News In-Depth

Pakistan ‘Lesbian’ Couple Remanded in Custody 

Facing an almost certain separation and a possible prison term, Pakistan’s first known lesbian couple has threatened to commit suicide and appealed to President Pervez Musharraf as well as the international community for help. Shumail Raj (31), who underwent a sex change operation 16 years ago, and 26-year-old Shahzina Tariq, were sent to separate jails on Tuesday by the Lahore High Court which termed their marriage an “unnatural act” not allowed by Islam or Pakistani law after a medical examination showed that Shumail was a woman. A Pakistani court has remanded the couple in custody after ruling that the husband was actually a woman and their same-sex marriage was against Islam. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/6679733.stm
  • http://www.indianexpress.com/story/31637.html
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Pakistan/
    Pak_lesbian_couple_look_at_Musharraf_for_help/articleshow/2069656.cms
  • http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?178973
  • http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C05%5C24%5Cstory_24-5-2007_pg13_10
  • http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1098758
  • http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=57253
  • http://english.pravda.ru/news/society/22-05-2007/91900-islan_lesbian-0

Report on Child Sexual Abuse Reveals Shocking Results

A ‘Study on Child Abuse: India 2007’ was conducted recently by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in association with UNICEF, Save the Children and Prayas. Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said it was a ‘landmark study’, being the largest sample survey covering over 12,447 children from 13 states, the findings of which would help the government in policy formulation and legislations to protect children and promote their rights through specific programmes. The overall objective of the study was to develop comprehensive information of child abuse in India. The other objective was to study the profile of the abused children and the social and economic circumstances leading to their abuse. The study was concentrated in India and a multi stage sampling design was used to conduct the study. The four stages of sampling constituted state, district, block and respondents. The findings reveal that younger children in the age group of 5 to 15 years reported higher levels of abuse and boys were equally at risk of abuse as girls. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1090584
  • http://www.ibnlive.com/news/69-kids-suffer-abuse-in-india-study/38104-3.html
  • http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india-360-kids-not-safe-in-india/38220-3.html
  • http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=3&art_id=nw20070410095442500C520110
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6539027.stm
  • http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=124756

Nepal Issues First Citizenship Certificate for Transgendered Person

In a country such as Nepal, which has come under increasing international condemnation for its treatment of sexual minorities, the authorities have granted a man who dresses and behaves as a woman both male and female citizenship. With Nepal’s new democratic government having begun a drive to give citizenship to thousands of people who had been excluded from voting rights and other opportunities, Chanda became the first recognised transgender citizen from authorities in the southwestern district of Banke. A Nepali man who wears women’s clothes and behaves as a female became the first citizen of the conservative Himalayan nation to be recognised as transgender in a move hailed as ‘significant’ by gay rights activists. Mausalman, who prefers to be referred to as ‘she’, has had no sex change surgery or treatment. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/subcon
    tinent/2007/February/subcontinent_February139.xml&section=subcontinent&col=
  • http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006356003
  • http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/02/020407nepal.htm
  • http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=99558
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6329613.stm
  • http://www.teluguportal.net/modules/news/article.php?storyid=30800

India: Noida Serial Killings

Since December 29, the Noida police have uncovered skeletal remains of at least 20 children, most of them minor girls, from a drain behind the bungalow of businessman Moninder Singh Pandher. Over the last two years, 38 children have been missing from Nithari village which is just 100 metres away from the house. Police have arrested Moninder Singh and his domestic help Surendra on charges of killing the kids after sexually assaulting them. Despite overwhelming evidence pointing to sex as the motive, officials and medical professionals have stated that it was too early to rule out organ trade. The Indian government has formed a high-level committee to probe into the matter. The four-member committee comes a day after the National Human Rights Commission sent the government a notice and has demanded a factual report within two weeks in the case. The NHRC has also said that officials of the state administration found responsible for prolonged negligence of routine investigations and civil functions should be sacked forthwith. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India/Police_duck_b
    ehind_legal_blindspots/articleshow/1042357.cms
  • http://www.indiaenews.com/india/20070103/34502.htm
  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1886621,0006.htm
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1055881.cms
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1052425.cms
  • http://www.mid-day.com/news/nation/2007/january/149893.htm
  • http://news.sulekha.com/nlink.aspx?cid=332387
  • http://news.sulekha.com/nlink.aspx?cid=332440
  • http://news.sulekha.com/nlink.aspx?cid=332278
  • http://news.sulekha.com/nlink.aspx?cid=332270
  • http://www.ndtv.com/template/template.asp?category=National&template=
    noidakillings&slug=Serial+killer+provides+new+leads&id=99206&callid=1

