Chemical disaster fear in Eastern Ukraine prompts UN expert to raise alarm

GENEVA (10 March 2017) – A United Nations human rights expert is warning against the threat of catastrophic chemical disaster due to the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

“Large chemical and industrial facilities are in areas where fighting is ongoing”, said Baskut Tuncak, the Special Rapporteur on human rights and...Read More »


Pesticides are “global human rights concern”, say UN experts urging new treaty

GENEVA (7 March 2017) – Two United Nations experts are calling for a comprehensive new global treaty to regulate and phase out the use of dangerous pesticides in farming, and move towards sustainable agricultural practices. They say: “excessive use of pesticides are very dangerous to human health, to the environment...Read More »


Toxic air pollution: UN rights experts urge tighter rules to combat “invisible threat” 

GENEVA (24 February 2017) – United Nations human rights experts are calling for strong, urgent action by States, including legislation and enforcement of corporate accountability, to try to ensure that people around the world can enjoy the human rights to life and health in environments free from contamination.

“Air pollution is...Read More »


UN rights expert launches first official visit to the UK

GENEVA (16 January 2017) – United Nations expert Baskut Tuncak will visit the United Kingdom from 17 to 31 January to assess the country’s human rights record in relation to the life cycle of hazardous substances and waste, from their manufacturing to their final disposal.

“During my first visit to the...Read More »


10th anniversary of the ‘Probo Koala incident’ -- Friday 19 August 2016

Ten years on, the survivors of illegal toxic waste dumping in Côte d’Ivoire remain in the dark

GENEVA (17 August 2016) – Speaking ahead of the 10th anniversary of the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Côte d’Ivoire, a group of United Nations experts* urge the Ivorian Government, all responsible...Read More »


Brazilian mine disaster – UN experts welcome settlement suspension and call for a timely resolution

GENEVA (5 July 2016) – A group of United Nations human rights experts today commended the decision of the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice to suspend the settlement reached between the Government of Brazil and Samarco Mining S.A., and its parent companies Vale S.A. and BHP Billiton Brazil Ltda in...Read More »


Berta Cáceres’ murder: UN experts renew call to Honduras to end impunity

GENEVA (11 April 2016) – More than a month after Berta Cáceres’ murder, United Nations experts* have reiterated their appeal to the Government of Honduras to provide justice and reveal the truth in the killing of the woman human rights defender, and to ensure the security and protection of all...Read More »


Flint: Fundamentally about human rights

GENEVA (3 March 2016) – Today, a group of United Nations human rights experts called on the United States to increase its efforts to address environmental threats to human rights.

Recent outrage over lead-contaminated water in the town of Flint, Michigan, has drawn international scrutiny to the toxic threats faced by...Read More »


Human Rights Day – 10 December 2015

“As the Covenants turn 50, it is time to turn norms into action” – UN experts

Human Rights Day – 10 December 2015

GENEVA (9 December 2015) – Speaking ahead of Human Rights Day 2015, the largest body of independent experts of the United Nations Human Rights system renews its commitment with...Read More »


Germany should take lead in global reduction of hazardous substances

Berlin (7 December 2015) – “Germany is well placed to take the global lead in preventing harm from the use of hazardous substances and ending double standards in the use of such chemicals outside the European Union,” the UN expert on human rights and hazardous substances and waste, Baskut Tuncak,...Read More »


Hazardous substance and waste: UN human rights expert in first official visit to Germany

Geneva (30 November 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on hazardous substance and waste, Baskut Tuncak, today started his first official visit to Germany (30 November-7 December) to assess how the country is protecting human rights from the life cycle of hazardous substances and wastes from their manufacturing to their...Read More »


Brazilian mine disaster: “This is not the time for defensive posturing”

GENEVA (25 November 2015) – Two United Nations independent experts on environment and toxic waste today called on the Government of Brazil and relevant businesses to take immediate action to protect the environment and health of communities at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals in the wake of the catastrophic...Read More »


South Korea / Hazardous substances: UN expert calls for stronger protections for people at high-risk

SEOUL (23 October 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, today called on the Republic of Korea to step up efforts in protecting those who live in environmentally high-risk areas. “I am far from convinced that sufficient information systems and governance...Read More »


South Korea: UN expert calls for stronger protections for people at high-risk

SEOUL (23 October 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, today called on the Republic of Korea to step up efforts in protecting those who live in environmentally high-risk areas. “I am far from convinced that sufficient information systems and governance...Read More »


Statement on the ECLAC’s negotiation of a regional instrument on environmental democracy

(22 October 2015) On the eve of a precedent-setting negotiation, we express our strong support for the efforts by governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to agree on a regional instrument on rights of access to information, participation, and justice in environmental matters.

