RECENT MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
On 3 March 2008 the Ministry of Social Protection issued Resolution No. 00769 which implements Technical Regulations for Family Planning Care for Men and Women in the National Health Plan. The Regulations establish cost-effective activities, procedures, and interventions that must be included in the National Health Plan and set forth the health personnel responsible for them. Among other things, they describe the information, education, and counseling relating to contraceptives and the administration of each method that are to be provided to single persons and couples who wish to decide freely and responsibly on whether to have children. Approved methods include sterilization, IUDs, condoms, hormonal implants, oral contraceptives, diaphragms, injectables, and emergency contraception. The Regulations state that beneficiaries have rights to information, freedom of choice, privacy, safety, equality, and the highest level of health care, as well as informed consent. Particular attention is paid to the distribution of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.
Numerous strategies are proposed the reach these objectives. In the area of reproductive health, strategies include the following: adopting a law on reproductive health; strengthening family planning services and the availability of contraceptives; improving obstetrical services; developing activities to prevent and treat abortions; establishing measures to prevent violence against women and FGM and to treat the victims; and strengthening the provision of contraceptives at the community level. The Plan stresses responding to the needs of adolescents with respect to reproductive and sexual health and HIV/AIDS and formulating informational and educational materials on reproductive and sexual health for youth at the family level. In the area of HIV/AIDS, strategies include strengthening prevention activities for HIV/AIDS through education, blood and hospital safety, and the promotion of condoms; increasing access to and counseling on ARVS; and improving care for persons suffering from HIV/AIDS. Further provisions of the Plan set forth timetables for implementing the Plan and discuss financing and evaluation, among other things.
On 19 August 2008
On 28 August 2008
On 21 October 2008
22 October 2008 the
On 28 August 2008
On 16 July 2008
On 24 July 2008
receiving a benefit such as travel documents or employment, although donated blood, tissues, and organs may be tested. A minor between the ages of 15 and 17 may provide informed consent if considered mature enough to make that decision. Persons over the age of 18 may give their own consent. Further provisions of the Decree deal with the quality of services, the testing of children and prisoners, and the creation of testing sites, among other things.
On 22 April 2008
E. Women’s Rights
On 5 March 2008
In the area of health, the objectives of the Plan are to guarantee sexual and reproductive rights in all phases of life without discrimination; to contribute to the reduction of morbidity and mortality in women in all phases of life without discrimination; and to expand and humanize integral health care for women within the health system. Specific goals include reducing maternal mortality by 15%, guaranteeing reversible contraceptive methods to all women in all health centers, providing services to all indigenous women, increasing tests to detect cervical cancer by 60%, increasing mammography by 15%, and promoting in all states the Plan to deal with sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS in women. Among the Plan’s priorities are gynaecological diseases, family planning that respects sexual and reproductive rights, attention to unsafe abortion, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS, gender-based mental health care, and sexual and reproductive rights. The Plan sets forth detailed activities that will be undertaken with target dates with respect to all priorities. .
In 2008 the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, China, enacted two ordinances to eliminate discrimination against women and other groups. The first amends the Domicile Ordinance to change provisions that gave preference to men over women in determining the domicile of dependent children born within marriage and that made the domicile of a married woman dependent on the domicile of her husbands. The second is the Race Discrimination Ordinance, which is designed primarily to prohibit discrimination on the basis of race. It also amends the Sex Discrimination Ordinance to expand the reach of the Ordinance with respect to discrimination by clubs, in housing, and against contract workers and the relatives of persons, as well as sexual harassment.
On 18 August 2008 the Special Administrative Region of Macau, China, enacted a new Labor Relations Law. The Law does the following with respect to women: a) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, sexual orientation, national or social origin, color, civil status, language, religion, or political views; authorizes affirmative action programmes; b) grants women 56 days’ paid maternity leave; c) prohibits the termination of employment of woman during maternity leave and for three months afterward; d) prohibits assigning her tasks incompatible with her state during the same period; e) pay is to based on the principle of equal pay for equal value; and f) workers have a right to respect for their privacy, which family and sexual life and state of health. Further provisions of the Law deal with labour protection for minors, the minimum age for the employment of minors, leave upon undergoing an abortion, and offenses and penalties, among other things. The Law repeals Decree—Laws No. 24/89/M and 32/90/M and Law No. 8/2000.
On 3 September 2008
On 14 February 2008
On 12 March 2008
On 17 November Singapore amended the Administration of Muslim Law Act to do the following, among other things: a) raise the minimum age of marriage for Muslims from 16 to 18; b) require Muslim divorces taking place in Malaysia to be reported to the Syariah Court; c) empower the Court to hear claims of Muslim women for the payment of marriage expenses and to vary and rescind maintenance orders; d) authorize district courts directly to enforce Syariah court orders without prior registration; and e) authorize the Syariah Court to appoint an arbitrator when a Muslim husband does not agree to divorce by redemption. The amendments are designed in part to discourage the divorce of Muslims and to give greater protection to Muslim women upon divorce.
On 18 June 2008 the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, China, amended its Domestic Violence Ordinance to strengthen protections against domestic violence. The amendments do the following, among other things: a) enable application for and granting of injunctions against molestation of persons by former spouses or former cohabitees of the opposite sex or by close relatives, their spouses, or close relatives of the spouses; b) authorize a court to order a perpetrator to participate in social welfare programmes; c) allow minors to apply for injunctions through third parties; d) extend the power of courts to authorize the arrest of perpetrators; e) extend the maximum validity of an injunction or order of arrest to 24 months; and f) authorize a court to suspend a custody or access order under certain circumstances.
