UN Human Rights Council adopts resolution on chemicals and wastes management

Resolution urges implementation of 15 key principles on human rights and the protection of workers from exposure to toxic substances.

In closing its 42nd session, the Human Rights Council has just adopted a key resolution for chemicals & wastes management and human rights, calling upon all States, business enterprises and other stakeholders to implement the 15 "Principles on human rights and the protection of workers from exposure to toxic substances" as set out in the 2019 report developed under the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on “the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes” (the Special Rapporteur on ‘Human Rights and Toxics’), Mr. Baskut Tuncak, who had presented such report earlier this month to the Human Rights Council (A/HRC/42/41, available in the 6 UN languages at:

https://ap.ohchr.org/documents/dpage_e.aspx?si=A/HRC/42/41; see also:
http://www.srtoxics.org/2019-hrc-report-worker-principles/).

This resolution on the "protection of the rights of workers exposed to hazardous substances and wastes" recognises, among other things and in connection with the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development as well as with other fundamental UN human rights instruments or international labour standards, the human rights duty of States - and the corresponding responsibility of businesses - to prevent "unsafe" workers exposures to toxic substances, and calls for the:
  • Strengthening of the coherence between human rights and occupational health and safety standards,
  • Safeguarding of reproductive health in efforts to eliminate discrimination against women in employment, and
  • Strengthening of the global regime for chemicals & wastes management to promote human rights.

More information:

At present, the text of the adopted resolution may be found on the webpage here.

Click here to read more information on the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Toxics.