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A Toxics-Free Future


China Chemical Safety Project

This new article in Chemistry World about a new catalyst over 30 years in the making features information about IPEN’s China Chemical Safety Project. The Project case study referred to in the article is about a Qihua PVC plant in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang Province.

Beijing Serious environmental degradation in China has created a significant number of pollution victims, but there is no current legal framework to assist and guarantee their rights. In response, a multi-stakeholder conference in Beijing called for a new law to address this growing problem noting that China has already promulgated a series of laws for the rights and interests of certain vulnerable groups including the Law on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, and the Law on the Protection of Minors.

“The scope of the problems faced by pollution victims is huge,” said Mao Da, from Green Beagle. “But there is no corresponding law that addresses assistance and guarantees their rights. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.” The conference entitled “Suffering and hope – an annual review of assistance to pollution victims” examined this issue in a concluding event of the EU-funded project “Strengthening the capacity of pollution victims and civil society organizations to increase chemical safety in China” (1). Conference participants included environmentalists, lawyers, journalists, monitoring specialists and representatives of pollution victims. After reviewing case study examples of pollution victims, the conference agreed by consensus to call for the promulgation of the Law on Assistance to Pollution Victims and the Assurance of Their Rights and Interests.