On 23 July 2008
In 2008 the
On 10 March 2008
On 21 May 2008
On 20 June 2008
On 29 April 2008
On 15 May 2008
On 28 January 2008
On 18 July 2008
On 28 September 2008 a new Constitution was approved by
public referendum in
On 11 August 2008
Law No. 11935 of 11 May 2009 amends La No. 9656 of 3 June 1998 on private health insurance plans to provide the coverage of acre is required for urgent care resulting from injury or complications in pregnancy and for family planning. Resolution No. 192 of 27 May 2009 of the Ministry of Health sets forth the components of family planning to covered by the Law above. Family planning is defined as the set of activities to control fertility that guarantees equal rights in procreating, limiting, or increasing children for women, men, or couples. It includes counseling, education, and clinical care such as clinical examinations and the prescription of the most appropriate method, but does not include the provision of artificial insemination or the furnishing of medicaments for home use.
Decree No. 35262-S of 13 February 2009 makes official Official Rules on Integral Attention to Women during Pregnancies at Low Obstetric Risk. The Rules are designed to provide integral to pregnant women and their families through quality maternal care in order to prevent maternal and peri-natal morbidity and mortality and contribute to the development of healthy families. The objectives of the services are the following: a) to detect and deal with in a timely manner prenatal conditions in pregnant women during the first trimester; b) to care for and treat periodically pregnant women at low risk to ensure the normal development of pregnancy and fetal vitality; c) to carry out an integral evaluation of the determinants of health and classify risk, in order to provide individualized care and refer cases of high risk; d) to provide heal education for the pregnant woman and her family to improve self-care and healthy lifestyles; e) to strengthen sexual and reproductive rights; and f) promote the participation of the pregnant woman’s family. Further provisions of the Decree deal with the following, among of other things: planning, programming, and organizing prenatal care in institutions; required personnel, facilities, and equipment; periodic consultations and examinations, testing, education, and treatment; specific conditions; provision of medicaments and dental care; and supervision and evaluation. The Decree contains provisions on contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection, and abortion, among other things. There are 16 detailed annexes attached to the Decree.
On 18 September 2009
Under the Code, a woman has a right to health care and care during pregnancy, childbirth and after birth and to medical counseling during pregnancy and after giving birth. She also has the right to decide on the issue of motherhood and the free choice of modern methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies. Women of reproductive age have a right to medical examinations and to treatment of underlying diseases that directly affect their reproductive health. Minors have the right to reproductive health, as well as to moral and sexual education.
With respect to HIV/AIDS, patients are guaranteed voluntary and anonymous (or) confidential medical examinations at no cost; the provision of psychosocial, legal, and medical advice; and social and legal protection. Discrimination and the denial of rights are prohibited, including in education, employment, and housing. Compulsory testing is allowed only for blood, tissue, and organ donors, in cases of protection of the public health or criminal prosecution, and for foreigners and stateless persons. The State shall implement targeted prevention and educational programmes for various groups, inform the public about preventive measures, and develop programmes to protect persons from HIV infection through sex or contaminated blood. HIV-infected children have a right to stay in children's homes and other medical and educational organizations for general use. Further provisions of the Code deal with the health rights of children, vaccination (which is obligatory), the donation of blood and its components, breastfeeding, patient rights and duties, and the prohibition of euthanasia, among other things.
Law No. 60/2009 of 6 August 2009 establishes a system for sex education in schools. It provides that the following are among the objectives of sex education: a) to create an appreciation for sexuality and affection in human development; b) to develop skills that all youth to make informed and safe choices about sexuality; c) to improve the emotional and sexual relationships of youth; d) to reduce negative behaviors that lead to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases; e) to develop the capacity for self-protection against exploitation and abuse; f) to develop respect for differences among people and for different sexual orientations; g) to develop informed and responsible sexuality; h) to promote gender equality; i) to creating a scientific understanding of reproductive biology; and to eliminate discrimination based on sexual behavior, as well as violence based on gender and sexual orientation. Further provisions of the Decree-Law deal with the modalities education, teaching personnel, and the participation of health personnel, among other things.
Law No. 419 of 15 May 1997 on Protection of public health, as amended through Law No. 532 of 19 May 2009 provides that citizens have a general right to health. In the course of enumerating specific rights, it states that motherhood is protected by the State and mothers have rights to the following: maternal health care during pregnancy and before and after childbirth, occupational health protections, particularly if pregnant, and maternity benefits. They also have the right to decide whether to give birth, including the right to contraception, sterilization, abortion, and artificial insemination and embryo implantation. Persons suffering from AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases are required to be examined and undergo treatment. The Law prohibits euthanasia. Further provisions deal with the following, among other things: funding, children’s right to health, the responsibilities of various agencies to protect health, the duties of citizens with respect to health, and various health services provided.
Decision No. pp-1144 of 1 July 2009 approves the Program of measures further to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the work done to improve reproductive health, the birth of healthy children, and the formation of a physically and spiritually mature generation, 2009-2013. The goals of the Program are the following: a) improving the system capacity of reproductive health and creating the conditions necessary for healthy births and a healthy childhood; b) strengthening the material and technical aspects of maternity hospitals, primary health care, and maternal-child health care; c) strengthening awareness on childbirth and the rearing of healthy children and healthy lifestyles; d) creating the conditions necessary for the full physical and harmonious development of children and adolescents; and e) upgrading medical personnel who work to protect maternal-child health. The Program sets forth activities to be undertaken, the time frame of carrying out these activities, their costs, and the expected outcomes. The activities include the following, among others: increasing the use of modern contraceptives, improving the quality of medical examinations, preventing unwanted pregnancies, using improved technology, the immunization of children, preventing the birth of children with congenital malformations, carrying out mandatory examinations for persons marrying, preventing early marriages, and improving nutrition.
The Criminal Code (Medical Treatment) Amendment Act 2009 (Act No. 33 of 2009), 5 September 2009, amends Criminal Code to ensure the lawfulness of abortion under certain circumstances. The amendments provide that “A person is not criminally responsible for performing or providing, in good faith and with reasonable care and skill, a surgical operation on or medical treatment of—(a) a person or an unborn child for the patient's benefit; or (b) a person or an unborn child to preserve the mother's life-- if performing the operation or providing the medical treatment is reasonable, having regard to the patient's state at the time and to all the circumstances of the case.” Previously the Code only allowed surgical operations on an unborn child for the preservation of the mother’s life. The changes clarify that medical treatment may also be carried out and that an operation on an unborn child for the benefit of the unborn child is legal. They are designed to allow abortions to be carried out using medical means such as RU486, as well as surgery. Preservation of the mother’s life has long been interpreted, following a court decision, as including the preservation of her physical or mental health.
