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Mexico: Inter-American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance Ratified

(Jan. 30, 2020) On January 27, 2020, Mexico’s government announced that it had ratified the Inter-American Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance by depositing the pertinent instrument of ratification at the Organization of American States (OAS) (the Convention’s sponsoring body). In accordance with the provisions of the Convention, Mexico’s ratification as the second […]

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 […]

Russia: President Signs Law Allowing Adoption of Children by People with Particular Diseases

(June 26, 2019) On May 29, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that allows courts to use discretion in approving adoption orders concerning children who already live with their prospective adoptive parents if one of the parents is suffering from certain diseases. (Federal Law No. 115 of May 29, 2019, on […]

Costa Rica/OAS: Inter-American Court of Human Rights Declares Right to Marry Should Be Extended to Same-Sex Couples

(Feb. 9, 2018) On January 9, 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) published an advisory opinion stating that under the American Convention of Human Rights, the institution of marriage should be extended to same-sex couples. (Press Release, IACtHR, Advisory Opinion on Gender Identity and Nondiscrimination Against Same-Sex Couples (Jan. 9, 2018), IACtHR website […]

Ascension Island/Bermuda/St. Helena/Tristan da Cunha/United Kingdom: Convention on Women Extended to Overseas Territories

(May 10, 2017) The Government of the United Kingdom recently extended the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to some of its overseas territories, namely Ascension Island, Bermuda, St. Helena, and Tristan da Cunha. (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, opened for signature Mar. 1, 1980, […]

Italy: Right to Use Maternal Last Name

(Jan. 25, 2017) On December 28, 2016, a decision by the Constitutional Court of Italy declared unconstitutional several provisions of the Civil Code and other legislation, concerning the attribution of the maternal last name to children. (Decision No. 286 of November 8, 2016, Related to Provisions of the Civil Code and Other Legislation (Decision No. […]

ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

International Labour Organization: Forced Labor Protocol Enters into Effect

(Nov. 17, 2016) On November 9, 2016, the International Labour Organization (ILO) announced that its International Protocol P029 of 2014 to the Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (the Forced Labour Convention of 1930) had officially entered into force. On the same date, Argentina became the ninth country to ratify the Protocol. (Aaron Christenson, International […]

Cambodia: Plan to Reform Torture Prevention Committee

(Apr. 19, 2016) Although plans have not been made concrete, Cambodia’s Interior Minister, Sar Kheng, has announced that the government’s Committee Against Torture will be reformed. The announcement came on April 8, predating the April 13, 2016, release of the annual U.S. Department of State human rights report that criticized Cambodia on the issue of […]

Thailand/United Nations: Call to Investigate Disappearances, Ratify Treaty

(Jan. 8, 2016) On January 6, 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, called on the Thai government to criminalize enforced disappearances; to investigate the cases of over 80 individuals who have disappeared, including the prominent attorney Somchai Neelapaijit; and to immediately ratify the International Convention for the Protection […]