Recognition of “Marital Rape” As a Valid Ground for Divorce – An Affirmative Step towards Marital Equality and Women’s Rights in India

Recognition of “Marital Rape” As a Valid Ground for Divorce – An Affirmative Step towards Marital Equality and Women’s Rights in India

By guest contributor Yamika Khanna* The Madras High Court in a remarkable judgment (case name was redacted due to the sensitive nature) upheld that marital rape, although not penalized under the Indian Penal Code, is a valid ground to claim divorce. The judgment is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel in recognizing the heinous nature of marital rape as a gross violation of bodily autonomy, privacy, and dignity of a married woman, especially under a legal regime that considers non-consensual sexual intercourse with the “wife” by the “husband” as an exception to the crime of rape. An appeal was filed before the Hon'ble Court against the judgment of the Family Court. The Family Court vide its judgment allowed the petition for divorce sought by the wife on the ground of cruelty. The gravest contention of the wife with reference to cruelty against her pertained to the worst forms of sexual perversion including unnatural intercourse against the wife’s will. In...
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An Alternative Path Forward: Pivoting LGBTI Rights to Corporate Korea

An Alternative Path Forward: Pivoting LGBTI Rights to Corporate Korea

By guest contributor Haley Son*   On 14 June 2021, for the first time in over a decade, South Korea’s lawmakers agreed to hear proposed national laws geared toward protecting the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people. While these bills have garnered international support, prospects for passage of an anti-discrimination bill are dim due to intense lobbying by conservative factions and faith groups. Given the challenges of LGBTI equality under South Korea’s legal framework, an alternative avenue would be for corporate Korea to implement LGBTI rights based on global standards in the meantime.  South Korea, the world’s 10th largest economy, still has no laws preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, making it a rarity among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in that regard. The South Korean Constitution, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the “UDHR”), sets forth global human rights standards, such as establishing legal equality between the sexes, and prohibiting political, economic, and social discrimination on...
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Milieudefensie v. Shell: Anchoring Corporate Human Rights Obligation in Indian Jurisprudence

Milieudefensie v. Shell: Anchoring Corporate Human Rights Obligation in Indian Jurisprudence

By guest contributors Swetha Somu and Sanigdh Budhia, students at Gujarat National Law University.  INTRODUCTION The recent case of Milieudefensie et al. v Royal Dutch Shell has shifted the focus back to the dilemma of whether private corporations are outrightly liable for infringing human rights, as defined under the international laws and treaties, or whether only the state is liable for the actions of private corporations under its jurisdiction. The Hague District Court, in this case, ordered a private company, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), to decrease its net emissions by 45%, in relation to the 2019 levels, by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement.  Generally, states are held accountable for any violation of private corporations as corporations  aren’t recognized as legal subjects. However, there’s a recent shift in the view that corporations are also subjects of international law since they are also contributors to it, even though there is no “hard” law in the form of treaties or conventions that legally bind...
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Plight of Sex Workers During COVID-19: A South Asian Perspective

Plight of Sex Workers During COVID-19: A South Asian Perspective

By Atika Chaturvedi, a third year law student at National University of Study and Research in Law at Ranchi, India.  As the world came to a standstill, the shock of the lockdown rippled through the various strata of society. The proliferation of COVID-19 in 2020 left the daily wage earners around the world scraping for money and struggling for survival. One such group was sex workers. Albeit, various South Asian governments formulated covid-relief packages, most of them left out sex workers out of the ambit of such packages. Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and Article 3, that guarantees everyone the right to life, liberty and security of person, were denied to the sex workers as they were not only curtailed from earning their livelihood, but were also rendered ineligible for the relief packages. They were stripped off of the chance of continuing...
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Amnesty Philippines: Promoting Corporate Accountability and Indigenous Women’s Rights through Human Rights Education

Amnesty Philippines: Promoting Corporate Accountability and Indigenous Women’s Rights through Human Rights Education

By Noah Smith, RightsViews staff writer. Promoting Corporate Accountability and Indigenous Women’s Rights was a five-year project implemented by Amnesty International (Amnesty) Philippines under the larger global Education, Empowerment, Justice (EEJ) Program, which ran from 2013 to December 2017. The EEJ program was coordinated by Amnesty Norway with the goal of reinforcing basic human rights of people across the world and contributing to greater justice for thousands of human beings through human rights education and empowerment initiatives. Since its inception in 2013, the project distinguished itself in such a way by coalescing women’s empowerment within a framework of corporate accountability; courageous in its attempts to change the balance of power in three exceedingly patriarchal indigenous communities; and undaunted in targeting governance structures to perform their state obligations to protect, respect, and fulfill indigenous communities’ rights.  The project was implemented in the Caraga Region which is an administrative region in the Philippines occupying the northeastern section of the island of Mindanao. It is...
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Inadequacy of Laws Against Cross-Border Sex Trafficking Between Nepal and India