A Law of 26 August 2009 amends the Law on Pregnancy Conflicts to impose new procedural requirements when abortions are performed on the ground of fetal impairment. Before a physician certifies that an abortion is justified on this ground, he or she must inform the pregnant woman about all medical and psychological issues and her right to further counselling, and, if she agrees, provide her with contacts at counselling centers. He or she need not do so if the pregnant woman has already received such information from the physician who informed her of the fetal defect after prenatal diagnosis. A physician may not certify that an abortion is justified until three days have passed from her receiving such information from either source, except in case of present and grave danger to the body or life of the pregnant woman. The physician must ensure that the pregnant woman certifies in writing that she has received the information or that she does not want to receive counselling. A physician who fails to comply is subject to a fine of 5,000 Euro. The objective of the change in law is specifically to reduce the number of late-term abortions performed on the ground of fetal impairment.
Government Resolution No. 522 of 14 August 2009 sets forth social indications for abortions permitted between the 12th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy. The Resolution provide that a woman may obtain an abortion if she or her is husband is disabled, if her husband dies during the pregnancy, if either spouse is imprisoned, if a court has restricted parental rights, if either spouse is unemployed, if she is a refugee or displaced person, if the spouses are divorced during the pregnancy, if the pregnancy is due to rape, if the woman has three or more children and an absent husband, if she has a disabled child, or if the family is poor. If the woman is married, she must obtain the consent of her spouse. If she is a minor, she must obtain the consent of her parents or legal representative.
The Law on the conditions and procedures for abortion, 27
July 2009, regulates abortion in
An Order of 18 May 2009 amends Regulations to the abortion law to provide that before a pregnancy can be terminated, a test must be carried out to determine the length of the pregnancy to ensure that is legal.
Law No. 345/2009 of 19 June 2009 amends the Law on health related services associated with the provision of health care to insert provisions that require a pregnant woman to provide written informed consent for an abortion. Before she gives consent, she must be provided with guidance on the following: a) the purpose, nature, course, and consequences of abortion; b) the physical and psychological risks of abortion; c) the current stage of development of the embryo or fetus; and d) alternatives to abortion, including information on adoption and financial, material, and psychological assistance during pregnancy provided by various organizations and associations. If the woman is a minor, her guardian must also provide informed consent. Once informed consent has been obtained, she must wait 48 hours before the abortion can be performed.
Law of 3 February 1997 on the prevention of HIV, as amended
in 2000 and 2009 sets forth rules on the prevention and diagnosis of HIV. It does the following, among other
things: a) prohibits restricting
the rights and freedoms of persons because of HIV infection, except as provided
by law; b) requires the testing of foreigners and stateless persons who stay in
Armenia for more than three months and their deportation if found to be
infected; c) provides that HIV testing is anonymous and voluntary, except for
blood, tissue, and organ donors, health care workers in contact with these
materials, prisoners, persons suffering from sexually transmitted diseases,
pregnant woman, children born to infected mothers, and drug addicts; and d)
provides that HIV-infected persons have a right to information on test results
in writing, non-discriminatory treatment, medical confidentiality, and advice
and information on prevention, as well as the right to continue their
employment. Further provisions of
the Law deal with the creation of a
The National HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy, 2009, provides the framework for a coordinated and comprehensive workplace response to AIDS in Guyana and helps ensure that workers living with or affected by HIV can continue to remain productive in their place of employment. They are mandatory in all workplaces. The Policy does the following, among other things: a) prohibits employers from discrimination against workers with actual or perceived HIV/AIDS status, from requiring HIV testing for any person or revealing the results of any testing, or from terminating the employment of affected persons who are capable of working; and b) requires employers to treat HIV/AIDS like other illnesses, to provide time for treatment and other services, and to train workers to adopt universal health precautions and proper measures for condom storage, prevention of mother-child transmission, ARV treatment, and post-exposure prophylaxis. Further provisions of the Policy deal with the following: the provision of information and education, impact assessments of HIV/AIDS in the workplace, trade union responsibilities, employee responsibilities, and enforcement of the Policy, among other things.
Law No. 69 of 19 June 2009 amends the Temporary Law No. 64 of 2 July 2004 to make the Law a permanent Law and rewrite its provisions completely. It authorizes municipalities to establish premises for the injection of drugs in order to contribute to greater health security, including the prevention of infection and contamination, and to provide faster help of drug overdose, with the presence and supervision of health personnel. The aim is also to provide increased opportunity for contact and conversations between individual users and a support system aimed at multidisciplinary monitoring and treatment.
Decision of the Cabinet No. 1 of 5 January 2009 approves measures to strengthen the fight against AIDS. These measures include the following: a) strengthening the structure of regional centers to fight AIDS, and setting rules on their goals and objectives, responsibilities, management, and financing; and b) implementing the National Plan to prevent the spread of HIV infection for 2009-2011. The Plan contains provisions on the following, among other things: the elimination of prostitution and drug addiction, protection of the blood supply, the prevention of mother-child transmission, ensuring infant formula for children born to HIV infected mothers, training health personnel, and the provision of information and education on HIV/AIDS. The Decision repeals a number of previous decisions of the Government on HIV/AIDS.
