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7 Dec 2015

United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak

UN Special Rapporteur calls on German business & govt. to take lead in reducing hazardous substances globally

...When viewed through the human rights lens, several recent achievements in Germany and the EU on chemicals management stand out; but so do ongoing challenges...Many German businesses play a central role in international supply chains that use, produce or release hazardous substances, including hazardous pesticides. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that human rights are respected by their customers and suppliers—both at home and abroad— by preventing harm from hazardous substances. However, there remains a wide gap between risk reduction measures in Germany and measures taken outside the EU, particularly in developing countries...Unfortunately, chemicals banned from use in the EU are still exported or manufactured for use outside EU borders by German companies, including to countries with far weaker or essentially non-existent systems for chemicals management. Typically, these chemicals are banned or restricted by the EU because their safe use cannot be guaranteed in the EU...Workers and communities in developing countries are particularly at risk from such continued practices...