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The Extractive Industries are Violating Basic Human Rights

The UN ‘Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights obligations related to environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste’ indicates that numerous human rights including right to adequate health and life are abused due to presence of extractive industries companies.

03.09.2012 |United Nations




The new UN Report presents the effect of extractive industries on health of workers (women as well as children). The most vulnerable to exposure of hazardous substances are children due to their constant development. Industrial materials such as mercury pose the greatest threat – inhalation of mercury may lead to digestive and immune systems disorders. According to the report miners in e.g. Brazil, Indonesia or Zimbabwe have mercury level 50 times higher than normal. 

The health threat comes not only from a direct contact with industrial materials but also from consumption of contaminated food or water. The environment – mostly nearby water supplies and ground – is polluted therefore it also affects agriculture and fisheries. In order to improve the situation of people and environment , multiple measures need to be implemented e.g. to promote transparency in outcomes, to constantly monitor and improve waste disposal procedures and to provide information about hazardous substances.   

Click here to read the whole report.

Source: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights obligations related to environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste, Calin Georgescu


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