Inadequacy of Laws Against Cross-Border Sex Trafficking Between Nepal and India

By guest contributor Ayush Kumar* Globalisation has caused the emergence of new technologies that facilitate trade and transport, making business more rewarding. A negative ramification of this change is the proliferation of cross-border human trafficking. The UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) defines Human Trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of people through force, fraud, or deception, intending to exploit them for profit.” Men, women, and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. There are nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking in the world, out of which two-thirds are from Asia, making it the third-largest crime in magnitude and profit after arms and drug trafficking. With Covid-19, the situation is anticipated to turn grimmer. Open Borders: A Facilitating Factor Nepal is an indispensable neighbour of India because of its cultural, historical, and economic connections. It also holds a vital place in India’s foreign policy...
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The Plight Of The Rohingyas: The Indian Supreme Court’s Abdication in Upholding India’s International Obligations

The Plight Of The Rohingyas: The Indian Supreme Court’s Abdication in Upholding India’s International Obligations

By guest contributor Reigha Yangzom, an incoming LL.M. candidate at School of Oriental and African Studies, London.  Background The United Nations has described the Rohingyas as the most persecuted minority in the world. The gross human rights violations and persecution faced by the Rohingyas have led to thousands of Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar to escape alleged genocide and crimes against humanity. The Rohingya population that remains in the Rakhine state of Myanmar are denied citizenship, disenfranchised, subjected to widespread atrocities such as torture, enforced disappearances, rape and mass killings. They are denied access to adequate food, healthcare, education, employment, land ownership, religious freedom and freedom of movement. The Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar established by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations have provided detailed reports on the threats of genocide and other serious crimes against the Rohingyas.  On 23 January 2020, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in the case of The Gambia v. Myanmar took cognizance of the imminent danger faced by...
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COVID-19 in India: Violation of the Right to Health and the Collapse of Healthcare Infrastructure

COVID-19 in India: Violation of the Right to Health and the Collapse of Healthcare Infrastructure

By guest contributor, Ayush Kumar is a law student at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, India.   On the 13th of March, as a gesture of accountability, Jordan’s health minister resigned after six Covid-19 patients died due to lack of oxygen at a hospital ward. Accountability is the linchpin of a functional democracy as it compels a State to explain what it is doing and how it is moving forward in times of crisis. In the past few weeks, India has faced a massive oxygen shortage as the healthcare infrastructure collapsed like a house of cards due to exponentially rising cases of  Covid-19. Alone in the capital city, twenty-five patients died due to the shortage of oxygen on 24th April. The government’s inadequacy in providing healthcare facilities to its people is a serious violation of their human right to health. Patna High Court’s division bench expressed strong displeasure over the deaths due to oxygen shortage and further stated that lack of adequate...
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Myanmar’s Coup: Unearthing its Constitutional Roots

Myanmar’s Coup: Unearthing its Constitutional Roots

By guest contributors Namrata Rawat* and Rishav Devrani.* February 1, 2021, the world witnessed Myanmar succumbing to a military coup after a 5-year run of a democratically elected government. The coup happened on account of alleged fraud in the 2020 elections wherein the National League for Democracy (NLD) Party, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi saw a landslide victory with 83% votes in its favour. Myanmar, currently under a year-long state of emergency, would be under military rule. The coup d’état has been condemned by countries and international organisations across the globe, who have called it a serious blow to democratic reforms. However, this state of events is not unprecedented, a similar narrative presided over the 1990 election as well. The imposed state of emergency is provided for under Section 417 of the Constitution of Myanmar. It becomes pertinent to discuss this as a military rule can have unavoidable violations of human rights across the country. In this article, the authors...
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Understanding the LGBT Rights Movement in Indonesia

Understanding the LGBT Rights Movement in Indonesia

By guest contributors Harsh Mahaseth* and Ishita Goel*   Although homosexuality is legal in most parts of Indonesia, it is widely believed that the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia is anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), with government officials making the four-letter acronym a toxic symbol. In November, Indonesian police arrested Millen Cyrus, a trans-woman Instagram influencer, for alleged drug possession. Police placed her in a male detention cell at the Tanjung Priok Port Police Station, a move that received criticism from Indonesians and the international community. Millen Cyrus was arrested on November 22, 2020, after police raided her hotel room and discovered 0.36 grams of crystal methamphetamine in her possession. Police revealed later that Cyrus had been placed in a male detention cell because her I.D card identified her as a male. She was moved to a special cell following public outrage, not because police realised their mistake. They removed her from the male detention cell in order to “stifle anger,”...
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