Report on workers’ rights and toxic exposures

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

Background

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.

Summary

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

Methodology

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

Duty to prevent exposure to the COVID-19 virus (A/HRC/45/12) (2020)

25th anniversary of the mandate (A/75/290) (2020)

Duty to prevent exposure to toxics (A/74/480) (2019)

Principals to protect workers (A/HRC/42/41) (2019)

Workers' rights toxic exposures (A/HRC/39/48) (2018)

First Report to GA (A/73/567) (2018)

Guidelines for good practices (A/HRC/36/41) (2017)

Rights of the child (A/HRC/33/41) (2016)

Right to information (A/HRC/30/40) (2015)

Issues in Focus
Contact information

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

OHCHR-UNOG
Avenue Giuseppe Motta 48,
CH-1202 Geneva
Switzerland
Fax : +41 22 917 90 06
E-mail: srtoxicshr@ohchr.org

Follow the Special Rapporteur on Twitter: @SRtoxics

To subscribe to or unsubscribe from the Special Rapporteur's newsletter, please email srtoxicshr@ohchr.org with “newsletter” in the subject line.

Others involved
External links