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Anti-Drug Working Group BRICS

  • 17 Aug 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the 4th Session of the BRICS Anti-Drug Working Group was held through a video conference.

  • The session was chaired by Russia this year.

Key Points

  • Issues Raised by India: India raised the misuse of darknet and modern technology used for drug trafficking by the international criminals in the meeting.
    • It also called for nodal points to enable real-time information sharing among BRICS nations.
  • Trends of Drug Trafficking: The BRICS grouping discussed international and regional trends of illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances among others.
    • It also discussed steps to curb increased instances of drug trafficking through the maritime route.
  • A Global Menace:
    • According to the report released in May 2020 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Report (UNODC), Covid-19 induced lockdowns and movement restrictions may lead to an initial statistical reduction in drug seizures, but is unlikely to have any effect on illicit drug supply.
  • India and Illicit Drug Trade:
    • Major Hub of Illicit Drug Trade: According to UNODC, India is one of the major hubs of illicit drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.
    • Drug Trafficking Routes: India is in the middle of two major illicit opium production regions in the world, the Golden Crescent (Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan) in the west and the Golden Triangle (South-East Asia) in the east.
  • Anti-Drug Action Plan:
    • India has also launched the Anti-Drug Action Plan for 2020-21 which includes:
      • De-addiction Facilities,
      • Drop-in-Centres for Addicts,
      • Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCAs),
      • Drug-Free India Campaign.
  • Darknet:
    • It refers to the hidden internet platform used for narcotics sale, exchange of pornographic content and other illegal activities by using the secret alleys of the onion router (ToR- a free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication) to stay away from the surveillance of law enforcement agencies.
      • It is tough to crack because of its end-to-end encryption.
    • The dark net is part of the deep web, which encompasses all unindexed sites that don't pop up when an Internet search is done.
    • However, not all activities associated with the deep web are nefarious like darknet. In most cases, these pages are not searchable because they are password-protected and require authorization in order to access them.
      • Personal email, online banking, and other similar sites are included under the umbrella of the deep web.
    • The internet we see today is the only tip of the iceberg, the majority is deep web only.

BRICS

  • BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
    • In 2001, the British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC to describe the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
    • The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers in 2006.
    • South Africa was invited to join BRIC in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.
  • The chairmanship of the forum is rotated annually among the members, in accordance with the acronym B-R-I-C-S.
  • During the Sixth BRICS Summit in Fortaleza (2014) the leaders signed the Agreement establishing the New Development Bank (NDB). They also signed the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement.

Golden Triangle

  • It represents the region coinciding with the rural mountains of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand.
  • It is Southeast Asia’s main opium-producing region and one of the oldest narcotics supply routes to Europe and North America.

Golden Crescent

  • This region of South Asia is a principal global site for opium production and distribution.
  • It comprises Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.

Source: PIB

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