Report on workers’ rights and toxic exposures

3 August 2018
Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights
To the Human Rights Council’s 39th session in September 2018


Everyone has the right to just and favourable conditions of work. Yet workers around the world find themselves in the midst of a public health crisis, due to their exposures to hazardous substances at work. Over 2,780,000 workers globally die from unsafe or unhealthy conditions of work each year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Virtually every sector is implicated in this crisis, including both public and private sectors, and the world's most economically powerful industries.


In the present report, the Special Rapporteur analyses the human rights of workers implicated and affected by their occupational exposure to toxic substances. He discusses the current challenges facing workers in the global economy. The Special Rapporteur concludes with a proposed set of principles to respect and protect the rights of workers implicated by toxic occupational exposures, and to ensure effective remedies for violations or abuses.

More on vulnerable groups being exposed to toxic wastes


The Special Rapporteur circulated a questionnaire for all stakeholders to help inform the thematic reports on workers exposed to toxic substances.

The Special Rapporteur wishes to warmly thank all who contributed their expertise towards formulation of the principles, either through written submissions, participating in expert consultations, or otherwise providing feedback and information throughout the process. See below links to all written contributions.

Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights
Recent Thematic Reports
Issues in Focus
Contact information

Dr. Marcos A. Orellana, Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights

Avenue Giuseppe Motta 48,
CH-1202 Geneva
Fax : +41 22 917 90 06

Follow the Special Rapporteur on Twitter: @SRtoxics

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Others involved
External links