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August 31, 2022
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September 2, 2022
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1st September Current Affairs

Only 16% of human trafficking cases in 2021 saw convictions

(GS-II: Government policies and interventions for the development of various social sectors, Issues of human trafficking etc)

In News:

The conviction rate in human trafficking cases across the country continues to be low, according to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Key Highlights:

Only 16 per cent saw convictions against cases registered under the Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs).

Data not available: The data on convictions was not available for 11 states and as many as eight states and three Union territories saw no convictions at all.

Top performer: The top performer was Jharkhand, which saw convictions in 84.2 per cent (Eighty-four point two) of the 92 cases that were registered in 2021.

Zero conviction: 11 states and Union territories reported zero convictions in 2021.

Highest trafficking cases: The highest number of trafficking cases was registered in Telangana (347 cases), Maharashtra (320 cases), and Assam (203 cases).

General dip in cases: Barring Telangana, all states saw a dip in cases in 2020, the first year of the pandemic which saw lockdowns.

Previous years: In 2020, only 10.6 per cent (ten point six) of the total cases saw convictions and in 2019 there were convictions in 22 per cent.

Human trafficking:

It is a form of modern-day slavery involving the illegal transport of individuals by force or deception for the purpose of labour, sexual exploitation, or activities in which others benefit financially.

Constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India:

Article 23: Trafficking in Human Beings or Persons is prohibited under the Constitution of India under Article 23 (1).

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA): It is the premier legislation for the prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Section 370 and 370A of IPC: It provides for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking including the trafficking of children for exploitation in any form including physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.

U.N. cites possible crimes against humanity in China’s Xinjiang

In News:

China’s discriminatory detention of Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in the western region of Xinjiang may constitute crimes against humanity, the U.N. human rights office.

What does the report say?      

Urgent attention: The report seeks “urgent attention” from the UN. and the world community to rights violations in Beijing’s campaign to root out terrorism.

Patterns of torture: The report cites “patterns of torture” inside vocational training centres, pointing to “credible” allegations of torture or ill-treatment, including cases of sexual violence.

Arbitrary and discriminatory detention: The report warns that the “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” of such groups in Xinjiang, stripping away fundamental rights may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity.”

Reports of sharp increases in arrests and lengthy prison sentences: It strongly suggested a shift toward formal incarceration as the principal means for large-scale imprisonment and deprivation of liberty — instead of the use of the “vocational training centres”.

Uighur Muslims:

The Uighurs are a predominantly Muslim minority Turkic ethnic group, whose origins can be traced to Central and East Asia.

The Uighurs are considered to be one of the 55 officially recognized ethnic minority communities in China.

However, China recognises the community only as a regional minority and rejects that they are an indigenous group.

The largest population of the Uighur ethnic community lives in the Xinjiang region of China.

Best Aspirational District

In News:

NITI Aayog has declared Haridwar city of Uttarakhand as the best aspirational district on the basis of five parameters.

Details:

The programme was launched in January 2018 and aims to quickly and effectively transform some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country.

 Broad Contours of the Programme:

  • Convergence(of Central & State Schemes)
  • Collaboration(of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors),
  • Competitionamong districts through monthly delta ranking

Parameters for Best Aspirational District: health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources basic infrastructure.

Abysmal state of heritage conservation

In News:

CAG’s performance audit on Preservation and Conservation of Monuments and Antiquities that was tabled in Parliament singled out the poor state of heritage conservation across India.

Issues Highlighted in the report:

  • Lack of proper National Policy: There is no national policy on archaeological exploration and excavation. The same is possibly true for antiquities.
  • Less allocation of Funds: The ASI budget for exploration and excavations is less than 1 per cent even though it intended to raise the allocation to 5 per cent of the total budget.
  • Lack of Coordination: There is no synergy between the different agencies involved in heritage conservation.
  • The National Culture Fund, established in November 1996, to rope in individuals and corporate groups to fund conservation, has utilised only 14 per cent of its funds because of the lack of coordination with the ASI.
  • Violations of Various Provisions: The report reveals that the ASI, has been working in violation of the provisions of the Monuments (AMASR) Act.
  • At Humayun’s tomb, a CAG inspection revealed commercial construction being undertaken in the prohibited area by an “agency other than the ASI”.
  • Dumping of garbage and sewage: The auditing team’s visit revealed that sewage from nearby areas “was being discharged into many lakes”.

AMASR Act, 1958 is an act of parliament of the government of India that provides for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.

Progress on WASH in Healthcare facilities (2000-2021 Report)

In News:

UNICEF and WHO released this report to see progress on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and linkages between WASH and infection prevention and control (IPC).

Key findings:

  • Nearly 4 bn people are at risk since over 50% of health facilities in the world lack basic hygiene services.
  • Achieving universal access to WASH in health care facilities requires political will and strong leadership at both national and facility levels
  • Achieving it is highly cost-effective and would yield substantial health benefits.
  • Universal basic WASH services could be achieved in 46 least developed countries (LDCs) by 2030 for less than US$10 billion.

The WHO and UNICEF release progress updates on WASH in households, WASH in schools and WASH in health care facilities every two years.

WHO’s WASH Strategy has been developed in response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being, SDG 6: Clean Water And Sanitation).