SC urged to stop illegal adoption
The Supreme Court has agreed to intervene after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sounded the alarm on a spate of complaints about illegal adoption of COVID orphans through private individuals and organisations.
What’s the issue?
NCPCR statistics shows that 3,621 children were orphaned, 26,176 children lost either parent and 274 children were abandoned between April 1, 2021 to June 5, 2021. The second wave of the pandemic was at its worst form during this period, leaving a trail of death across the country.
NCPCR had received many complaints in May that private individuals and organisations have been actively collecting data on these children while claiming that they want to assist families and children in adoption.
Social media posts are circulating that children are up for adoption. This is plainly illegal and violates the Juvenile Justice Act.
The Act also prohibits the disclosure of identity of children with regard to the name, school, age, address or any information which would reveal the essential details of the child.
What is the procedure to be followed with children who have been orphaned?
If someone has information about a child in need of care, then they must contact one of the four agencies: Childline 1098, or the district Child Welfare Committee (CWC), District Child Protection Officer (DCPO) or the helpline of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
Following this, the CWC will assess the child and place him or her in the immediate care of a Specialised Adoption Agency.
When there is a child without a family, the State becomes the guardian.
About JJ Act, 2015:
Aim: To Comprehensively address children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection.
It mandates setting up Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in every district. Both must have at least one-woman member each.
Also, the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) was granted the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively.
All Child Care Institutions, whether run by State Government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations are to be mandatorily registered under the Act within 6 months from the date of commencement of the Act.
G7 corporate tax deal
Finance ministers from wealthy G7 nations have endorsed a new global corporate tax deal.
The agreement will now be discussed in detail at a meeting of G20 financial ministers and central bank governors in July.
Highlights of the new deal:
The aim is to counter tax avoidance to make companies pay in the countries where they do business.
The agreement commits states to a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% to avoid countries undercutting each other.
Need for a minimum rate:
The decision to ratify a 15% floor rate follows from a declaration of war on low-tax jurisdictions around the globe by the US.
The rationale behind this move is to discourage the shifting of multinational operations and profits overseas.
Focus of the plan:
The minimum rate is tailored to address the low effective rates of tax shelled out by some of the world’s biggest corporations, including digital giants such as Apple, Alphabet and Facebook. These companies typically rely on complex webs of subsidiaries to hoover profits out of major markets into low-tax countries such as Ireland or Caribbean nations.
Issues/problems with the plan:
Impinges on the right of sovereign nations to decide a nation’s tax policy.
A global minimum rate would essentially take away a tool that countries use to push policies that suit them.
Also, a global minimum tax rate will do little to tackle tax evasion.
Is this the end of tax havens?
If the deal does not kill off tax havens entirely, it will make them far less attractive for many firms looking to cut their tax bill but also burnish their credentials with investors focusing on environmental, social and corporate governance.
Impact on India:
Since India’s effective tax rate is above the global minimum tax rate, it would not impact companies doing business in India. The global minimum rate impacts companies using low-tax jurisdiction to achieve low global tax cost. Moreover, India attracts foreign investment owing to its large internal market, quality labour at competitive rates, strategic location for exports, and a thriving private sector.
China hosts ASEAN Foreign Ministers
China is hosting Foreign Ministers from the 10 ASEAN countries. The event also marks the 30-year anniversary of relations.
ASEAN is being seen as a key space where Chinese and Quad initiatives may rub up against each other.
Concerns for China:
There are possibilities that Quad members will further rope in ASEAN members to counter China as Southeast Asia is of great significance to the U.S.’ Indo-Pacific Strategy.
China recently called the Quad as “an Asian NATO”.
What is ASEAN?
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
Established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers.
Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Ten Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Significance of ASEAN for India:
Against the backdrop of aggressive moves by China, including the Ladakh standoff, India placed the ASEAN at the centre of India’s Act East policy and held that a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is essential for security and growth for all in the region.
ASEAN is necessary for the success of the Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) Vision.
The region is significant for diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
It is India’s 4th largest trading partner with about USD 86.9 billion in trade.