The Shiite Personal Status Law, 2009, governs family
relationships of the Shiite population of
The Labor Code of 9 November 2004, as amended through 20 May
2009, regulates labor relations in
The object of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act No. 28 of 2009), 7 April 2009 is to provide a balanced framework for cooperative and productive workplace relations that promotes national economic prosperity and social inclusion for all Australians. It applies to national system employees and employers. It provides the following, among other things: a) an employee who is a parent, or has responsibility for the care, of a child may request the employer for a change in working arrangements to assist the employee to care for the child; the employer may refuse the request only on reasonable business grounds; b) an employee is entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave associated with the birth or adoption of a child if the employee has or will have a responsibility for the care of the child; c) an employer must not take adverse action against a person who is an employee, or prospective employee, of the employer because of the person’s race, colour, sex, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer’s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin; d) an employer must not terminate an employee’s employment based on absence from work during maternity leave or other parental
leave; and e) the Fair Work
On 23 June 2009
Law No. 20348 of 2 June 2009 amends the Labor Code to add a new Article 62bis, which provides that employers must fulfill the principle of equality in remuneration between men and women who perform the same work. Objective differences in remuneration based among other things on the skills, qualifications, suitability, responsibility or productivity shall not be considered arbitrary. The Law also requires employers with 25 or more employees to have internal regulations that contain procedures for bringing claims of violation of equality in remuneration. Claims and responses from employers must be in writing, and the employer must respond within 30 days. In addition, the Law amends Decree with Force of Law No. 29 of 2005 of the Ministry of Finance on administrative staff to provide that assigning grades for contracts of employment discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited.
Decision No. 532 of 2 October 2009 approves legislation amending the Gender Equality Act and the Equal Treatment Act. Amendments to the Gender Equality Act do the following, among other things: a) enlarge the definitions of direct and indirect discrimination; b) prohibit gender harassment in addition to sexual harassment; c) allows temporary measures to be applied to promote gender equality; d) provide that pay equity includes equity in benefits; e) provide that discrimination exists if a worker is treated less favorably for belonging to a worker’s organization; and f) enlarge the duty of employers to promote the candidature of both men and women for vacancies.
No. VIII-947 of 1 December 1998, as amended through 14 July 2009 is designed to
implement the Constitution of the
Decree of 11 August 2009 approves the National Program on the Equality of Women and Men 2009-2012. This Program has the following objectives: 1) to institutionalize a policy with a perspective of gender in the Federal Public Administration; 2) to guarantee legal equality, the human rights of women and non-discrimination in the law; 3) to guarantee the access of women to justice, security, and civil protection; 4) to guarantee women access to a life free from violence; 5) to strengthen the capacities of women to increase their opportunities and reduce gender inequality; 6) to promote the economic power of women for better wellbeing and development; and 7) to promote the empowerment of women and their participation and representation in state decision-making, and consolidate a democratic culture. Further provisions of the Program set forth in detail specific strategies, goals, and lines of action, which touch on the following, among other things: discrimination in employment, pay equity, sexual harassment, health care, trafficking, child pornography, education, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infections, pregnant women, and sexual and reproductive rights.
Law No. 2008-2 of 13 February 2008, as amended through 7 January 2009 approves the Labor Code of New Caledonia. It does the following, among other things: a) prohibits taking origin, sex, pregnancy, family situation, ethnicity, race, political opinion, religion, or disability into consideration in employment decisions; b) provides that a female candidate for employment or employee is not required to reveal her state of pregnancy; c) allows a pregnant employee or an employer to request a temporary change of employment if her state of health so requires without loss of pay; d) prohibits terminating the employment of a woman while pregnant or taking maternity leave; e) guarantees women 16 weeks of paid maternity leave; f) guarantees women one hour a day to nurse their children for the period of one year; and g) guarantees men and women equal pay for equal work. Further provisions of the Code deal with the following, among other things: adoption leave, leave to care for a child under the age of three, the employment of minors and protection of their health, the employment of foreigners and the disabled, and apprenticeship.
Republic Act No. 7900, 7 August 2009, amends Republic Act No. 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, to strengthen the Comprehensive Reform Program. Among other things, the Act modifies Act No. 6657 to provide as follows: “The State shall recognize and enforce, consistent with existing laws, the rights of rural women to own and control land, taking into consideration the substantive equality between men and women as qualified beneficiaries, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof, and to he represented in advisory or appropriate decision-making bodies. These rights shall be independent of their male relatives and of their civil status. It also incorporates a new Section 37-A to provide equal support services for rural women. This Section ensures the integration of the specific needs and well-being of women farmer beneficiaries taking into account the specific requirements of female family members of farmer beneficiaries; the entitlement of rural women to self-organization in order to obtain equal access to economic opportunities and to have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities and technology, and other support services, and equal treatment in land reform and resettlement schemes; and the establishment of women’s desk, which will be primarily responsible for formulating and implementing programs and activities related to the protection and promotion of women’s rights, as well as providing an avenue where women can register their complaints and grievances principally related to their rural activities.
Republic Act No. 9710 of 14 August 2009 approves the Magna Carta of Women.
Thes Magna Carta is
designed to embody the State’s commitment to empower women, to pursue
equal opportunities for women and men, and to ensure equal access to resources
and to development results and outcome.
It also expresses the State’s desire to abolish unequal structures
and practices that perpetuate discrimination and inequality by developing
plans, policies, programmes, measures, and mechanisms
to address discrimination and inequality in the economic, political, social,
and cultural life of women and men.
Under the Magna Carta, all rights in the
Constitution and those rights recognized under international instruments duly
signed and ratified by the
These rights include the right to be free from violence and to protection against gender-based offences; the right to protection and security in times of disasters, calamities, and other crisis situations; the right to participation and equitable representation in all spheres of society, particularly in the decision-making and policy-making processes in government and private entities; the right to equal treatment before the law; the right to equal access and elimination of discrimination in education, scholarships, and training; the right to participation in competitive and noncompetitive sports as a means to achieve excellence and to promote physical and social well-being; the right to non-discrimination in the military, police, and other similar services; the right to non-discriminatory and non-derogatory portrayal in the media and film; the right to health; the right to a special leave benefit of two months with full pay based following surgery caused by gynaecological disorders; and the right to equal rights in all matters relating to marriage and family relations. Part V of the Magna Carta focuses, in particular, on the rights of women in marginalized sectors.
