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Thousands in Support of Toxic-free Children’s Toys in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan

Project started to eliminate children’s toys with toxic substances from the market in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine by 2020

09.01.2012 |AWHHE

Consumers in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are becoming more aware of the products they buy. This has become evident from the results of a study conducted by two non-governmental organizations dedicated to the idea and work for toxic-free toys for children.

WECF Partner and member of the Safe Toys Coalition “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” (AWHHE) and its Kyrgyz counterpart “Independent Ecological Expertise” (IEE) are currently running a project aiming towards further support of the already existing efforts to eliminate toxic substances in children’s toys from the market in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine by 2020.

The two above-mentioned NGOs have conducted their own research in the field. Based on a literature study, it has become evident that in both of the countries the greater majority of children’s toys are imported from abroad. According to the available statistics, the Chinese products are the most common and wide-spread ones on the market of the two countries.

Further, the results also indicate that children’s toys, both locally produced and imported, when sold in registered shops, do posses the required certificates regarding labelling, packages, safety regulations, etc. Nevertheless, due to the lower price, the majority of the Armenian and Kyrgyz customers would still prefer to purchase children’s toys in fairs.

Survey and monitoring conducted by AWHHE in the shop, Armenia
Survey and monitoring conducted by AWHHE in the shop, Armenia

The latter products, however, do not meet the requirements for safety regulations and are as follows not (necessarily) toxic-free. The last has also become apparent from a study conducted by the Kyrgyz State Sanitary and Epidemiological Oversight Department where almost half (5 out of 12) of the toys tested there for dangerous chemicals did not meet the minimum requirements to be qualified as safe.

An extensive information and awareness raising campaign has been undertaken and led to the initiation of a “Toxic Free Toys” campaign. As a result, several thousand signatures have been collected, a significant part of which (800) alone in the Kyrgyz Republic. With the support of these individuals in favour of toxic-free children’s toys, the IEE has been able to successfully prepare and file in a petition (July 2011) at the Inter-district Court of Bishkek against the Kyrgyz government inaction against toxic substances in children’s toys.

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