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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Issue of Toxic Waste

Special Rapporteur Mr. Okechukwu Ibeanu presented to the Human Rights Council during the 12th Session of the Human Rights Council in October his report on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights.

Mr. Ibeanu contended that, since the establishment of the mandate in 1995, progress is evident. At its 9th session, the mandate was strengthened. On the basis of this resolution, the mandate now has the task of investigating the effects on all toxic wastes, whether illicit or not. To this effect, there has been a growing recognition of this phenomenon, and it requires global action. He highlights the existing problems and new problems regarding toxic waste, with the view of minimizing the risks posed to the enjoyment of human rights.

In November, he will go to India. This will provide a useful opportunity to see the progress made and the challenges that need to be addressed with regards to toxic waste. Ship breaking is a major issue in South Asian countries. He hopes to continue dialogue in this respect with his stay in India. A ship can be recycled, providing jobs for many people. While in principle, recycling is the best option, the conditions prevailing in most ship breaking yards continued to be a concern. “Beaching” generates high pollution and has adverse impacts on local communities, which rely on agriculture. There are several mechanisms in place to address these concerns; this is a positive step. That said, a clear timetable and a clear process for eliminating beaching need to be established. 

To read more see here: 

Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and waste on the enjoyment of human rights


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