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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Southeast Asia

http://m.khan.co.kr/view.html?art_id=201802040926001

Vietnamese Civil Society Group says “Samsung requests revision of report and intimidates” vs. Samsung “Never met”

4 February 2018, (Informal translation)

IPEN has prepared "Quick Views" documents for the following SAICM regional meetings:

These documents highlight IPEN views on SAICM Beyond 2020 issues such as vision, policy principles, objectives and milestones, governance, high-level political commitment and financing. The document also follows IPEN comments that were provided to Brazil and Canada, the Co-Chairs of SAICM's "Beyond 2020" intersessional process. 

Updates about IPEN's work during the SAICM regional meetings will be posted here. Additional IPEN policy papers relevant to the Beyond 2020 process can be found here, and IPEN's activities during the 1st Meeting of the Intersessional Process for SAICM Beyond 2020 that took place in Brazil in February, 2017 are detailed here.

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre published the CGFED/ IPEN response to Samsung's comments about the report released in December 2017 revealing working conditions in Samsung manufacturing facilities in Vietnam. 

"We are writing to respond to Samsung's criticisms of our recent study on working conditions at the company's mobile phone factories in Vietnam... In Vietnam and abroad, Samsung has been actively attempting to suppress and discredit this study that documents a number of concerning health and safety violations... However, none of Samsung's efforts can erase the evidence that Samsung has violated Vietnamese labour law and failed to honour its business obligations on human rights...

Our study and the company's reaction to it revealed several findings that are inconsistent with Samsung's obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights including complying with national laws, providing a safe and healthy working environment, protecting the family unit, right to form independent trade unions, and freedom of expression...

https://news.mb.com.ph/2017/12/17/watchdog-urges-caution-in-disposing-of-e-waste/

 A toxic watchdog has expressed concern over the increase in the number of discarded electronic wastes (e-waste) this Holiday Season.

Signature Campaign and BBC Coverage

Leading advocates from human rights, labor rights, women’s rights, public health, environmental justice, and sustainable purchasing organizations from around the world are calling on Samsung to protect the thousands of workers - most of them women of child-bearing age - who are making their mobile phones at factories in Vietnam. A report from the Hanoi-based, gender equity NGO Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) and IPEN identified numerous health and labor violations from interviews with 45 women who work at two of Samsung’s factories in Vietnam. Please sign and invite your network to join the signature campaign on Change.org .

BBC covered the release of the CGFED/IPEN report on 15 December, in which the news outlet highlighted report findings, including workers' experiences of extreme fatigue, fainting and dizziness at work, and many accounts of miscarriage. In response, deputy general manager of Samsung Electronics Vietnam, Bang Hyun Woo said,"This report does not have a scientific basis." He also said much of the content in the report was "false" and "arbitrary."

IPEN requests Samsung "transparently publishes a complete list of chemicals used at the manufacturing facilities and describes the control."

See BBC's coverage here.

Read Ms Magazine's coverage of the story: Exploited and Endangered: Female factory Workers in Vietnam Open Up About Their Work Conditions.

IPEN Participating Organizations, Arnika and EARTH, released a report on POPs in four different hot-spots in Thailand. It was found that that there are residues of organochlorine pesticides still present in the environment of Thailand. The most problematic POPs found in the hotspot areas are unintentionally produced chemicals such as dioxins, hexachlorobenzene, pentachlorobenzene, PCBs, hexachlorobutadiene, hexachlorocyclohexane.

Find a link to the full report here. 

Another report, Chicken Eggs as an Indicator of POPs Pollution in Thailand, was released at the same time by partners, Arnika and EARTH. Find the press release for these reports here.

From 2015-2016, IPEN Participating Organizations, Arnika and EARTH, collected free range chicken eggs to study whether POPs were detected. 

They released a report to demonstrate the emerging problems of pollution caused by POPs in relation to the growing industries in Thailand.

Find a link to the full report here.

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