Author:Gajewski, Karen Ann
Position:International treaty on protecting the seas - Child marriage in the United Kingdom - Tanzanian president John Magufuli is urging his countrywomen not to use irth control pills

The development of an international treaty to protect the high seas was initiated in September 2018. Considered by various environmental and marine agencies to be the first significant effort to protect the biodiversity and limit exploitation of the open oceans (areas that are 200 miles off coastlines and beyond exclusive economic zones), the pact seeks to achieve a binding commitment by nations to regulate deep-sea mining, fishing, and the patenting of marine genetic resources. According to Greenpeace, such a treaty would allow for the creation of a network of ocean sanctuaries to protect wildlife, ensure food security for billions of people, and help tackle climate change.

Despite hosting the Girl Summit in 2014--an international summit to end child marriage and female genital mutilation--the United Kingdom has failed in its own efforts. Currently children aged sixteen and seventeen can wed in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland with their parents' permission. In Scotland the minimum age is sixteen with no parental permission required. And in recent years the UK government not only failed to end child marriage but actually blocked an effort to do so. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child supports a global minimum age of eighteen for marriage, but many nations oppose it, and Bangladesh actually re-legalized child marriage in 2017 using the UK law as justification. However, a bill has recently been introduced in the UK Parliament that would ban marriage before the age of eighteen in England and in Wales.

"Don't use birth control" is the message of Tanzania President John Magufuli to his countrywomen. He urged citizens to stop taking birth control pills because "the country needs more people." According to a 2015 World Bank report Tanzania's population is around 53 million with 70 percent living on less than two dollars a day. The hard-line president is known for his misogyny, which includes denying education to schoolgirls who become pregnant and banning female lawmakers from wearing fake nails and eyelashes, short dresses, and jeans.

A victory for the LGBT community in the United States occurred on September 28 when a discriminatory amendment was pulled from a federal appropriations bill. Congress approved funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Defense only after removing the Aderholt amendment, which would have allowed child welfare providers to refuse to place children with LGBT parents on...

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