Kenya: Climate Change Threatens Rights
Health, Security, Livelihoods at Risk in Turkana Region
(Nairobi, October 15, 2015) – Climate change and regional development projects are threatening the health and livelihood of indigenous peoples in the Turkana region of northwest Kenya, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report and accompanying video were presented to environmental and human rights groups in Nairobi in advance of climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany, from October 19 to 23, 2015.
Confront Toxic Legacy Before Reopening Lead Mines
But Governments Fail to Plan Phase-Out in Small-Scale Gold Mining
(Geneva) – The international mercury treaty just agreed sends an important signal that governments must do more to address the threat of mercury to the right to health, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 19, 2013, 140 governments created the treaty after five rounds of intense talks, which began in 2010.
Public Health Strategies Needed in Treaty to Address Toxic Threat
(Punta del Este, June 25, 2012) – Negotiations for an international treaty to limit the use of mercury should seek to protect the health rights of artisanal gold mining communities, Human Rights Watch said today, in advance of a new round of meetings on the treaty in Uruguay. The meetings are scheduled for June 27 to July 2, 2012, under the purview of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Governments plan to adopt the treaty in late 2013.
Realizing human rights and achieving sustainable development are inter-dependent and mutually-reinforcing goals. States must ensure that the Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development recognizes the centrality of human rights to sustainable development and reaffirms the international human rights framework.
This 108-page report reveals that children as young as six dig mining shafts, work underground, pull up heavy weights of ore, and carry, crush, and pan ore. Many children also work with mercury, a toxic substance, to separate the gold from the ore. Mercury attacks the central nervous system and is particularly harmful to children.