In the area of health, the Magna Carta provides that the State shall, at all times, provide for a comprehensive, culture-sensitive, and gender-responsive health services and programmes covering all stages of a woman's life cycle and which address the major causes of women's mortality and morbidity. Access to the following services shall be ensured: 1) maternal care to include pre- and post-natal services to address pregnancy and infant health and nutrition; 2) promotion of breastfeeding; 3) responsible, ethical, legal, safe, and effective methods of family planning; 4) family and State collaboration in youth sexuality education and health services without prejudice to the primary right and duty of parents to educate their children; 5) prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and AIDS; 6) prevention and management of reproductive tract cancers like breast and cervical cancers and other gynecological conditions and disorders; 7) prevention of abortion and management of pregnancy-related complications; 8) in cases of violence against women and children, comprehensive health services that include psychosocial, therapeutic, medical, and legal interventions and assistance towards healing, recovery, and empowerment; 9) prevention and management of infertility and sexual dysfunction pursuant to ethical norms and medical standards; 10) care of the elderly beyond their child-bearing years; and 11) management, treatment, and intervention of mental health problems. Further provisions of the Magna Carta deal with the specific rights of women in each of the areas of life mentioned, institutional mechanisms for ensuring these rights, funding, and penalties for violation of the rights guaranteed.
Law No. 13/2009 of 27 May 2009 regulates labor relations in
The Law on Non-discrimination, 2009, provides that all people are equal and enjoy equal status and legal protection and are obligated to respect the principles of equality and non-discrimination. The Law prohibits discrimination based on gender, marital or family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, birth, health status, and religious and political beliefs, among other things. It bans direct and indirect discrimination, hate speech, and harassment and degrading treatment on these grounds, as well as discrimination against persons who seek protection from discrimination or intend to provide evidence of discriminatory acts. In particular, it bans discrimination in proceedings before public authorities, in the workplace, in the provision of public services and access to public facilities, in education, and in health care. With respect to gender, the Law prohibits discrimination in political, economic, cultural, and other aspects of public, professional, private, and family rights. Also illegal are physical and other violence, exploitation, the expression of hatred, vilification, and harassment with regard to sex, as well as treatment in accordance with prejudices, customs, and other behaviours that are based on the idea of the subordination or domination of women or stereotypes. Affirmative action is allowed to fight discrimination. Particularly severe forms of discrimination include the practices of slavery, trafficking, apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and their promotion. The Law creates a Commissioner to hear complaints of discrimination and issue recommendations for the rectification of discriminatory acts. It also allows complaints to be brought before a court to seek redress and imposes fines on persons who violate the provisions of the Law.
The Reform of Customary Law of Succession and Regulation of Related Matters Act , 2009 (Act No. 11 of 2009), 19 April 2009, abolishes the customary rule of primogeniture in as far as it applies to the law of succession in order to bring it in line with the Constitution; and gives effect to the judgment of the Constitutional Court declaring the principle of male primogeniture incompatible with the Bill of Rights. The Act eliminates a number of legal provisions that discriminate against women in the inheritance of property.
On 1 July 2009
Decree No. 48/2009/ND-CP of 19 May 2009 sets forth measures to ensure gender equality. It requires the Government to do the following: a) prescribe an appropriate proportion of men or women or assure an appropriate proportion of women who participate and benefit in certain fields of social life; b) train and retrain to raise the qualifications of women or men for them to satisfy professional criteria and other criteria as prescribed by law; c) support and create conditions and opportunities for men or women in order to enhance the sharing of family and social responsibilities between men and women in conformity with gender equality goals; d) prescribe particular criteria and conditions applicable to women or men in order to implement priority policies in each specific domain; and e) provide for the right of women to be selected and prioritized when they met all conditions and criteria like men so as to assure gender equality. Provisions of the Decree deal with the following, among other things: information and education on gender equality, the inclusion of issues relating to gender equality in draft legal documents, the responsibilities of various government agencies, the termination of measures to promote gender equality, and funding.
Law No. 26485 of 1 April 2009 approves the Law on Integral Protection to Prevent, Punish, and Eradicate Violence against Women in Areas in Which They Develop Interpersonal Relations. The Law’s objectives include: eliminating gender discrimination; guaranteeing women’s right to be free from violence; promoting public policies to eradicate violence against women; removing socio-cultural patterns that promote gender inequality; ensuring access to justice for women victims of violence; and providing comprehensive assistance to these victims.
The Law explicitly incorporates all the rights enshrined in
the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the
According to the Law, the legislative, executive and judicial powers must adopt measures to guarantee gender equality. The National Women’s Council is designated as the entity in charge of developing a national plan of action to address violence against women and coordinating governmental efforts to comply with the Law. The Law also establishes guidelines for the creation, within different governmental entities, of public policies to provide for health services, financial aid, legal aid, counseling and accommodation for women victims of violence. The Law emphasizes the use of educational programs to prevent gender-based violence, which should be rolled out in schools and universities, as well as in programs for training judicial officers and security agents, among others. The Law creates a Violence Observatory charged with collecting, producing and systematizing data on violence against women.
Survivors of violence have a number of rights under the Law, which include: access to judicial proceedings, urgent judicial protection, confidentiality, information and participation in judicial proceedings, freedom from invasive inspection of their bodies, and efficient mechanisms for denouncing violence. The Law creates a special administrative procedure for ensuring recourse to protective measures, which include: denying the aggressor access to any place where the victim lives; depriving aggressors of their firearms; ensuring immediate restitution of personal property; providing the victim and perpetrator with medical assistance; and providing increased security at the residence of the victim. (Summary provided by the Center for Reproductive Rights)
Decree-Law No. 19/2009, 30 March 2009 approves a new Penal Code. The Code contains provisions on the following, among other things: a) genocide; b) for the purpose of destroying a group, preventing births or procreation in the group or engaging in rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, or forced sterilization; c) abortion; d) infanticide; e) incitement to suicide; f) causing a permanent disease in another person; g) harming the health of another person; h) violence against spouses and minors within a person’s care; i) slavery; j) trafficking; k) sale of persons; l) kidnapping; m) sex offenses, including those committed against children; n) child prostitution and pornography; and o) failure to provide support. The Code allows abortions to be performed as the only means of eliminating the threat of death or serious and irreversible harm to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or fetus.
