The new UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics, Baskut Tuncak, urged Governments around the world to expedite the ratification process of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury.
The Minamata Convention was opened for signature in October 2013, and 128 countries have now signed it, but it has only seven of the 50 ratifications it requires in order to enter into force.
“Ratification is an imperative for States to fulfil their human rights obligations,” Mr. Tuncak stated. “A delay in ratifying the Convention means that people and the environment will continue to suffer the human rights impacts of mercury pollution.” Mercury pollution affects the rights of present and future generations to numerous human rights, including the rights to health, food, safe work conditions, and a healthy environment. Exposure to mercury – even small amounts – can cause grave health threats, including fatal ones.
Read the press release here.