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    2019 Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

    May 1, 2019 in ActionAlerts

    Final support statement by our networks in support of SHARPS and the Minjoo party statement

    June 21, 2017 in ActionAlerts, Latest News, Top News

    Final support statement AMRC ANROEV Good Electronics ICRT IPEN_P-1 Final support statement AMRC ANROEV Good Electronics ICRT IPEN_P-2Date: 19 June, 2017

    To the Minjoo Party of Korea:

    We represent international networks that have been focusing for many years on human rights, occupational health and environmental health in the global electronics industry.  We stand in solidarity with SHARPS during their historic 600+ day sit-in at Samsung.

    The recent framework agreement signed by the Minjoo Party and SHARPS (see below) provides key objectives for worker safety policies including right-to-know, protecting sub-contractor workers, and strengthening enforcement and penalties to increase corporate accountability.

    We encourage the Minjoo Party to begin work to concretize this framework as soon as possible. In particular, point one dealing with the negotiations between SHARPS and Samsung should be addressed immediately to facilitate an appropriate solution to the issue of Samsung’s occupational disease issues which have been documented by SHARPS, in the peer reviewed scientific literature, and in several UN reports submitted to the Human Rights Council. Comprehensive implementation of the Minjoo Party – SHARPs framework agreement could make a significant contribution to worker safety in the electronics industry and help advance global standards.

     

    Signed,

    Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)

    Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV)

    GoodElectronics Network (GE)

    International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT)

    IPEN

    Minjoo Party – SHARPS Framework Agreement

    1. The Minjoo Party empathizes with SHARPS for taking issue with Samsung’s own compensation scheme and will put efforts into having negotiations resumed between Samsung and SHARPS in order to seek a rightful solution to the issue of Samsung worker’s occupational diseases.

    2. The Minjoo Party will put efforts into improving statutes that strengthen civil and criminal penalties against corporations for serious and/or frequent industrial accidents for employers and for covering up such accidents.

    3. The Minjoo Party will put efforts into preventing the outsourcing of risk by strengthening penalties for safety and public-health violations throughout the supply chain.

    4. The Minjoo Party will put efforts into developing a transparent disclosure process for hazardous chemicals to better hold employers accountable and to ensure employees’ right to know about their exposure to industrial safety risks.

    Rotterdam Convention: No progress on democratic right to be protected from hazardous substances

    May 8, 2017 in ABAN, ActionAlerts, CampaignReports, Events, Latest News, Top News

    May 7, 2017: The 8th Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (COP8) ended on May 5, 2017. It will be two years before the next conference takes place in 2019.

    Ever since the Convention came into beginning, the asbestos industry has refused to allow chrysotile asbestos to be put on the Convention’s list of hazardous substances, even though chrysotile asbestos meets all the criteria for listing. At COP 8, once again, a handful of countries, led by asbestos exporters, Russia and Kazakhstan, simply refused to allow the rights contained in the Convention to be implemented by refusing consensus.

    Frustrated by the asbestos industry’s endless sabotage of the Convention, a group of twelve African countries put forward an amendment to the Convention at COP8 that would allow a 3/4 majority vote to take the decision to list a hazardous substance, when consensus proves impossible. This amendment would end the ability of a small group of countries to sabotage the Convention in order to protect industry profits.

    Countries did not vote on the African amendment at COP8. Instead they officially noted “the different options for enhancing the effectiveness of the Rotterdam Convention, including improving the prior informed consent procedure (and) improving the listing process” and requested the Secretariat “to develop an online survey to gather information on priority actions to enhance the effectiveness of the Convention.” They established a working group with membership composed of representatives from Parties “to identify, on the basis of the report and comments received  a set of prioritized recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of the Convention, and develop a report identifying further steps for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting.”

    In other words, after a decade of sabotage of the Convention and failure to take action to address the sabotage, the Parties to the Convention will spend another two years discussing the problem and will “consider” the problem at the next conference in 2019.