India: Indian Athlete Being Stripped Off her Medal After She Failed the ‘Gender Test’

According to various news reports, an Indian runner who won a silver medal in the women’s 800-meter run at the Asian Games earlier this month has failed a gender test and is likely to be stripped off her medal. The test reports sent to the Indian Olympic Association on Sunday said Santhi Soundarajan ‘does not possess the sexual characteristics of a woman’. The test was administered by a medical commission set up by the games’ organizers. She had however passed a gender verification test at the Asian track and field championship in South Korea last year, where she also won the silver medal in the 800m. The matter now rests with the Asian Games jury. However, this case has brought to the fore, social attitudes towards those of ambivalent gender and raises questions such as what exactly a ‘gender test’ means. Sexual minorities have come out in huge numbers in Chennai in support of Santhi.

  • http://www.countercurrents.org/rawat231206.htm
  • http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/06/12/22/10091294.html
  • http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/23/stories/2006122307972300.htm
  • http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=59100&rubrik1=Sports&rubri
    k2=Athletics&rubrik3=All&sort=1&sparte=4
  • http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/007200612250324.htm
  • http://www.ibnlive.com/news/how-are-athletes-gender-tested/28851-5.html
  • http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?category=National&slu
    g=India%92s+eunuchs+battle+for+identity&id=98235
  • http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/18/sportsline/main2275607.shtml
  • http://www.todayonline.com/articles/161637.asp
  • http://www.kitsapsun.com/bsun/sports/article/0,2403,BSU
    N_19109_5221624,00.html
  • http://www.ibnlive.com/news/gender-group-lends-santhi-support/28876-5.html
  • http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20061220/sports.htm#5
  • http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061218/
    NEWS/612180335/-1/State
  • http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/sports/2006-12/20/content_763254.htm

Hong Kong: Government Lowers Age of Consent for Same-Sex Desiring People

Hong Kong’s government on October 16, 2006 gave in to a challenge against its age of consent laws for gays, effectively lowering the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 16 years to match laws regarding heterosexuals. Under the former legislation, gay men under 21 were subject to life imprisonment for having sex whereas heterosexuals could start having sex five years earlier. Hong Kong had decriminalized homosexuality since 1991, but gay and lesbian youth had faced life imprisonment if they were caught having sex before the age of 21 years. The case was originally brought to the courts by William Leung, a 21-year-old gay man. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://www.utopia-asia.com/unews/article_2006_10_17_111957.htm
  • http://advocate.com/print_article_ektid37616.asp
  • http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/law/2005-2742.html
  • http://fridae.com/newsfeatures/article.php?articleid=1790&viewarticle=1
  • http://www.amnesty.org.hk/html/
  • http://www.nyls.edu/pdfs/ln0610.pdf

India: New Law on Domestic Violence 

A new law on Domestic Violence came into force in India which aims at curbing domestic violence where men, who beat, threaten or yell at their wives or partners could be jailed or fined. Apart from violence, the act recognizes actual abuse or the threat of abuse of a physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or economical nature. It also identifies harassment to a woman or her family members by way of demands for dowry. Sisters, widows, mothers, single women or women in live-in relationships are now entitled to get legal protection. Feminist activists in India have welcomed the move but have stressed the need for its effective implementation so that more women could benefit from it. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2001/12/07/stories/2001120700631300.htm
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/nolpda/ifs_news/hi/newsid_6086000/6086334.stm?(none)
  • http://www.dailyindia.com/show/74569.php/New_law_in_India_to
    _deter_domestic_violence(LEAD)
  • http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050823/nation.htm#1
  • http://www.countercurrents.org/gen-ghose040703.htm
  • http://www.dancewithshadows.com/society/domestic-violence-act.asp
  • http://www.pucl.org/Topics/Gender/2002/domestic-violence.htm

The Philippines: The Anti-Discrimination Bill

Many groups and social activists are pushing for the enactment of the Anti-Discrimination Law in the Philippines which would criminalize any action / behaviour aimed at discriminating against individuals or groups because of their sexual orientation, identity or behaviour. For years, there have been an increasing number of incidents reporting abusive and violent behaviour towards people who do not conform to the existing norms of gender and sexuality in the society and therefore activists throughout the country are pressing for the passing of the law. However, as of now the Bill has been blocked by the Philippines Human Rights Committee. For more information on this topic, read on…

  • http://www.amnestyusa.org/actioncenter/actions/action7617.doc
  • http://hrw.org/english/docs/2004/06/11/philip8800.htm
  • http://lagablab.wordpress.com/2006/11/17/rep-abante-did-it-again/
  • http://www.isiswomen.org/womenet/lists/we/archive/msg00056.html
  • http://www.geocities.com/angladlad/about.htm

