Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : India's Human Rights Body Calls for Scrutiny of Amazon Warehouse Labor Practices

A sign is pictured at the Amazon Fulfilment Center in Peterborough, eastern England, Nov. 27, 2019. (AFP)
A sign is pictured at the Amazon Fulfilment Center in Peterborough, eastern England, Nov. 27, 2019. (AFP)
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India's Human Rights Body Calls for Scrutiny of Amazon Warehouse Labor Practices

A sign is pictured at the Amazon Fulfilment Center in Peterborough, eastern England, Nov. 27, 2019. (AFP)
A sign is pictured at the Amazon Fulfilment Center in Peterborough, eastern England, Nov. 27, 2019. (AFP)

India's human rights commission asked the government on Wednesday to look into allegations of labour law violations at an Amazon warehouse near New Delhi over alleged harsh working conditions during a severe heatwave.

Indian media this month reported that workers in the e-commerce giant's warehouse in Manesar, near New Delhi, complained of a lack of water and toilet breaks as they were under pressure to achieve packaging targets.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in a statement said the findings "raise a serious issue of human rights of the workers" and asked the labour ministry to look into the alleged labour law violations within one week.

While the NHRC statement referred to alleged misconduct by a multinational company, the Commission confirmed to Reuters it was in reference to the Amazon warehouse near New Delhi.

Amazon in a statement said the safety and wellbeing of its associates and employees is its top priority.

"We provide adequate provision of water and hydration, as well as regularly scheduled rest breaks in a cooler environment, and we ensure additional breaks when temperatures are high," it said.

Amazon has faced criticism elsewhere over working conditions, including multiple strikes at a UK warehouse and a $5.9 million penalty over productivity quotas for its workers in the US The company has denied that warehouse workers have fixed quotas.

In 2021, Amazon apologised after allegations emerged that its truck drivers sometimes had to urinate in bottles during delivery rounds. Manesar is one of many Amazon warehouses in India, a key market where it has invested more than $6.5 billion.

The facility has 1,000 workers, said Amazon India Workers Association head Dharmendra Kumar, who told Reuters on Wednesday, "we are hoping for corrective measures to ensure workers have a decent living wage and adequate social protection."



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : NCA Launches 'Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Pioneers Grants' Initiative

NCA Launches 'Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Pioneers Grants' Initiative
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NCA Launches 'Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Pioneers Grants' Initiative

NCA Launches 'Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Pioneers Grants' Initiative

The National Cybersecurity Authority (NCA) announced the launch of the "Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Pioneers Grants" initiative. This initiative aims to empower outstanding researchers and innovators to develop breakthrough research and disruptive innovations for current and emerging cybersecurity challenges, accelerating their impact both nationally and internationally, SPA reported.
NCA is launching this initiative in collaboration with its technical arm, the Saudi Information Technology Company (SITE), as part of the "National Program for Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) in Cybersecurity."
The national program serves as a launch pad for transformative initiatives that unlock new horizons and foster cybersecurity industry development on a national level. Its aim is to solidify Saudi Arabia's standing as a secure global economic driver built on innovation and cybersecurity excellence.
The program prioritizes eight areas: NextGen Cyber Defense, Cyber Resilience, Cyber-Physical Technologies and IoT, AI x Cyber, Cryptography and Quantum Security, Behavioral Cyber, Future of Cyber Threats and Attacks, and Cyber Order. By nurturing robust national and international partnerships in cybersecurity RDI, the program is described as "the cornerstone of building an attractive innovation ecosystem in this critical field."
The Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Pioneers Grants initiative will provide grants for researchers, academics, experts, and university students at various levels in cybersecurity or related fields. It will nurture broader-scale advancements in cybersecurity RDI under three primary tracks: Scientific Research and Projects, Postgraduate Research Theses, and Bachelor's and Master's Graduation Projects.