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Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, January 07, 2010 | 1:46 AM
The Special Rapporteur on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights, Okechukwu Ibeanu (Nigeria), is reaching India on an official visit to India next week. He is coming at the invitation of the Government of India.
The mandate entrusted to Ibeanu by the Human Rights Council urges him to undertake – in consultation with the relevant United Nations bodies, organisations and the secretariats of relevant international conventions – “a global, multidisciplinary and comprehensive study of existing problems and new trends of, and solutions to, illicit traffic in and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes, in particular in developing countries, (...) with a view to making concrete recommendations and proposals on adequate measures to control, reduce and eradicate these phenomena”.
The purpose of Ibeanu’s mission is to examine, in the spirit of co-operation and dialogue, existing problems relating to the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes and their adverse effects on human rights, with a view to making concrete recommendations and proposals on adequate measures to control, reduce and eradicate these phenomena. In particular, the Special Rapporteur would like to focus on the adverse effects that the shipbreaking industry and the unsound management and disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) may have on the enjoyment of human rights of thousands of people living in the Indian sub-continent.
During the mission, the Special Rapporteur would like to consider the legislative, judicial, administrative and other measures adopted by India to promote and protect human rights and the sound management of toxic and dangerous products and wastes, including, but not limited to
ratification and implementation of international human rights treaties;
ratification and implementation of relevant multilateral environmental treaties, such as the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants;
domestic legislation concerning the import, management and disposal of toxic and dangerous products and wastes;
domestic legislation on corporate accountability and corporate social responsibility, both of Indian companies and of transnational companies operating in the Indian sub-continent;
domestic legislation on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters;
domestic legislation concerning rehabilitation of and assistance to victims of human rights violations, including means of redress for violations associated with the unsafe management and disposal of toxic and dangerous products and wastes.
Special Rapporteur would be meeting relevant Government officials, UN officials and representatives of civil society organisations working in the field of human rights and/or environmental protection, chemical security and waste management. He would visit various places to better understand the situation existing in India with regard to the management and disposal of toxic and dangerous wastes and products. The Special Rapporteur would visit shipbreaking yards, such as those in Alang (Gujarat) and Mumbai, and electronic waste dump sites, e.g. those located in, or in proximity of, New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.