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Sad State Of Affairs: India ranks 118th in Happiness Index

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New York: In the Global List of the happiest nations, India was ranked 118th out of 156 countries. India has come down one slot as compared to the previous year. Hence, failing to make any improvement.

The World Happiness Report 2016 was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. The report takes into account GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make choices.

The list is topped by Denmark followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland. Countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Liberia & Burundi were noted as the least happiest countries.

According to the report, India was among the 10 countries witnessing the largest happiness decline along with Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen & Botswana.

For the first time, the report, released on UN Happiness day March 20 indicates the measurement and consequences of inequalities in well-being of different nations and regions of the world. Previously, there have been arguments that happiness proves to be a better indicator of people’s welfare in comparison to income, poverty, education, health and a strong government.

The report reflects a new demand for greater attention to happiness as part of government’s policies. It provides evidence on how to achieve social well-being which is not money alone but also includes good health, fairness and honesty.

The report also exhibits that a nation’s key challenge is to make sure that the government polices are designed and delivered in such a manner that it enriches the social framework and teach the power of empathy to the present and future generations. (Inputs from Agencies)

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Intel Becomes Savior Of Exploited Workers

In recent years modern slavery has increasingly come under the global spotlight

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivers a keynote speech at CES International, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich delivers a keynote speech at CES International, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas. VOA

Intel topped a list issued on Monday ranking how well technology companies combat the risk of forced labor in their supply chains, overtaking HP and Apple.

Most of the top 40 global technology companies assessed in the study by KnowTheChain, an online resource for business, had made progress since the last report was published in 2016. But the study found there was still room for improvement.

“The sector needs to advance their efforts further down the supply chain in order to truly protect vulnerable workers,” said Kilian Moote, project director of KnowTheChain, in a statement.

Intel, HP and Apple scored the highest on the list, which looked at factors including purchasing practices, monitoring and auditing processes. China-based BOE Technology Group and Taiwan’s Largan Precision came bottom.

Workers who make the components used by technology companies are often migrants vulnerable to exploitative working conditions, the report said.

About 25 million people globally were estimated to be trapped in forced labor in 2016, according to the International Labor Organization and rights group Walk Free Foundation.

Laborers in technology companies’ supply chains are sometimes charged high recruitment fees to get jobs, trapped in debt servitude, or deprived of their passports or other documents, the report said.

It highlighted a failure to give workers a voice through grievance mechanisms and tackle exploitative recruiting practices as the main areas of concern across the sector.

In recent years modern slavery has increasingly come under the global spotlight, putting ever greater regulatory and consumer pressure on firms to ensure their supply chains are free of forced labor, child labor and other forms of slavery.

From cosmetics and clothes to shrimp and smartphones, supply chains are often complex with multiple layers across various countries — whether in sourcing the raw materials or creating the final product — making it hard to identify exploitation.

Overall, large technology companies fared better than smaller ones, suggesting a strong link between size and capacity to take action, the report said. Amazon, which ranked 20th, was a notable exception, it said.

“Top-ranking brands … are listening to workers in their supply chains and weeding out unscrupulous recruitment processes,” Phil Bloomer, head of the Business & Human Rights Resource Center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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intel technology, pixabay

A spokesman for Amazon said the report drew from old and incomplete information and failed to take into account recently launched anti-slavery commitments and initiatives.

HP said it regularly assessed its supply chain to identify and address any concerns and risks of exploitation.

“We strive to ensure that workers in our supply chain have fair treatment, safe working conditions, and freely chosen employment,” said Annukka Dickens, HP’s director for human rights and supply chain responsibility.

Also read: Another Security flaw is Revealed By Intel in its Chips

Intel, Apple, BOE Technology and Largan Precision did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (VOA)