Mandate of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes

The Special Rapporteur is mandated by the U.N. Human Rights Council  to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on the adverse impacts of hazardous substances and wastes on human rights.  In 2011, the Human Rights Council expanded and strengthened a previous mandate on the illegal movement of toxic waste, to address all types of hazardous substances and wastes that may implicate human rights.

The scope of the current mandate includes all hazardous substances and wastes that are used, produced and released by human activity. Sources of exposure include the extraction of natural resources; energy generation; the synthesis of industrial chemicals; the workplace, including manufacturing, construction and recycling/recovery sectors; the use of pesticides and fertilizers; consumer products containing toxic chemicals; emission of pollutants into the environment; the improper disposal of waste; and others.

Annually, the Special Rapporteur provides the U.N. Human Rights Council with one thematic report per year and approximately two reports of recent country missions. The mandate regularly engages with governments and businesses through country visits to address issues of concern.  The Special Rapporteur is mandated to send letters of allegation and urgent appeals to governments and businesses based on complaints filed with his office.  More information on filing complaints are available here.


Information is also available in French and Spanish

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