India : Prominent Indians Protest Section 377

There has been an on-going campaign in India to induce the government to decriminalize homosexuality and it is rapidly gaining momentum.  In September, 2006, about 150 of India’s most influential figures – from the novelist Vikram Seth to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen – have joined their voices in a protest letter demanding the repeal of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which was introduced in the colonial era and makes homosexuality a punishable act. The signatories have called for the law to be overturned immediately. According to the letter the law has been used to ‘systematically persecute, blackmail, arrest and terrorize sexual minorities’. For more information on this topic, read on:

  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1798366,00120001.htm
  • http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/15/news/india.php
  • http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/india160906.html
  • http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1053440
  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1799311,0008.htm
  • http://www.timesnow.tv/articleshow/1998797.cms
  • http://www.ndtv.com/morenews/showmorestory.asp?category=
    National&slug=Rights+activists+demand+repeal+of+Sec+377&id=93293
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1998671.cms
  • http://www.indianexpress.com/story/13008.html

Vietnam: Urgent Need for Sex Education

A recent study conducted on young people between the ages of 10-24 years on their understanding of reproductive health and sexuality has revealed that they had had almost no formal sexuality education in school. The lack of correct and accurate information puts them at the risk of unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV. The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has recently announced that it will introduce its ‘population and reproductive health education program’ to students’ grade 1-12 at the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. For information on this topic, read on…

  • http://www.thanhniennews.com/features/?catid=10&newsid=17767
  • http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?
    num=01COM190706
  • http://english.vietnamnet.vn/social/2006/07/591678/
  • http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/showarticle.php?
    num=02POP110506

The Philippines: Sexuality Education to be Introduced in Schools

In June 2006, the Philippines Government had to abandon its sexuality education program in schools due to huge protests from the Roman Catholic Church which believes that sexuality education must be imparted only in the context of marriage and must be imparted with the right environment of values and ethics. Otherwise, this could lead to ‘promiscuous’ behaviour among young people. According to the officials of the Department of Education, the goal of the program is however, to discourage, rather than encourage, sexual relationships among unmarried young people and decreasing the number of teenage pregnancies and the maternal mortality rate among young girls. For information on this topic, read on..

  • http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php?page=news&id=
    5923&sid=1&urldate=2006-07-03
  • http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/bac/2006/07/06/news/
    yes.to.sex.education.education.official.html
  • http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/bac/2006/06/15/oped/
    mate.espina.uncensored.html
  • http://www.visayandailystar.com/2006/June/15/topstory7.htm
  • http://english.people.com.cn/200606/19/eng20060619_275237.html
  • http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/man/2006/06/24/news/
    prelate.slams.inclusion.of.sex.education.in.public.
    school.curriculum.html
  • http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/man/2006/06/30/news/
    education.defends.proposal.to.include.sex.subject.in.
    school.curriculum.html
  • http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=politics01_june12_2006
  • http://www.journal.com.ph/index.php?page=news&id=4063&
    sid=1&urldate=2006-06-10
  • http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/ilo/2006/07/21/news/
    groups.step.up.signature.campaign.for.sex.education..html

Indonesia: Anti-Pornography Bill Meets with Severe Protests

In April, 2006 more than 6,000 people took part in a cultural carnival in Jakarta to protest the Anti-Pornography Bill that they say will make Indonesia’s diverse cultures and traditions disappear. In a bid to control pornography, the Bill bans all sensual displays of the body, including the traditional attire of people of many cultures in the archipelago. The Bill was initially drafted in 1999 but reintroduced in Parliament in February 2006. This has met with severe protests from across the country. For more information on this, read on..

  • http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=40877
  • http://www.catholic.org/international/
    international_story.php?id=19670
  • http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=40366
  • http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=40544
  • http://darrenmccoy.com/?p=100
  • http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=
    5407560&ft=1&f=2101265

India: Mandatory Testing of HIV for Couples

On March 17, 2006, the Goa State Government decided to amend the Goa Public Health Act to make HIV testing compulsory for couples who want to register marriage. The debate around the amendment is now open for public debate before the assembly during the coming session in July. If the amendment is kept, Goa will be the first state in India to make HIV test mandatory for registration of marriage. In 2002, also Goa was seriously considering making HIV testing mandatory for couples intending to get married with strong endorsement from the citizens although not well supported by the Ministry of Health which felt any kind of force will only draw further resistance and carry forth a number of assumptions regarding one’s sexuality and marriage. For more information and related stories, read on…