Law No. 6/2009 of 3 July 2009 amends the Penal Code to remove the health indication for abortion and to set detailed rules for the performance of allowed abortions.
Decree No. 9-2009 of 18 February 2009 approves a Law is aimed at fighting sexual violence, exploitation, and trafficking. The Law amends the Penal Code to do the following, among other things: a) enlarge the definition of rape to include a number of penetrative sexual acts and include acts that are carried out using psychological, as well as physical force; b) increase penalties imposed on persons who commit rape; c) raise from 12 to 14 the minimum age of a victim of statutory rape; d) criminalize other forms of coerced sexual acts that do not constitute rape; e) increase the number of circumstances when additional penalties will be imposed on a person who commits rape, including when the victim is infected with a sexually transmitted disease, when the perpetrator is the spouse, ex-spouse, cohabitant or ex-cohabitant of the victim or is entrusted with the education, custody, or care of the victim, or when the victim is pregnant; e) criminalize the distribution of pornography to minors; f) criminalize using or providing others with the use of sexual images or communications of another person without consent; g) increase the penalties imposed on persons who promote or facilitate prostitution to include imprisonment; h) criminalize engaging in sex acts for money with a minor; i) criminalize the production, distribution, or possession of child pornography; j) criminalize using tourism to facilitate sexual acts involving minors; k) expand the definition of the crime of trafficking to conform to international standards and substantially increase penalties; and l) criminalize knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection. The Law also requires persons convicted of trafficking to provide compensation to victims for any harm suffered; provides protection to witnesses in trafficking offences; creates a government Secretariat to fight sexual violence, exploitation, and trafficking; and provides various benefits to the victims of these acts, among other things.
Law No. 72 of 2009 regulates violence among family members. It Law prohibits threatening and harming the physical and sexual health of family members or the right to sexual self determination. It authorizes the issuance of orders to stay away from the family residence, to refrain from contacting family members, to restrict parental custody, and to maintain family support, among other things. Further provisions of the Law deal with the following, among other things: the duty of health services, child welfare services, educational institutions, and others to report risks of family violence, the protection of children by the child protection authorities, police activities to protect family members, and legal proceedings and appeals of decisions. The Law enters into effect on 1 October 2009,
Decree-Law No. 11 of 23 February 2009, coordinated and converted into Law by Law No. 38 of 23 April 2009, sets forth urgent measures to fight sexual violence. These include the following, among other things: a) increasing penalties imposed for a number of sex crimes; b) increasing penalties imposed for the crime of threatening another person, if it is committed by a divorced or separated spouse or committed against a minor or a pregnant woman; c) allowing a person who is being threatened by another to request that the police issue a warning; d) introducing the crime of stalking; e) authorizing a judge to order a person to stay away from places frequented by another person and to refrain from communicating with that person; f) extending to all victims of sexual abuse legal aid at state expense; and g) requiring mandatory pre-trial detention in prison for crimes of child prostitution, trafficking, slavery, child pornography, sexual tourism, sexual assault, and sexual acts with minors.
Law No. 74 of 19 June 2009 amends the Penal Code to insert new and reformulated provisions on the following, among other things: a) the prohibit the following, among other things: a) transmission of a dangerous contagious disease, including a sexually transmitted disease—although the provision does not apply if a sexually transmitted disease is transmitted to a spouse or cohabitee who has consented to be subjected to the danger; b) forcing a person to marry; c) forcing, exploiting, or enticing a person into prostitution or into providing sexual services; c) bigamy or marrying a person under the age of 16; d) enslaving a person; e) mercy killing or facilitating suicide; f) abusing a spouse, relative, or household member; g) female genital mutilation; h) various sexual offenses, including those committed against minors; i) prostitution and pornography involving minors; j) pimping and buying sex from another person; k) some forms of pornography. The amendments also amend Act No. 50 of 13 June 1975 on the termination of pregnancy to increase the penalties imposed on person who performs an abortion in violation of the Act. They also repeal previous laws on female genital mutilation and trafficking. The above summary takes into consideration made by Law No. 14 of 13 April 2007, which amended the Penal Code with respect to meeting a child for the purpose of committing sexual abuse.
Law No. 44 of 19 June 2009 is designed to ensure that good and comprehensive women's shelters are offered to women, men, and children who are exposed to violence or threats of violence in close relationships. It requires municipalities to provide such shelters. Provisions deal with special services for children, coordination with agencies offering other services, and information to be provided by the police about the commission of violent acts, among other things.
Supreme Decree No. 003-2009-MIMDES or 26 March 2009 approves the National Plan against Violence against Women 2009-2015. The objectives of the Plan are as follows: a) to guarantee the adoption and implementation of policies to confront the problem of violence against women with an inter-sectoral focus at the different levels of Government; b) to guarantee women affected by gender violence access to quality public services, including access to the health and judicial systems so as to overcome their status as victims; and c) to identify and promote the transformation of socio-cultural attitudes that legitimate, tolerate, and exacerbate violence against women so as to establish new forms of social relations between women and men. The plan includes provisions on the following, among other things: a) characterization of the problem; b) the legal framework of the plan; c) confronting violence against women in national plans; focuses of the National Plan; d) management; e) a Plan of Action; f) the development of strategic objectives; g) monitoring and evaluation; and h) mechanisms for implementation of the Plan.
