Current News

Indonesia: Child Protection Law Revised

Publication Date: October 28, 2016

On October 12, 2016, Indonesia’s parliament enacted a regulation to revise the 2002 Law on Child Protection.  Under strengthened provisions on child sexual offenses, defendants accused of sexual attacks on children could face the death penalty, life in prison, or, for male offenders, chemical castration with female hormones, combined in some cases with imprisonment. After release from prison, offenders could be ordered to wear a tracking device. The revised legislation does not contain details on how the new penalties would be implemented. The Indonesian government announced that it is drafting regulations that will provide the necessary guidance for officials in implementing the revised Law.

Background

In April 2016 a particularly brutal crime, the gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in Bengkulu, Sumatra, led to outraged Indonesians calling for more severe punishments for sex offenses victimizing children.

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Romania: Same-Sex Marriage Decision Postponed

Publication Date: September 29, 2016

On September 20, 2016, the High Court of Cassation and Justice of Romania, for the second time, postponed making a decision on recognizing a same-sex marriage concluded between a Romanian citizen and a non-Romanian outside the country. The decision was previously postponed in July, with the Court saying it needed more time to consider the matter, and now a ruling is expected on October 27. Romania does not have legal same-sex marriage domestically.

A U.S. citizen, Claibourn Robert Hamilton, and a Romanian, Adrian Coman, who were married six years ago in Belgium, sued to have their marriage recognized in Romania; they are represented by an attorney, Iustina Ionescu, who is a board-member of ACCEPT, a Romanian civil rights organization that also employs Coman. In 2012 the couple began attempting to have their marriage sanctioned, because they hoped to move to Romania for work and, later in life, retire there.   Romanian immigration officials did not recognize their marriage. (Romanian Court Again Postpones Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage, supra; Gwenyth Gamble, Romania Court to Rule on Same-Sex Marriage Recognition, PAPER CHASE (Sept. 19, 2016).) Unless formal recognition is given to the relationship, Coman’s American spouse will not be permitted to reside in Romania. At present he can only stay in the country for three months at a time. (The Coman-Hamilton CaseACCEPT website (last visited Sept. 26, 2016).)

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Poland Considers Near-Complete Abortion Ban

Publication Date: September 29, 2016

Polish lawmakers on Thursday began examining a bill that would effectively ban abortion, reopening a sensitive debate in the deeply Catholic nation. If adopted, the new law would introduce punishments of up to five years in prison for doctors who perform abortion and women who undergo the procedure. It would outlaw all pregnancy terminations except when the fetus dies as a result of medical care necessary to avert an immediate threat to the mother’s life.

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Aruba: Same-Sex Partnerships Recognized by Law

Publication Date: September 12, 2016

On September 8, 2016, the Parliament of Aruba, one of the constituent countries that comprise the Kingdom of the Netherlands, voted to amend the Aruban Civil Code provisions on marriage so as to officially recognize same-sex registered partnerships. The amendment will give same-sex couples the same benefits granted to married partners under the Code, such as the right to pension benefits in the case of a spouse’s death and the right to make medical decisions on the spouse’s behalf. 

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