30 September 2021
Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights
To inform the Special Rapporteur's visit to Italy that will take place from 30 November until 13 December 2021. The outcome of the visit to be presented in a report to the Human Rights Council at its 51st session in September 2022
Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution
45/17, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights, Marcos Orellana, will undertake an official visit to Italy from 30 November to 13 December 2021, at the invitation of the Italian Government. His visit will focus, in accordance with his
mandate, on a wide range of issues related to toxics and human rights and the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. The conclusions of the visit will be presented in a report to the Human Rights Council.
The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the
United Nations Human Rights Council. The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 Member States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe. Special Rapporteurs are selected on the basis of their expertise and experience in the area of their mandate, personal integrity, independence and impartiality and objectivity. They are not employed by the United Nations and do not receive remuneration for their work.
The mandate seeks to help States, businesses and other stakeholders to adopt solutions with regard to harmful substances and human rights issues.
Dr. Marcos A. Orellana was appointed Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights in August 2020. He is an expert in international law and the law on human rights and the environment. His practice as legal advisor has included work with United Nations agencies, governments and non-governmental organisations.
The Special Rapporteur is part of a system of so-called
UN Special Procedures, made up of independent experts who regularly undertake country visits around the world to report on human rights issues.
Objectives of the visit
The visit would allow the Special Rapporteur to examine in situ questions relating to mandate, and would help him to identify gaps and shortcomings, as well as good practices, in relation to which the Special Rapporteur would seek to make constructive and concrete recommendations. The general objectives of such country visits are:
a) to examine and report on the status of a wide range of issues related to toxics and human rights and implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes in the country, with particular attention to vulnerable categories
(b) to engage in dialogue with all levels of Government, United Nations and intergovernmental agencies and civil society in their efforts to protect human rights;
(c) to identify gaps and shortcomings, as well as practical solutions and best practices in the realization of rights relevant to the mandate;
(d) to issue recommendations addressed to governments, business and relevant stakeholders, and to follow up on relevant concluding observations made by treaty bodies and other international bodies and assess their impacts on policies adopted by the countries concerned.
Country visits are based on preparations by the Special Rapporteur and are supported by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. They involve extensive study of topics relevant to the mandate, including a wide range of issues related to toxics and human rights and the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, as well as meetings and interviews with civil society organizations, experts and affected individuals before a visit. The actual country visits includes meetings between the Special Rapporteur and government officials, members of the legislature and judiciary, state institutions, civil society organizations, academics, and individuals. After the visit a report with recommendations will be submitted to the Human Rights Council of the United Nations.
Scope of the study and key questions:
The Special Rapporteur would like to invite all interested individuals and organizations working on issues related to toxics and human rights and
implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes concerning Italy, including representatives of civil society organizations, journalists, experts and academics, to provide input for the preparation of his visit.
While all submissions are welcome, it would be greatly appreciated if the submissions can focus on one or more of the following thematic issues:
- exposure to hazardous substances, and its causes and consequences, including for workers, children and other vulnerable groups
- waste management, pollution, including air and marine pollution, and environmental dumping
- states and businesses' responsibility to prevent occupational exposures to hazardous substances
- current cases of toxics exposure and access to effective remedy
- implementation of international chemicals and waste conventions, decisions of the European Court of Human Rights as well as international, regional and national human rights and environmental standards
- illegal traffic or disposal in hazardous substances and waste to and from Italy
- Information on environmental factors (such as exposure to hazardous substances and wastes, air and water pollution) that are contributing to serious or deadly cases of COVID-19; and initiatives and measures that have been adopted to understand such link and to currently address this problem
- Access to justice and remedies for persons whose human rights related to the Special Rapporteur's mandate may have been violated, including judicial and non-judicial mechanisms
30 September 2021
Reports, academic studies and other types of background materials can be attached as an annex to the submission.
For relevant reports, please provide a link to the document if available online, or attach if not available online.
Word, pdf, excel
All inputs will be treated confidentially by the Special Rapporteur for the purpose of collecting information in preparation of the visit and the report to the Human Rights Council.
If not indicated to the contrary your submission will be published on the website of the Special Rapporteur.
If you would like your written submission or any other information NOT to be published on the website of the Special Rapporteur, please explicitly indicate this in your submission.
The Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights thanks you for your inputs