Law No. 112/2009 of 16 September 2009 is designed to prevent domestic violence and provide protection and assistance to victims. It provides a wide range of rights to victims, including the following: the right to information, legal assistance and access to legal proceedings, protection, psychosocial support, restitution, protection of property, financial support, housing, family allowances, professional training, exemption from certain taxes, and clinical treatment. They also have the right not to be victimized by the authorities and to be transferred to another workplace for protection. The Law creates a network of centres to provide free support for victims, including shelters, support centres, and centres for special assistance. It also obligates the Government to provide education on domestic violence in schools, to produce guides and manuals on domestic violence to families and the public, to promote national campaigns on domestic violence, and to carry out training on domestic violence for professionals. Under the Law, the Government is responsible for developing and approving a National Plan against Domestic Violence. Further provisions of the Law deal with the basic principles underlying the Law, the organization and functioning of shelters, and preliminary measures that a court may order pending full legal proceedings. These include measures relating to weapons, leaving the common residence, and refraining from contacting victims. The Law repeals Law No. 107/99 of 3 August 1999 and Decree-Law No. 323/2000 of 19 December 2000.
Law No. 104/2009 of 14 September 2009 approves a system for indemnifying the victims of violent crimes and domestic violence. To receive indemnification, a victim of domestic violence must be in dire economic conditions as a result of domestic violence. Provisions of the Law deal with the following, among other things: other requirements that victims must meet, calculation of the amount of indemnification, the creation of a Commission for the Protection of the Victims of Crime, and procedures to obtain indemnification. The Law repeals Law No. 129/99 of 20 August 1999 and Decree-Law No. 423/91 of 30 October 1991.
On 17 July 2009
The Law amending the Criminal Code, 2009, amends the Criminal Code to do the following, among other things: a) increase the penalties imposed for various sex offenses, prostitution, pornography, domestic violence, failure to provide family support, incest, and trafficking; b) enlarge the scope of the crime of trafficking; and c) create new crimes involving the use of computers for sex offenses.
A Resolution of 27 May 2009 approves the Program on the
Prevention of Domestic Violence in the Family, 2009-2014. The Resolution is a strategic document
that determines the objectives, measures, and key policy makers to prevent and
reduce domestic violence in
Decree No. 001-1706/2009 of 26 June 2009 of the Ministry of Public Health amends Decree No. 494/006 of 27 November 2006 on domestic violence to provide that attention and assistance in cases of domestic violence provided in public health establishments should be carried out in accordance with a guide on domestic violence produced by the Ministry of Public Health. The guide is appended to the Decree. The guide contains provisions on the following, among other things: a) the definition of domestic violence, particularly as a public health problem and a manifestation of gender violence; b) the legal framework for dealing with domestic violence; c) ways of addressing domestic violence by the health sector, including detecting domestic violence, interventions, questions to be asked victims, and assistance to be given to women; and d) prevention of health consequences and the promotion of health.
Decree No. 8/2009/ND-CP of 4 May 2009 guides the implementation of Articles of the Law on domestic violence related to the following: a) the State’s policy on the prevention of domestic violence; b) citizen input on the prevention of domestic violence; c) measures to prohibit contact between perpetrators and victims; and d) support for the victims of domestic violence. Provisions deal with the following, among other things: funding of efforts, family counseling, citizen complaints and suggestions about the fight against domestic violence, and health care, legal advice, counseling, housing, and basic material support for victims.
Law No. 09-01 of 25 February 2009 amends the Penal Code to insert new provisions on trafficking. It criminalizes the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person –i) by the use or threat of use of force or other forms of constraint, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or abuse of a position of vulnerability; or ii) by the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control or authority over another person, for the purpose of exploitation, including prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the removal of organs. A person convicted of this crime is subject to three to ten years’ imprisonment and 300,000 to 1 million dinars. Further provisions of the Law set forth circumstances when the penalties will be augmented or decreased and special provisions on the trafficking of organs and of illegal migrants.
A Law of 1 March 2009 is designed to prevent trafficking. It prohibits trafficking, which is defined as the attraction, transfer, harboring, or receipt of human beings for the purpose of exploitation by the use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception or abuse of power or a position of authority of weakness or the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent or of a person having authority over these people. Exploitation includes forced labor, forced slavery or servitude, the removal of organs, or prostitution or any form of sexual exploitation. A person convicted of trafficking is subject to not less than six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of not less than 5,000 dinars. Further provisions of the Law deal with the trafficking of children, the creation of a National Committee for the Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings, and aggravating factors, among other things.
Order No. 1104 of 9 September 2009 approves the Program on the Prevention and Control of Trafficking 2009-2012. The strategic objective of the Program is to consistently and systematically address the prevention and control of trafficking at the national level. Specific aims include the following, among others: protecting victims; providing victims with comprehensive assistance; and ensuring cross-border cooperation in fighting trafficking. Provisions of the Program deal with factors that determine trafficking, expected results, program evaluation, program implementation and accountability, and a timetable of specific activities.
A Law of 13 March 2009 on trafficking in human beings inserts into Title VII, Book II, of the Penal Code a new Chapter VI-I entitled “Trafficking in human beings.” It defines the crime of trafficking as the recruitment, transport, transfer, sheltering, receiving, or transfer of control of another person for the purpose of prostitution or sexual assault, labour exploitation or forced services, slavery or similar practices, organ transplantation, or the commission of crimes. Persons convicted of trafficking are subject to three to five years’ imprisonment and payment of a fine. Increased penalties are imposed in a number of circumstances, including when the victim is a minor, when violence or force is used, when the act endangers the life of the victim, or when the perpetrator is an ascendant of, or person with authority over, the victim.
