21 September 2017-Current Affairs

  1. 50 nations ink UN nuclear ban treaty opposed by big powers
  2. Modern slavery Estimates
  3. Quality assurance for GI Products

  1. 50 nations ink UN nuclear ban treaty opposed by big powers
  • 50 states as different as Indonesia and Ireland had signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons; others can sign later if they like. Guyana, Thailand and the Vatican also have already ratified the treaty, which needs 50 ratifications to take effect among the nations that back it.
  • Brazil was the first country to sign onto the ban
  • They would be barred from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, otherwise acquiring, possessing or stockpiling nuclear weapons “under any circumstances.
  • Amid rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, U.N. Secretary—General Antonio Guterres said that the threat of a nuclear attack is at its highest level since the end of the Cold War.
  • More than 120 countries approved the new nuclear weapons ban treaty in July over opposition from nuclear—armed countries and their allies, who boycotted negotiations. The nuclear powers have suggested instead strengthening the nonproliferation treaty, which they say has made a significant dent in atomic arsenals.
  • Under NPT’s terms, non-nuclear nations agreed not to pursue nukes in exchange for a commitment by the five original nuclear powers the U.S., Russia, Britain, France and China to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee other states’ access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing energy.
  • Reference

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/50-nations-ink-un-nuclear-ban-treaty-opposed-by-big-powers/article19726015.ece?homepage=true


  1. Modern slavery Estimates
  • The term ‘modern slavery’ covers “a set of specific legal concepts including forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, other slavery and slavery-like practices, and human trafficking. It refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, deception, and/or abuse of power.
  • As per the 2017 Global Estimates of modern slavery released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation (WFF) on Tuesday, an estimated 40.3 million people were victims of slavery worldwide. Women accounted for 71% (29 million), while children constituted 25% (10 million) of modern slaves.
  • 25 million were in forced labour and 15 million in forced marriage.  Of the 25 million, 16 million were exploited by the private sector, 4.8 million were in forced sexual exploitation, and 4.1 million were in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
  • Debt bondage was responsible for 50% of all forced labour in the private sector.
  • More women (9.2 million, or 57.6%) than men (6.8 million, or 42.4%) were affected by privately imposed forced labour.
  • The largest share of adults who were in forced labour were domestic workers (24%), followed by the construction sector (18%), manufacturing (15%), and agriculture and fishing (11%).
  • Women represented 99% of the victims of forced labour in the commercial sex industry, and 84% of the victims of forced marriages.
  • As per the Global Slavery Index 2016, India had the world’s largest number of modern slaves, at 18.3 million, with 1.4% of the population living in slavery-like conditions.
  • 151.6 million children aged 5 to 17 were engaged in child labour in 2016. Nearly 50% (72.5 million) were involved in hazardous work. While 70.9% of child labour was concentrated in agriculture, 11.9% worked in industry. The highest number (72.1 million) was in Africa, followed by Asia and the Pacific (62 million).
  • Modern slavery was most prevalent in Africa (7.6 per 1,000 people), followed by Asia and the Pacific (6.1 per 1,000) and then Europe and Central Asia (3.9 per 1,000).
  • Forced labour was most prevalent in Asia and the Pacific (4 per 1,000 people), followed by Europe and Central Asia (3.6 per 1,000), and then Africa (2,8 per 1,000).
  • The latest figures are expected to aid in policy-making aimed at achieving Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls for effective measures to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, and child labour in all its forms.
  • In India, a more robust labour governance system in the form of increased inspections and better resources for the labour inspectorate is essential for the realisation of SDG 8.7.
  • The most effective and durable way to prevent all forms of extreme exploitation lies in the self-organisation of workers and in their efforts at collective bargaining, especially through trade unions and workers’ collectives,
  • The problem of trafficking can only be addressed through a multi-faceted legal and economic strategy that strengthens the implementation of labour protections such as those guaranteed by the Constitution

Reference

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/data/over-40-million-people-living-in-slavery-worldwide-ilo/article19725918.ece?homepage=true
  2. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/scholars-activists-urge-india-to-act-against-forced-labour/article19722160.ece?homepage=true

  1. Quality assurance for GI Products
  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. e.g:- Darjeeling tea,Mysore Pak, Aranmula Mirror, Palakkadan Matta rice
  • Geographical indications are typically used for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.
  • A geographical indication right enables those who have the right to use the indication to prevent its use by a third party whose product does not conform to the applicable standards. However, a protected geographical indication does not enable the holder to prevent someone from making a product using the same techniques as those set out in the standards for that indication. Protection for a geographical indication is usually obtained by acquiring a right over the sign that constitutes the indication.
  • The Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) under the aegis of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, launched a social media campaign to promote Geographical Indications (GIs) with the hashtag #LetsTalkIP.
  • the “GI tag” has accorded protection to several handmade and manufactured products, especially in the informal sector. CIPAM proposes to talk about interesting facts and stories on GIs using social media.
  • The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 (the GI Act) was enacted for their protection and 295 names are registered with the Geographical Indications Registry
  • if protected the correct way, GIs can promote rural development in a significant manner and could be fitted in as the most ideal intellectual property right to bolster a programme such as ‘Make in India’.
  • There is a proliferation of GI registrations in India without any legal provisions stipulating post-registration quality control measures that are to be employed in the production of goods branded as GIs. This is detrimental not only to the protection process of GIs in India but also to the very existence of these GIs, because prolonged failure to meet consumer expectations would dilute the premium and credibility of GI-branded goods.
  • The legislative gap in ensuring quality control through monitoring mechanisms at all stages of production, processing and distribution should be filled urgently.

Reference

  1. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/beyond-social-media/article19723042.ece?homepage=true
  2. http://www.wipo.int/geo_indications/en/