London, 10 June 2015

On 23 May 2015, the Law for Health Care Relating to Control of Population Growth (The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law 28/2015), which allows authorities the power to implement "birth spacing", was signed by President Thein Sein. The Law is one of four pieces of legislation that together make up the “Protection of Race and Religion Laws”, a package of bills reported to have been driven by nationalist Buddhist monks with an anti-Muslim agenda. The law permits the government to control population growth in certain areas by limiting how often women may have children. It has been widely condemned both for violating women’s rights and for its potential to be used as a tool for ethnic and religious discrimination against communities like the Rohingya.

London, 26 May 2015

On Friday 22 May 2015, Ireland voted 62.1% in favour of legalising same-sex marriage and is set to be the nineteenth country in the world to recognise an equal right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. The Equal Rights Trust strongly welcomes the ends, but issues caution on the means employed.

On 29 December 2014, the Russian government adopted Decree No. 1604 “On the list of medical contraindications, medical indications and medical restrictions to driving”. The decree potentially places restrictions on the ability of persons with specified medical conditions to obtain a driving licence. The Equal Rights Trust is concerned that this Decree discriminates on the basis of gender identity.
Decree No. 1604 was adopted in pursuance of Article 231 of the Federal Law “On Road Safety”, following its amendment in 2013.

London, 15 September 2014

On 1 September 2014, in an important step towards greater equality, an amendment to the law regulating the Danish National People’s Register came into effect, allowing transgender people to obtain new official documents reflecting their choice of gender through a simple administrative procedure. The amendment makes Denmark the first European country to allow legal recognition of gender on the basis of self-identification. It is hoped that Denmark’s move will pave the way for change in other countries, eventually ending the requirement that individuals undergo invasive medical procedures or diagnoses in order to receive legal recognition of their gender identity.

On 10 July 2014, Suriname’s National Assembly passed the Draft Law on Nationality and Residency (“the Law”), amending Law No. 4 of 24 November 1975 on Surinamese Nationality and Residence.

2 July 2014 
On 18 June, an overwhelming majority of Luxembourg’s national legislative body, the Chambre des Députés, approved Bill No. 6172A legalising same-sex marriage. Luxembourg now joins a growing number of countries which recognise equal rights to marriage regardless of sexual orientation, becoming the 18th country to legalise same-sex marriage. New Zealand, France, Uruguay, England and Scotland all recently passed legislation to provide equal rights to marry. 

London, 22 May 2014

On 8 May, in the wake of the abduction of more than two hundred schoolgirls in Nigeria, a bi-partisan group of Senators reintroduced the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), which has been rejected twice before, to the US Senate. 

London, 19 May 2014

On 7 May, the Law of Georgia on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination came into force after being signed by Georgia’s President Margvelashvili.  The enactment of the Law is to be strongly welcomed as it moves Georgia’s anti-discrimination framework closer towards the standards required by international law. There is some room for improvement in the final text.

London, 15 January 2014
On 7 January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in secret. The Act imposes lengthy prison sentences on any person who attempts to enter into a same-sex marriage or civil union; who participates in a gay club, society or organisation; or who makes a public display of affection with a person of the same sex.

London, 23 December 2013

On 9 December 2013, the Council of the European Union unanimously adopted the “Council recommendation on effective Roma integration measures in the Member States”. This is an important development in Europe, where the Roma continue to face widespread prejudice, discrimination and social exclusion. The Recommendation signifies a necessary and welcome commitment from the EU to taking action to tackle the inequality and discrimination faced by the Roma in Europe and, in particular, to addressing their socio-economic exclusion.