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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Electronic products

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Full Report: English / Chinese

China is a global hotbed for chemically-intensive electronics manufacturing. Inventories of chemical releases known as Pollutant Release and Transfer Registries (PRTR) are a key chemical safety measure for industry accountability. The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and IPEN jointly released the report, “PRTR: Establishing a Pollutant Release and Transfer Register in China,” on May 8, 2018 in Beijing, China. The report introduces voluntary disclosure efforts undertaken by local departments and NGOs and emphasizes the importance of establishing a mandatory PRTR system with publicly accessible information. The two organizations also convened a discussion with representatives from academia, business and environmental groups on using a PRTR disclosure system to strengthen the management of hazardous chemicals. 

For Immediate Release

Global Day of Action Against Samsung—May Day Health, Labor & Environment Groups Around the World Say “Clean Up Samsung”          

Protests and Petition Delivery to Samsung in Amsterdam, Hanoi, Hong Kong, London, New York, San Jose (CA), and Seoul

(See Facebook Samsung Accountability Events Page for Details or Contact Ted Smith)

(San Jose, CA, USA) An International Day of Action Against Samsung to protest health, labor and human rights violations by the electronics giant will take place on May Day in Asia, Europe and the United States. The actions, in solidarity with Samsung factory workers everywhere, include delivery of several petitions with over 200,000 signatures calling on Samsung to protect their hundreds of thousands of electronics factory workers around the world.  Demands for transparency come on the heels of a Samsung lawsuit against the South Korean government which seeks to prevent public disclosure of hazardous chemicals monitoring information.

Electronics corporations converge at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week where they roll out latest tech innovations.

Health and environmental advocates are holding a counter event called the Mobile Social Congress to make visible the social, health, and environmental impacts in the design, raw material mining, production, use and waste of electronics. Recent research from IPEN Partners, the Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED), exposed health and labor violations of women workers at Samsung Vietnam mobile phone factories. IPEN made a presentation for Mobile Social Congress laying out the concerning findings, Samsung’s efforts to suppress the study, and why the safe and healthy working conditions in the electronics industry should concern us all.

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre published the CGFED/ IPEN response to Samsung's comments about the report released in December 2017 revealing working conditions in Samsung manufacturing facilities in Vietnam. 

"We are writing to respond to Samsung's criticisms of our recent study on working conditions at the company's mobile phone factories in Vietnam... In Vietnam and abroad, Samsung has been actively attempting to suppress and discredit this study that documents a number of concerning health and safety violations... However, none of Samsung's efforts can erase the evidence that Samsung has violated Vietnamese labour law and failed to honour its business obligations on human rights...

Our study and the company's reaction to it revealed several findings that are inconsistent with Samsung's obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights including complying with national laws, providing a safe and healthy working environment, protecting the family unit, right to form independent trade unions, and freedom of expression...

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.

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