  • http://www.bellevision.com/newshead.asp?nhid=3159
  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/
    5983_1442272,004300140009.htm
  • http://oheraldo.in/node/16190
  • http://www.indianbusinesstrust.org/newsletter/
    010506/news_clips.htm
  • http://www1.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/
    articleshow?art_id=1296671
  • http://archives.healthdev.net/sea-aids/msg00156.html
  • http://www.lawyerscollective.org/lc_hivaids/publications/
    articles/may_2002.htm
  • http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/dec/03goa.htm

India: Sex Workers Protest Against the Proposed Amendment in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill

Marking the International Womens’ Day, on March 8, 2006, there has been a strong opposition to the proposed amendment in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2005 which seeks the criminalisation of clients who go to brothels, increased penalties for brothel keeping and lowering rank of police officials who raid the brothels. The national Network of Sex Workers which represents thousands of sex workers throughout the country demanded that any amendment be made after due consultation with all the stakeholders who are adversely affected by the law. For information regarding this, read on…

  • http://www.tehelka.com/story_main18.asp?filename=
    Cr052006The_willing.asp
  • http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=280479&sid=NAT
  • http://www.newkerala.com/news2.php?action=fullnews&id=22601
  • http://www.ibnlive.com/article.php?id=6380&section_id=3

India: The High Court Urged by the Supreme Court to Examine the Constitutional Validity of Section 377

Homosexuality in India remains criminalized under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which was enacted under the British Government in the colonial era. There have been concerted efforts by several groups and organizations throughout the country urging the government to have a fresh look at this archaic law. What has been encouraging for sexual rights activists in February 2006 is that the Supreme Court has asked the High Court to have another look at the constitutional validity of the law in view of the changing Indian scenario. For more information, read on..

  • http://www.hindu.com/2006/04/07/stories/2006040723010300.htm
  • http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-490.html
  • http://www.telegraphindia.com/1060207/asp/opinion/
    story_5811922.asp
  • http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1011650
  • http://www.hindu.com/2006/02/04/stories/2006020416441100.htm
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1400286.cms
  • http://us.rediff.com/news/2006/feb/03gay.htm?q=tp&file=.htm
  • http://www.indianexpress.com/res/web/pIe/full_story.php?
    content_id=87254
  • http://abcasiapacific.com/news/stories/
    asiapacific_stories_1692583.htm
  • http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=24270&n_tit=
    New+Delhi%3A+India+could+Legalise+Homosexuality+
  • http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-2018.html
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1779097.cms

India: Arrest of Four Men in Lucknow on Charges of Engaging in ‘Unnatural’ Sex
On January 4, 2006, four men were arrested in Lucknow on charges of operating a ‘gay racket’ on the internet, as well as engaging in ‘unnatural’ sex, as defined by Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. In this incident, police officers posing as homosexuals have falsely accused a group of men of participating in ‘illegal and immoral activities’. For more information on these incidents, read on…

  • http://www.hindu.com/2006/01/13/stories/2006011301731700.htm
  • http://www.hinduonnet.com/2006/01/13/stories/
    2006011301731700.htm
  • http://www.doctorndtv.com/news/detailnews.asp?id=1842
  • http://action.web.ca/home/lgbt/databank.shtml?
    AA_EX_Session=a33f6&x=84182
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4602068.stm
  • http://www.aegis.com/news/ips/2001/IP010806.html
  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1370089.cms
  • http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1007403

Nepal: Police on ‘Sexual Cleansing’ Drive The transgender community in Nepal, better known by the name of ‘metis’, has been repeatedly subjected to physical and sexual abuse, particularly by the police authorities over the years. In one of the recent incidents, three metis were arrested, and physically and verbally abused by the police in an attempt to ‘cleanse’ society of those who are said to be ‘polluting’ it. In another incident, a meti was forced to strip, while the police checked her genitals and mocked her. There have protests by various Human Rights organizations to put an end to such violence on the transgender community throughout 2005 and in January 2006. To know more about such state sponsored violations, read on…

  • http://uk.gay.com/headlines/9488
  • http://www.365gay.com/Newscon06/01/011306nepal.htm
  • http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/01/12/nepal12420.htm
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/h i/south_asia/4610772.stm
  • http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/2005oct/0501.htm
  • http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/2005sept/2702.htm
  • http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=15852
  • http://www.actupny.org/reports/nepal_arrests_alert.html
  • http://www.queeramnesty.ch/nepal_2004e.htm

