan: Sindh Province Rejects Bill Against Forced Conversions

(Nov. 15, 2019) On October 8, 2019, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh Province rejected a bill criminalizing forced religious conversions. This was the second attempt at enacting an anti-conversion law in the province—in December 2016 the Provincial Assembly passed a similar bill, but on the insistence of the provincial government, the governor did not assent […]

Canada: Higher Standards Set for Workplace Diversity

(Sept. 19, 2019) Effective January 1, 2020, all publicly traded companies regulated by the Canada Business Corporations Act (CBCA) must provide shareholders with details regarding the companies’ corporate policies on diversity among the board of directors and among senior management. In accordance with the passing of Bill C-25, An Act to Amend the Canada Business […]

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 […]

Australia: Queensland Enacts Historic Human Rights Legislation

(Mar. 6, 2019) On February 27, 2019, the Queensland Parliament passed the Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld), making it the third jurisdiction in Australia to enshrine human rights protections in such legislation. (Human Rights Bill 2018 (Qld), Queensland Parliament website; Jack Maxwell, A Human Rights Act for Queensland, OXFORD HUMAN RIGHTS HUB (Nov. 26, 2018).) […]

Sweden: Changes to Law on National Minorities and Minority Languages Take Effect

(Jan. 28, 2019) On January 1, 2019, provisions expanding rights and protection for Swedish national minorities and minority languages took effect. The new provisions provide that minorities have a right to both elder care and preschool in their native (minority) language. (17, 18 & 18 a §§ Lag om nationell minoriteter [Act on National Minorities] […]