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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Human Rights

Stories from women working at two Samsung factories in Vietnam are documented in a report by the  Hanoi-based Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN. The unprecedented study of 45 workers reports frequent fainting, dizziness, miscarriages, standing for eight-to-twelve hours, and alternating day/night shift work. This study is important because the lives and rights of workers in the electronics industry in Vietnam have been neglected in research and policy.

In the nearest future, we expect a major and important event for all of us - the First Conference of the Parties of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. We invested a lot of effort into the development and promotion of the Convention. We congratulate all people who facilitated the event by their work, knowledge and devotion!

The Minamata Convention on Mercury prioritises environmental considerations over interests of global businesses used to pursue their financial gains in a resource-based economy that ignores environmental effects. It is not only associated with banning primary mercury extraction from global deposits, it also deals with tightening control over different industrial operations, particularly with extraction and processing non-ferrous metals ores, that are accompanied by uncontrolled releases of many tons of mercury into the environment.

The National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea has paid meaningful attention to the hazardous conditions in the semi-conductor industry by hosting Supporters of Health and Rights of People in the Semi-Conductor Industry (SHARPs) and IPEN for a premiere of the new documentary film, "Stories from the Clean Room.” In preparation for the film premiere, IPEN Senior Science and Technical Advisor Joseph DiGangi, PhD wrote an article that appeared in the Korean media outlets OhMyNews and MediaToday. The main purpose of the article was to introduce the international concern about toxic exposure and occupational health and safety that has been generated by the deaths and grave illnesses of former Samsung workers.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/photo-essays/2017-06-15/these-women-are-p...

Workers in Asian factories might still be exposed to chemicals banned in the U.S. 25 years ago. Photographs by Anastasia Taylor-Lind for Bloomberg Businessweek.

To the Minjoo Party of Korea: We represent international networks that have been focusing for many years on human rights, occupational health and environmental health in the global electronics industry. We stand in solidarity with SHARPS during their historic 600+ day sit-in at Samsung.  

The recent framework agreement signed by the Minjoo Party and SHARPS (see below) provides key objectives for worker safety policies including right-to-know, protecting sub-contractor workers, and strengthening enforcement and penalties to increase corporate accountability. 

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