This negotiation is one of the most...Read More »


UN experts urge Latin America and the Caribbean to adopt trend-setting agreement on environmental democracy

Geneva (22 October 2015) – In an open statement* published today, a group of United Nations human rights experts have expressed their strong support for the efforts by governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to agree on a regional legal instrument on rights of access to information, participation, and...Read More »


UN rights expert in first official visit to the Republic of Korea

GENEVA (8 October 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on hazardous substance and waste, Baskut Tuncak, will visit the Republic of Korea from 12 to 23 October 2015 to assess the country’s human rights record in relation to the life cycle of hazardous substances and wastes from their manufacturing...Read More »


States and businesses must prevent harm from highly hazardous pesticides

GENEVA (28 September 2015) – Two United Nations experts on hazardous substance and waste and right to food have called today for an worldwide phase-out on use of highly hazardous pesticides that are inflicting significant damage on human health and the environment.

The experts’ appeal comes as States, businesses and other...Read More »


States and businesses must do more to realize the right to information about hazardous substances

GENEVA (17 September 2015) – “People have a right to know whether they are being exposed to hazardous substances or may be harmed by them,” United Nations human rights expert, Baskut Tuncak, said today, while calling on States and business enterprises to do more to realize the right to information...Read More »


China: UN human rights expert calls for greater transparency in the wake of tragic Tianjin explosion

GENEVA (19 August 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, today called on the Government of China and relevant businesses to ensure complete transparency in the investigation of the chemical disaster in Tianjin, including both causes and effects of the...Read More »


More efforts needed to protect people from exposure to toxic substances – UN expert urges WHO

GENEVA (20 May 2015) – “Far more effort and resources should be devoted worldwide to protect people from the negative health impacts of toxic pollution,” the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, said today.

Mr. Tuncak’s call comes as the governing body of...Read More »


For World Day for Safety and Health at Work 28 April 2015

“Every minute, a person dies from exposure to toxic substances” – UN rights expert calls for urgent action

GENEVA (24 April 2015) – Ahead of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, urged the global community...Read More »


UN expert calls for stronger measures to protect people living in toxic environments in Kazakhstan

ASTANA (8 April 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, Baskut Tuncak, today called on the Government of Kazakhstan to step up efforts in protecting those who live in environmentally high-risk areas.

Mr. Tuncak, speaking at the end of an official visit to the...Read More »


UN human rights expert announces his first official visit to Kazakhstan

GENEVA / ASTANA (23 March 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Baskut Tuncak will visit Kazakhstan from 26 March to 8 April 2015 to assess the country’s human rights record regarding the management of hazardous substances and wastes.

“The realisation of several human rights, including the right to life, the right...Read More »


Peru / Indigenous peoples: "New oil project threatens further harm for human rights victims"

GENEVA / LIMA (15 December 2014) – The proposed re-licensing of heavily polluted land in the Department of Loreto region of Peru would perpetuate and exacerbate serious violations of human rights of indigenous peoples, including their right to health, food and water, two United Nations experts on indigenous peoples and...Read More »


UN independent experts urge practical measures to eradicate racial discrimination

International Decade for People of African Descent

GENEVA (10 December 2014) – A group of independent experts of the largest fact-finding and monitoring mechanism of the United Nations human rights system today called upon UN Member States and all stakeholders to increase their efforts to address the challenge of racism and...Read More »


Bhopal gas tragedy: “Financial compensation will never be sufficient without clean-up”

GENEVA (24 November 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxic waste, Baskut Tuncak, welcomed the announcement of the Indian Government to reconsider the official figures of people affected by the catastrophic leak of toxic gas in Bhopal in 1984, and provide additional compensation.

“However, financial compensation...Read More »


Mercury: The world cannot wait any longer to control a major pollutant threatening human rights

GENEVA (31 October 2014) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics, Baskut Tuncak, urged Governments around the world to expedite the ratification process of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from its adverse effects.

Mr. Tuncak’s appeal...Read More »