The Supreme Court ruled yesterday with a six-justice majority that the "Anti-Prostitution Loyalty Oath" (APLO) in the 2003 United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria act violated the First Amendment and was unconstitutional. The APLO required groups receiving government funds to fight HIV/AIDS around the globe to adopt policies opposing prostitution and human trafficking.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, who wrote the decision for the majority, worried that the APLO "may alienate certain host governments, and may diminish the effectiveness of some of their programs." Marine Buissonniere, who directs the group Open Society Public Health Program opposing the APLO, agrees. "Public health groups cannot tell sex workers that we 'oppose them'," she said, "yet expect them to be partners in preventing HIV."
Groups within the United States will no longer be required to agree to the APLO to receive funding for work done abroad. Groups from overseas may still be required to agree. Research presented at the July 2012 International AIDS Conference found that the APLO hurt US HIV programs by encouraging groups to limit or eliminate programs that targeted sex workers in fear of losing their funding.
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .