ACTA could Adversely Affect Vulnerable People’s Access to Affordable Medication

On Saturday the 11th February, the Malta Anti-ACTA Group carried out a demonstration against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, commonly known as ACTA. This multi-national trade agreement focuses on intellectual property enforcement, and has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency, the danger it poses to Internet freedom, its ambiguous wording, and for being a potential threat to the trade in generic medicines. Koperattiva Kummerc Gust was a participant of the Malta Anti-ACTA Group and sent speakers during the press conference.

Katharina Beckmann the spokesperson for the event said that Koperattiva Kummerc Gust, as a Fair Trade organization, is particularly concerned about how ACTA could potentially affect the access of vulnerable people to low-cost generic medicines. According to Oxfam, “ACTA will undoubtedly impact access to affordable medicines in the EU and other signatories by curbing generic competition.” told Katharina Beckmann to journalists presents

*Win* a Free Visit to Fair Trade Producers and Artisans in Morocco

Through the FRAME Project (Fair and Responsible Action in Mediterranean Area), Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust is able to sponsor two persons a trip in Morocco to meet Fair Trade producers and local artisans in March/April 2012.

At the moment Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust shall be coordinating with its partners in the project the visit with producers in Morocco. The exact days and the program of the events in Morocco will be put on the website in the coming days.

The opportunity is open to anyone who is interested in Fair Trade and labour rights in developing countries.

Since only two candidates may be selected for this trip, applicants will have to prove their interest in Fair Trade and labour rights.

Cotton Coercion - Child Labour is the Tip of the Iceberg in Uzbekistan - Labour is Not a Commodity

By Elizabeth Dia, Intern, International Labor Rights Forum

Uzbekistan, a country now infamous for its use of forced child labor, also coerces adults to labor alongside the children. If the “tip of the forced labor iceberg” is an estimated 1.5 to 2 million children taking part in the cotton harvest, then adult forced laborers are the victims hidden under the surface. The Uzbek government, through local officials, requires all citizens to help pick cotton by creating quotas for farmers to meet. To ensure these quotas are met the government uses forced labor, as defined by International Labor Organization, or “…work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily.” The penalties against those who refuse to pick cotton include: beatings, a loss of pension/maternity payments, a loss of utilities such as electricity, and threats of unemployment.

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