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A Toxics-Free Future

Highlights Front Roll

Arnika Report Reveals Children’s Toys & Hair Accessories Contain Toxic Chemicals
Canada Moves Forward with Asbestos Ban
New Report Reveals Dangerous Mercury Levels among Minamata COP1 Delegates
IPEN CEE Regional Meeting Participants Visit Czech Chemical Factory

Eunice Atieno Juma, MOKAN Women’s Group

Today in Nairobi, during the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA3), IPEN and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held a press conference to announce a new partnership to contribute to the work on Gender and Chemicals, through a focus on women. IPEN Co-Chair Dr. Olga Speranskaya opened the press conference with a statement on the partnership, reminding attendees: "There are nearly 4 billion women and girls on the planet. Despite the fact that women make up roughly half of the population and chemical exposure is widespread, knowledge of exposure routes and the true impacts of chemical exposures on women are difficult to determine because there is a lack of gender-disaggregated data."

Korean News Network, JTBC, covers report on Samsung workers in Vietnam. Click this link for a translation of the story: http://ipen.org/site/korean-news-jtbc-covers-report-samsung-vietnam

UPDATED

READ FULL REPORT (English / 한국어)

(Göteborg, Sweden) In an unprecedented study on the experiences of women working at two Samsung factories in Vietnam, a new report documents health and workplace violations by the electronics industry giant. The workers’ experiences of fainting or dizziness, miscarriages, standing for eight-to-twelve hours, and alternating day/night shift work are documented in a report released by the Hanoi-based Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN, a global network of environment and health NGOs working to reduce and eliminate harmful chemicals. 

Samsung dominates the global phone market as well as the electronics sector and economy of Vietnam, where 50% of its smart phones are produced. The electronics sector is a significant area of growth for Vietnam, as electronic products outpace other exports. However, Vietnam has no labor codes specifically protecting the health of electronics industry workers, who are overwhelmingly women.

A new video has been released by UN Environment at the 3rd Meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly featuring Minamata Disease survivor, Ms. Shinobu Sakamoto.

Shinobu calls for an end to pollution: "The fetal Minamata disease patients including myself are getting worse, year by year. Many people are still suffering and struggling from pollution. Today, I must repeat my message--Minamata disease is not over. Pollution must end."

Prior to her participation in COP1, Shinobu launched the Honoring Minamata Campaign at the Mercury Treaty INC2, together with IPEN and Citizens Against Chemicals Pollution, Japan. Learn more about Shinobu’s story.

IPEN is participating in the 3rd meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya from November 27th to December 6th, 2017, under the overarching theme of pollution. Informational documents and information about IPEN's activities during the meeting will be posted on this page.

See IPEN's Views of Selected Issues to be discussed at UNEA3 for information about IPEN's positions on specific resolutions. 

For years, IPEN has worked on several issues of pollution that will be relevant to the Assembly. For informational materials to supplement issues covered at the meeting, visit IPEN's UNEA3 Information Materials page.

The IPEN MENA Regional Meeting convened from October 31st to November 2nd, 2017 in Hammamet, Tunisia

The IPEN Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Meeting was hosted and organized by Association d'Education Environnementale pour la Future Génération (AEEFG), the IPEN Hub for the MENA region. Topics covered at the meeting focused on the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals
Management (SAICM), lead in paint, women and chemicals, building capacities, and the GEF Small Grants Program. Participating Organizations (POs) in attendance were also updated on the outcomes of the Minamata Convention’s 1
st Conference of the Parties (COP1) and the Stockholm Convention’s 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8).

IPEN's Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project has been selected as one of eight project success stories to be featured in the special issue of the SWITCH-Asia Magazine commemorating the program´s ten year anniversary. In addition, there is a special chapter about Nepal that also mentions the project. 

IPEN's project was selected out of the 95 project funded to date.

How to deal with toxic pollution: That was the main theme of the IPEN Central and Eastern Europe Regional Meeting that took place in Prague in October, 2017. The three-day conference of regional non-governmental organizations discussed a common future approach for Central and Eastern Europe. The meeting included an excursion to Spolana – a chlorine factory which is the biggest contemporary polluter of the Czech Republic. This trip showed how difficult, though not impossible, it may be to resolve historical environmental burdens.

Right in the historical centre of the Czech capital, environmental activists shared their experience regarding crucial issues of soil, water and air contamination from toxic waste. The conference brought together almost 30 participants representing fifteen European countries. The main goal of the meeting was to enhance the cooperation of environmental NGOs in the region, based on IPEN’s 2020 Global Plan and strategy. Maria Ekström Johansson, IPEN’s Operations and Finance Director, presented this strategy on the first day.

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