Transition towards safe and healthy employment in the chemicals & waste sectors

During our side event at the Fifth Session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), WECF and partners gathered many ideas and good practices towards a gender-just & toxic-free environment. The ICCM5 was organized by UNEP and hosted by the government of Germany, and took place in the German city of Bonn from 25 to 29 September, with a High-level Segment (HLS) on 28 and 29 September. 

Left to right: Sascha Gabizion (WECF), Semia Gharbi (AEEFG Tunisia), Rebecca Heuvelmans (WECF)

The event engaged 46 participants into an interactive, fast-paced discovery of realities on the ground and feminist actions to advance a gender-just green transition, away from harmful chemicals and waste, towards sustainable and healthier alternatives.  

Through the format of a World Cafe participants actively engaged in 3 discussion groups under the guidance of a civil society expert and government representative and institution experts, to explore the issues, solutions and legislation to guide us to safe, decent and healthy employment. 

Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary for the Basel, Rotterdam and Stokholm Convention (BRS-UNEP) delivered inspiring opening remarks and actively took part in the first discussion guided by Griffins Ochieng (CEJAD Kenya).

After watching a thought-provoking video clip from our documentary Tackling Toxics, and a short introduction into the topic by civil society experts, participants broke into three group discussions. In total, 3 questions were discussed among the 3 groups:

  • Q1 – “Discuss in groups the local and gendered realities of people working with toxic chemicals in their profession.”  
  • Q2 – “What good practices exist in your country “ 
  • Q3 – “Which laws exist in your national context that safeguard the rights of workers to work in a safe/toxic-free environment?”

The groups of participants were guided by Griffins Ochieng (CEJAD Kenya), Semia Gharbi (AEEFG Tunisia) and Yuyun Ismawati (Nexus3 Foundation Indonesia). 

We are grateful to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection for their support. Further information regarding on-going activities can be found on the official ICCM5 website.