A Law of 8 May 2009 sets forth provisions on assistance to and the protection and safety of victims of trafficking. Victims are to be given housing, social and socio-educational assistance, psychological or therapeutic care, material and financial assistance, medical care, help with language if needed, and legal assistance. Further provisions of the Law deal with the following, among other things: assistance for unaccompanied minors, approval of centers that offer assistance, police duties to inform victims that they can receive assistance, police training, compiling statistics, and the establishment of a Committee to coordinate activities for the prevention of trafficking and the evaluation of the fight against trafficking
The Combatting of Tafficking in Persons Act 2009 (Act No. 2 of 2009), 30 July 2009, gives effect to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons. This Act defines “trafficking” as a) the recruitment, sale, supply, procurement, capture, removal, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person –i) by the use of threat, force, intimidation, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or abuse of a position of vulnerability; or ii) by the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control or authority over another person; or b) the adoption of a person facilitated or secured through illegal means, for the purpose of exploitation. “Exploitation” is defined as: a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, including forced marriage; b) sexual exploitation; c) forced labour; and d) the illegal removal of body organs. The Act criminalizes trafficking, knowingly leasing premises for trafficking, advertising for trafficking, or benefiting from or enabling trafficking. Further provisions of the Act deal with the following, among other things: centers for the victims of trafficking, repatriation of victims, compensation to victims, and reporting of trafficking.
Regulations of 11 February 2009 to the Law to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons do the following, among other things: a) set forth the organization, administration, and responsibilities of the Intersectoral Commission to Prevent and Punish Trafficking in Persons, created by the Law; b) activities to be carried out by various government agencies to protect and provide assistance to victims; c) actions to be undertaken with respect to legal proceedings involving victims; and d) actions to be undertaken involving immigration proceedings. Assistance to victims includes the provision of shelters, legal advice, physical and psychological care, information, and guaranteeing the safety of victims and witnesses.
A new Constitution approved in 2009 provides the following, among other things: a) the State prohibits all forms of discrimination based on sex, color, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, origin, culture, nationality, citizenship, language, religious belief, ideology, political or philosophical affiliation, civil status, economic or social condition, occupation, education, disability, or pregnancy; b) the State shall adopt the measures necessary to prevent, eliminate, or sanction gender and generational violence; c) no person shall be subjected to servitude or slavery; d) the united health system shall be free and universal; e) the right to political participation shall be exercised in equal conditions between men and women; f) women have a right to safe maternity and enjoy special assistance and protection by the State during pregnancy, childbirth, and the pre- and postnatal periods; g) women may not be discriminated against or have their employment terminated because of civil status, pregnancy, age, or number of children; h) marriage is based on the equality of rights and duties of spouses; i) women and men are guaranteed the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights; and j) education shall be free and mandatory;
Further provisions of the Constitution deal with the following, among other things: the rights of foreigners; the rights to life, physical and sexual integrity, and not to be subjected physical, sexual, or psychological violence in the family or society (particularly women); the rights to food and water; the right to education without discrimination; the right to health without discrimination; the right to housing; the right to freedom of religion; the right to freedom of movement; the right to privacy; refugees; the right to a healthy environment; the right to universal access to health insurance and to medicaments; the right to social security, including maternity benefits; the rights to employment and occupational health; the rights of children and adolescents, including the right to a family or adoption and the right not to be subjected to violence in the family and elsewhere or forced labor or exploitation; filiation; cohabitation with the same effects as marriage; the equality of rights of spouses with respect to the home and children; the rights of the aged, disabled, and prisoners; and nationality.
A new Constitution of 10 June 2009 does the following, among other things: a) recognizes the Christian values of the Cayman Islands; b) guarantees the right to life and freedom of conscience and religion; c) prohibits slavery; d) provides that the Government respects family and private life; e) provides that the Government respects the right of unmarried persons of the opposite consent to marry with full and free consent and found a family; f) provides that spouses have equal rights and shall be subject to equal responsibilities between themselves and with respect their children; g) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with national minority, age, disability, birth, property, or other status (except if in conflict with “personal law”); h) guarantees the rights of the child, including against maltreatment and harmful or exploitative labor practices; and i) guarantees the rights to education and environmental protection.
A new Constitution of 3 September 2009 does the following, among other things: a) guarantees the rights to health, employment, equality, environmental protection; b) provides that the State acknowledges the family as the natural basic unit of society and accords the family recognition, respect, protection, and support, asserting that men and women of the age of civil, legal and societal responsibility have the right to establish a family; c) provides that the State shall recognize and protect marriage, which shall be a legal union only between two persons each of the opposite sex; d) guarantees protection of the aged and disabled and the rights of youth and children; e) ensures the rights of women by according to women equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion, and in social, political and cultural activity; f) provides that moral support is to be encouraged for mothers and children, including paid leave and other benefits for mothers and expectant mothers; g) provides that political parties are obliged to aspire to having not less than thirty percent of the combined total number of persons whose names are included on the Party List submitted by a party in accordance with section 98 of this Constitution as women and not less than thirty percent of that combined total as men; h) ensures the equality of children born out of wedlock; h) guarantees the rights to life, security of the person, protection of privacy, and freedom of movement; i) prohibits slavery and servitude; j) guarantees the rights of all persons regardless of race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, or sex; and j) provides that the age of legal responsibility and marriage is 18.
A new Constitution of 15 February 2009 provides the following, among other things; a) discrimination on the basis of race, sex, belief, or social condition is not permitted; b) family relations are based on the equality of rights and duties; couples have the right to decide freely and responsibly on the number of children and to access to the information and means to do so; d) the State shall ensure integral family planning services; d) the State guarantees the equality of men and women in employment; and e) discrimination based on race, sex, belief, age, politics or any other matter is prohibited. Further provisions of the Constitution deal with the following, among other things: a) nationality, b) the rights to life, physical integrity, privacy, and freedom of movement; c) protection of the family and the head of the family; d) the rights of children, youth, the aged, and the disabled; e) the protection of women and maternity from the moment of conception through the period after childbirth; f) the mutual reciprocal rights and duties of parents and children; g) the protection of marriage based on free consent and the absolute equality of spouses; h) the right to housing, health, social security, and employment; i) occupational health, j) the protection of working adolescents; k) the right to free and mandatory education; and l) protection of the environment.