Toxic wastes mandate renewed by U.N. Human Rights Council, despite resistance

September 30, 2011 – Geneva, Switzerland

At the 18th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, following several weeks of tense negotiations, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Toxic Wastes was renewed.

Since 1996, the Special Rapporteur on Toxic Wastes has reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council on the impacts of e-waste, shipbreaking, medical waste and other issues on human rights, illustrating the linkage between human rights and the environment.

The Special Rapporteur’s official title has been broadened beyond the movement of toxic substances and wastes to include all aspects of the management of hazardous substances and waste.

While a broader mandate has been renewed for three years, it is clear from interventions and comments by the United States and others that certain members of the Human Rights Council will resist the extension of the mandate in 2014.

CIEL, together with Earthjustice and other civil society partners, pushed for the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate—a mandate which highlights the importance of environmental treaties such as the Basel and Rotterdam Conventions for developing countries.  CIEL has and will continue to work with the Special Rapporteur to help him or her fulfill their mandate.

For more information, please contact David Azoulay.