Death Penalty for Child Rapists in India: Populist, Hasty, Counterproductive

Death Penalty for Child Rapists in India: Populist, Hasty, Counterproductive

by Shardool Kulkarni, a law student at the University of Mumbai This January, an eight-year-old girl hailing from a minority shepherding family in India was abducted, gang raped and brutally murdered in the Kathua region of Jammu and Kashmir. In the subsequent months, the incident generated polarized reactions in India and around the world, with public outcry juxtaposed against the response from individuals in authority and alleged politicization of rape owing to the victim’s minority status. The ensuing public discourse has placed the ruling dispensation headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under intense scrutiny, particularly in relation to the government's stance and policies regarding child rape. In April 2018, the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018 was promulgated. The said ordinance brought in several changes to the existing legal framework pertaining to child rape in India, the most significant being the imposition of the death penalty as punishment for rape of a girl below the age of twelve years. The move, while hailed by...
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Sex Work in South Africa: Shaming Sex Workers Away From Human Rights

Sex Work in South Africa: Shaming Sex Workers Away From Human Rights

By Maria E. Hengeveld, graduate student of human rights at Columbia University _____________________________________________________________________________ Think about this: If the Netherlands, the country that was one of the first to legalize sex work thirteen years ago, still benefits from its capital’s red light district as one of its main attractions for both national and international tourists, what kinds of questions does this raise about the treatment of sex workers outside the regulated district? For one, it suggests there are very few places on this planet where the shaming and ridiculing of both sex workers and their clients is not socially acceptable. The Dutch red light district remains a site where women who earn their money through sex—some by choice, some by force—is objectified and ridiculed. It’s fun to walk past them, amusing to observe them, and outright hilarious to shame and fool them[1]. We call it stigma. Notwithstanding the violations and harsh realities that many sex workers in the Netherlands continue to endure (especially those who are working against their will),  sex...
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