This is a story of corporate crime, human rights abuse and governments’ failure to protect people and the environment: A joint report by Amnesty International and Greenpeace Netherlands.
“For the people at the centre of the story – the people of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire – it starts with horror and ends in tragedy. It began on 20 August 2006 when they woke up to find that foul-smelling, toxic waste had been dumped in numerous places around their city. Tens of thousands of people suffered from nausea, headaches, breathing difficulties, stinging eyes and burning skin. More than 100,000 people were treated, according to official records, but it is likely that the number affected was higher as records are incomplete. The authorities reported that between 15 and 17 people died. With medical treatment and time, the symptoms abated, but for many the fear remains. Six years on, they still do not know what was in the waste. It had been illegally exported from Europe, illegally brought into Abidjan, and illegally dumped there. Numerous laws – both national and international – had been ignored.The nightmare inflicted on the people of Abidjan still haunts many people today. The persistent failures – to hold the company fully to account, to disclose information and to ensure compensation reaches all those who are entitled to it – mean that the toxic waste dumping at Abidjan is not only a crime committed back in 2006 but an ongoing travesty of justice today.”
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