Under new guidelines, which carry legal authority, medical professionals and government officials have clear mandates for how to handle requests aimed at changing a person’s gender on birth certificates and other identification documents. People who identify as transgendered, regardless of whether they’ve gone through the prohibitively expensive process of having their physical characteristics altered, can obtain a legal gender change.
A recent silent protest in front of the president’s office in Colombo was part of an effort to use the new Right to Information law to get the facts on missing persons, voter identification, land rights and other issues. A youth network called AFRIEL facilitated the demonstration and has assisted people in developing more than 1,000 applications under the law.
In Nepal, many families view the birth of a baby girl as an economic burden. To reduce sex-selective abortion, one city in Nepal is encouraging families to keep their daughters - and it’s paying them for having baby girls.
Two major political parties support granting amnesty to those guilty of crimes and atrocities during a decade-long conflict, and this plan is feared to mar the efforts of the two-year-old Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which has already been criticized as ineffective. Voices from several points of view convey the tensions surrounding the transitional justice process.
Deadly protests that began in July have led to massive income loss in the Kashmir Valley, where most households rely on the wages of day laborers. The story of Mohammad Sultan is typical; his earnings have gone from the equivalent of $6 a day to perhaps $4.45 a week, partly because large construction sites, where he’d found regular work, were shut down as strikes ordered by armed groups prevented delivery of building materials.
New regulations that restrict trade between the sections of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan and India have created problems for businesspeople who trade fruit and other goods grown on either side. Trade numbers have dramatically lowered at the post, which the traders say hinders connections between family members separated by the border.
For the first time in Nepal’s history, a member of the historically oppressed Badi community has been elected to the country’s Parliament. Uma Devi Badi has made history – but others wonder whether she can make a change.
The court system in Sri Lanka is overwhelmed by a backlog of nearly 28,000 cases awaiting the country’s 85 judges. Some criminal and civil cases, however, can be resolved through community mediation boards, a system staffed by volunteers who heard more than 220,000 cases in 2016. This is the story of two women who brought their disputes to mediation in search of justice.