India: Moral Policing in Meerut In December 2005, police in Meerut, India started physically assaulting couples in a public park under the pretenses of preventing harassment, an initiative also known as ’Operation Majnu’ or ‘Operation Romeo’. Those in the park say they were not disturbing anyone and that the police violence was unwarranted. The incident is looked upon by many as moral policing. An inquiry has begun to investigate the actions of the police officers involved in the Meerut incident. For more information and related stories, read on…

  • http://www.hindustan.net/article505.html
  • http://www.hindu.com/2005/12/23/stories/2005122309801200.htm
  • http://web.mid-day.com/news/nation/2005/december/126538.htm
  • http://www.centralchronicle.com/20051222/2212141.htm
  • http://www.mensactivism.org/articles/05/12/21/1152251.shtml
  • http://in.news.yahoo.com/051225/43/61pcy.html

China: Police Shut Down Gay/Lesbian Event China’s first Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, scheduled to be held in December 2005, was subjected to a police raid, shown live on several television channels. On the first day of the film festival, a police raid was conducted and the event was completely shut down. This has created waves of dissent throughout China and among international human rights activists, advocates and practitioners. For more information on this, read on…

  • http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/english/2005/
    12/200512220301.shtml
  • http://www.hacktivismo.com/news/?p=967
  • http://www.aidslaw.ca/Media/press-releases/e-press-dec2005.pdf
  • http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/20/china12328_txt.htm

Malaysia: Introduction of Sexuality Education in Schools

Several reports during the months of April 2005 and January 2006 show that there have been several deliberations on including sexuality education in schools in Malaysia to students who are as young as four years old. The topics that would be covered are human development, relationships, marriage and family, interpersonal skills and sexual health and behavior. Children will be taught to protect themselves from potential abuse, harassment and sexually transmitted diseases. For more information and related stories, read on…

  • http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news.php?id=173889
  • http://au.news.yahoo.com/051221/19/p/xb56.html
  • http://www.youandaids.org/News/Headlines.asp?
    ID=8D912A011F7249F0B533DC2A9D7FEDC0
  • http://www.thestar.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=2480173
  • http://news.inq7.net/breaking/index.php?index=3&story_id=33348
  • http://www.thebody.com/cdc/news_updates_archive/
    2005/apr11_05/malaysia_sex_ed.html

India: Installation of Condom Vending Machines in Cities and Colleges During December 2005, India’s National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has installed condom-vending machines in public places, along with the Delhi State AIDS Control Society (DSACS), the Kerala Government and the Chennai Corporation AIDS Prevention and Control Society (CAPACS). In Delhi, condom vending machines and prevention information has also been placed at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Delhi University. Although this move has largely been viewed as a positive step in providing increased access to safer sex options by students, several political and minority groups fear that the availability of condoms would increase the likelihood of young people having sex. For more information and related stories, read on…

  • http://freeinfo.blogsome.com/2005/12/20/safe-sex-just-a-vend-away
  • http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1336729.cms
  • http://www.doctorndtv.com/news/detailnews.asp?id=1793
  • http://www.medindia.net/news/view_news_main.asp?x=6298&t=5
  • http://www.hindu.com/2005/11/30/stories/2005113018650500.htm
  • http://english.people.com.cn/200507/26/eng20050726_198228.html

India: Protests by Commercial Sex Workers Against Restore International In October 2005, hundreds of commercial sex workers staged a protest against the actions of a faith-based organization, Restore International, that initiated raids on women in the community along with the local police in Sangli, Maharashtra. In response to the allegations initiated by Restore International, Sampada Grameen Mahila Sanstha (Sangram), an NGO based in Sangli, which works on issues of sex work, has asserted that most of the women arrested during the raids were adults and not minors. This incident has highlighted issues related to the United States’ President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) policy and the kind of implications it has for countries using U.S. funds. For more information and related stories, read on…

  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=36552
  • http://www.healthdev.org/eforums/cms/
    showMessage.asp?msgid=9016
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India: Dance Bars in Mumbai Closed Down by the Government In March 2005, the Maharashtra Government closed down dance bars, rendering thousands of bar dancers jobless. The government’s position is that closing the dance bars prevents exploitation of women, and reduces the number of men who indulge in acts of ‘depravity’. Activists are split; some say that this is a positive step taken by the State that will help prevent women from being ‘degraded’; others say that closing bars without the creation of economic opportunities for those affected, simply reflects the government’s moral notions of those who work in the dance bar industry. For more information and related stories, read on…

  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1490127.cms
  • http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=54768
  • http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=53802
  • http://in.news.yahoo.com/050731/43/5zjjs.html
  • http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/may/03bar.htm
  • http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=13724878
  • http://www.rediff.com/news/2004/feb/27bars.htm