(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."
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 1st 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.
UN Expert Committee recommends global action on outdated DDT-Contaminated Pesticide
(Rome, Italy) A UN technical committee has determined that Dicofol, an outdated DDT-contaminated pesticide should be eliminated globally under the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty that bans the world’s most hazardous chemical pollutants.
The week-long meeting of the Stockholm Convention’s expert committee was held from 17-20th October 2017 and attended by many industry associations and companies involved in the production and use of fluorinated chemicals.
In Rome, the expert committee tackled a recommendation for adding PFOA to the treaty, including possible exemptions for continued uses. PFOA is known as the ‘Teflon chemical’ or C8 and has widely polluted drinking water throughout the world. The Committee began evaluation of the industry’s fluorinated substitute, PFHxS, which has been widely used as an alternative for PFOS.