    This endless failure to act sends a message that the double standard continues to rule in the world and that the lives of populations in the Global South are provided lesser rights to be protected from harm from hazardous substances than the rest of the world.

    In addition to chrysotile asbestos, the listing of carbosulfan, fenthion, and a paraquat formulation was blocked by a small number of countries.

     

    Source: https://www.rightoncanada.ca/?p=4030

    Prepared by: Kathleen Ruff, e-mail: kruff@bulkley.net

    Asbestos harms the health of millions of Indian workers

    May 4, 2017 in ABAN, ActionAlerts, Latest News, Top News, Victim Story

    Story by Jagdish Patel, national coordinator of the Occupational & Environmental Health Network, India:

    Asian Delegation at COP 8 – Media Event Updates

    May 3, 2017 in ABAN, ActionAlerts, Events, Latest News, Top News

    May 2, 2017: The Asian delegation at COP8 is made up of grassroots organisations from India – Occupational Health Environment Network of India (OHENI), Indonesia – Local Initiative on OSH (LION), Vietnam Ban Asbestos Network (VN BAN), Vietnam. The delegation is supported by – Asian Ban Asbestos Network (ABAN), Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), Union Aid Abroad APHEDA , Rotterdam Convention Alliance (ROCA), International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS) and Solidar Suisse.

    The delegation participated in a media event on the morning of May 2 at 9:30 am, held outside the conference venue organised by the Global Asbestos Action Alliance , which was followed by handing the petition of 7,000 signatories from around the world to the President of the COP Rotterdam Convention.

    Philip Hazelton from APHEDA introduced the media event and warned of a convention in crisis, as the veto by a small number of countries continues with listing chrysotile among other chemicals on the convention. He expressed the importance of the proposal put forward by 12 African countries to reform Article 22 of the Rotterdam Convention that is aimed at ‘democratising’ the decision-making process and the need for listing Asbestos under the Annex III of the Convention.

    Representatives from the global trade union movement spoke about the dangers of asbestos, a known carcinogen that has caused death and destruction in many countries and yet continues to be consumed in Asia and developing nations of Africa and Latin America. They highlighted the grave problems that persisted in the Rotterdam convention where a few countries are blocking the listing taking away the democratic right of user countries to know about the hazards the substance possess.   Andrew Dettmer from Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and IndustriALL , Fiona Murie from The Building and Wood workers International (BWI), Sari Saarinen from the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) spoke to support the listing of asbestos under Annex III of the Convention.

    The media and those present at the press conference then listened to a powerful testimony from Siti Kristina a victim of asbestos related disease gave a testimony about exposure to asbestos while she worked at a factory in a asbestos textile factory in Indonesia. She worked in the factory for 23 years and then she fell sick. She has been diagnosed with asbestosis. Rajendra Pevekar who is a victim of secondary exposure of asbestos spoke next as his father worked as a sweeper at the asbestos factory. He came home and his clothes were full of asbestos dust and fibres therefore exposing members of his family to asbestos. Both Rajendra and his mother are now victims of asbestos related cancer.

    Jagdish Patel from OEHNI, expressed concern about the continued use of asbestos in India, which continues to be one of the largest importers of asbestos globally exposing millions to the risk of asbestos exposure. Absence of proper diagnosis does not reflect the true magnitude of the problem since majority of Asbestos Related Disease cases remain undiagnosed. He urged the Indian government to take the step in right direction by both listing the Asbestos on the Annex III and support the amendment of the Article 22.

    The ABAN network is led by the Victims (both occupational and environmental) and is comprised of trade unions, labour and other human rights organisations in more than 16 Asian countries. It recognizes Asia as a flashpoint for Asbestos Epidemic considering its continued use. ABAN aims towards complete elimination of Asbestos Related Diseases in Asia, and listing of asbestos in Annex III is a major step towards that.

    Prepared by: Omana George, Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)image4

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