New database catalogs human rights violations for the Caribbean’s vulnerable communities
- The Shared Incidents Database (SID) will document violations affecting people with HIV, sex workers, people with substance addiction, gay and bisexual men, trans people, vulnerable youth, migrants, and the incarcerated.
- The database is a collaboration between the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) and the Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN), based in the Dominican Republic.
- Human rights and social justice organizations across the Caribbean are being trained in the use of SID, which creators envision as a tool in program development, policy creation, petitioning, and reporting.
“Caribbean’s first online human rights database launched” (The Jamaica Observer | May 2017)
“New Database Aims to Track Rights Violations of Caribbean’s Most Vulnerable Communities” (Global Voices | May 2017)
“Caribbean’s First Online Human Rights Incidence Database Launched” (Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition | May 2017)
Italian MEP convicted of defamation for racist remarks
- Mario Borghezio was convicted for comments against former Italian MP Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first black national minister.
- Borghezio had stated in a 2013 interview that Kyenge, who immigrated from the DRC, wanted to “impose her tribal traditions from the Congo” and was “a good housewife, but not a government minister.”
- Kyenge has faced numerous racial attacks as a result of her political visibility, and the ruling is the latest in a series of successful defamation cases she has brought.
“Northern League MEP must pay €50,000 to ex-minister over racial slurs” (The Local | May 2017)
“Italian in Europe’s Parliament Convicted of Defamation for Racial Insult” (The New York Times | May 2017)
“Italian MEP Cecile Kyenge: ‘I feel vindicated’” (BBC News | May 2017)
(Image Credit: Gianni Cipriano/The New York Times)
High court opens door to marriage equality in Taiwan
- The Council of Grand Justices ruled that the section of the Taiwanese Civil Code banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.
- The decision compels the government to revise the Code in accordance with the ruling, though it leaves open the question as to how that will be done.
- Once legally enshrined, the ruling will make Taiwan the first Asian country to secure marriage equality for its LGBT citizens.
“Same-sex Marriage: Marriage restrictions ‘unconstitutional’” (The Taipei Times | May 2017)
“Taiwan Is Set To Become The First Asian Country To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage” (BuzzFeed News | May 2017)
“Court Ruling Could Make Taiwan First Place in Asia to Legalize Gay Marriage” (The New York Times | May 2017)
(Image Credit: Tyrone Siu/Reuters, via The New York Times)
India passes nondiscrimination law securing rights for people with HIV
- The first of its kind in South Asia, the law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, education, healthcare, and public accommodations such as restaurants and calls for the establishment of an ombudsman to monitor violations.
- An estimated 2.1 million people live with HIV in India, with some 1 million currently receiving treatment.
- Some advocates for the positive community argued that the law does not go far enough to guarantee free treatment for the afflicted.
“Parliament clears landmark HIV Bill” (The Hindu | April 2017)
“What is HIV/AIDS Bill? All your questions answered” (The Indian Express | April 2017)
“India takes flawed first step towards ending HIV and Aids prejudice” (The Guardian | April 2017)
(Image Credit: Jayanta Dey/Reuters, via The Guardian)
Same-sex marriages commence in Slovenia
- The first lesbian wedding was scheduled in the country’s second-largest city, Maribor.
- The law establishing marriage equality in the country was passed in December 2015 after a contentious debate over same-sex adoption, although it was subsequently repealed by referendum.
- While able to marry, same-sex couples cannot jointly adopt a child or, for lesbian couples, undergo artificial insemination.
“Slovenia allows same-sex marriage, but not adoption” (Reuters | February 2017)
“Slovenia allows same-sex marriage” (POLITICO | February 2017)
“Slovenia will expand civil partnership rights after gay marriage defeated in referendum” (Gay Star News | March 2016)
(Image Credit: Jure Makovec/AFP, via POLITICO)
Global Women’s Marches
On the day following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, millions gathered in demonstrations taking place across all seven continents in support of women’s rights. Trump, who was elected despite having been accused of sexual assault by at least two dozen women, ran a campaign that attacked reproductive rights, disparaged high-profile women (including his opponent, Hillary Clinton), and equivocated on issues like gender pay equity, and of the 25 members of his incoming senior leadership team, only three are women. From Austin to Antarctica, women and allies around the world mobilized around issues including women’s security, reproductive rights, racial and immigration justice, climate change, and LGBTQ rights.
Source: The New York Times (YouTube)
Europe & Africa
Source: ODN (YouTube)
Asia Pacific & Antarctica
Source: Reuters (YouTube)
Designation of two new national monuments works to protect integrity of Native American lands
- President Obama designated two new national monuments, placing more than 1.6 million acres of land under federal stewardship and protecting the areas from development and looting.
- The Bears Ears National Monument comprises 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah, which includes more than 100,000 Native American cultural and archaeological sites and will be jointly managed by federal and indigenous leaders.
- The Gold Butte National Monument, located in southern Nevada, encompasses 300,000 acres that include sites of Native petroglyphs and critical habitats.
“Two New National Monuments Created in Utah and Nevada” (Scientific American | December 2016)
“Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres” (The New York Times | December 2016)
“Obama Designates Two New National Monuments, Protecting 1.65 Million Acres” (EcoWatch | December 2016)
(Image Credit: UIG/Getty Images, via Scientific American)