As a Contracting State to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Vatican appeared before the Committee on the Rights of the Child during its 65th session in January 2014 to report on its progress in implementing the treaty. The Committee’s Concluding Observations and Recommendations, posted online on February 5, have drawn wide attention for its strongly worded criticisms. See, for example, Lau
Controversy over several cases of Hindu women converting to Islam in order to marry Islamic men has reached the Pakistani Supreme Court, which resolved the cases by sequestering the women from their families and their husbands in a shelter for several weeks and then having a court registrar record their statements privately regarding their decisions to convert.
An article in the Washington Post discusses the controversy in Morocco sparked by the suicide last month of a teenager who was raped and then married off to the man who had raped her. The current law allows a rapist to avoid prosecution if he marries the vicitm.The story reports that although the current law sets the legal age for marriage at 18, more than 35,000 exceptions are granted by judges every year. See Edward Cody,
The December 2011 issue of the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family is available online; articles include a very thought-provoking article by Peter Hayes on The Legality and Ethics of Independent Intercountry Adoption Under the Hague Convention,which argues against the movement to eliminate independent intercountry adoption under the 1993 Hague Adoption Convention.
The rules have changed for Britain’s royal family, with the unanimous approval by the Commonwealth countries of changes to the Bill of Rights 1688; the Coronation Oath Act 1688; the Act of Settlement 1701; and the Royal Marriages Act 1772. The new law places daughters and sons on an equal footing with respect to inheriting the throne, beginning with any children born to Prince William and Princess Kate. The new law also abolished the rule prohibiting a British monarch from being married to a Catholic.
Repeal of a Quaddafi-era law regulating polygamy – by requiring a first wife’s consent before a man took additional wives –has surfaced along with a prohibition on charging interest as part of the new interim government’s plans for a return to a more strongly shariah-based legal system in Libya.
House Joint Resolution 12, currently pending in the U.S. Congress, denounces “the practices of female genital mutilation, domestic violence, `honor’ killings, acid burnings, dowry deaths, and other gender-based persecutions” and expresses the sense of Congress that “participation, protection, recognition, and equality of women is crucial to achieving a just, moral and peaceful society.” The resolution is sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D. Tex).
After long debate, legislation went into effect today in France prohibiting individuals from wearing clothing intended to hide the face in places such as streets, markets, public transportation, government buildings and shops. Here’s U.S.