2019 in Good News

The year had its fair share of ups and downs. But, here’s what went right in 2019.

As a yearly tradition, we at INKLINE rounded up some of the events that have occurred in the past year that give us more hope not only for the future of journalism, but also for humanity.

December: A Cutting-edge HIV drug was introduced in South Africa

Robert Matiru, from the global health development organisations Unitaid, which funded the development of the new drug, said to The Guardian: “The introduction of this new regimen, known as TLD, is a major milestone and game-changer for South Africa, which has the highest burden of HIV of any country in the world.”

November: Italy made climate change education compulsory in schools

Starting September 2020, public schools in Italy will be required by the law to include 33 hours every year in their curricula to study issues related to climate change and sustainability. “The entire ministry is being changed to make sustainability and climate the center of the education model,” Italy’s Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti told Reuters.

October: Instagram launched its anti-bullying feature

Once a user restricts a bully, comments will need to be approved by the user. This gives the agency to the user, letting the user decide whether or not he or she wants to let this comment be seen by other people. Messages from a bully are also now under a separate inbox, so the user can choose to read it or not.

September: Indonesia raised minimum marriable age for women

A move welcomed by campaigners, the law revision to lift the minimum marriageable age of women to 19 is seen as a major step towards curbing child marriage in the country.

August: 102 countries voted to protect endangered mako sharks

At the CITES global wildlife trade summit in Geneva, a proposal to strengthen protection for mako sharks, hunted for their meat and fins, was adopted after a 102-40 secret ballot vote. The proposal lists mako sharks in under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which means that they can’t be traded unless it can be shown that fishing wouldn’t threaten their chances for survival, reported National Geographic.

July: Nigeria joined Africa’s free trade agreement

Nigeria joined the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on July 7. President Muhammadu Buhari wrote: “Let me state unequivocally that trade is important for us as a nation and to all nations. Economic progress is what makes the world go around. Our position is very simple, we support free trade as long as it is fair and conducted on an equitable basis.”

June: Botswana decriminalised homosexuality in a landmark move


Botswana’s high court scrapped a colonial-era law criminalising consensual same-sex relations – a big win for LGBTQ rights in Africa. “There’s nothing reasonable in discriminating … Human dignity is harmed when minority groups are marginalised,” Judge Michael Elburu said, as reported by Al Jazeera. 

May: New Zealand started measuring its success by people’s wellbeing

New Zealand’s finance minister, Grant Robertson, made child poverty, domestic violence and mental health the priorities in the country’s new “wellbeing budget”.

April: A decades-old ban on abortion was lifted in South Korea

This historic decision marked a major victory for pro-choice campaigners as the country had banned abortions 66 years ago. The court announced that the 1953 law was unconstitutional and needed to be revised by the end of the year.

March: Drug for postpartum depression was finally approved in the US

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug that can treat postpartum depression, a mental illness affecting new mothers. The drug will be sold as Zulresso and its clinical trials have been shown to work within hours of postpartum depression symptoms. The mental illness is known to impact one in nine new mothers immediately after giving birth.

February: Britain’s carnivores staged a surprising revival

Image result for stoat

Britain’s carnivores’ populations have “markedly improved” since the 1960s according to a new study published in the journal Mammal Review. Species such as the otter, the polecat and the pine marten have even bounced back from the brink of extinction.

January: Australia saw 80 per cent drop in plastic bag use after nationwide ban

Two of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths stopped offering single-use disposable plastic bags last summer which has resulted in the high reduction rate of the single-use item, according to the National Retail Association (NRA).

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