Rights In Action Weekly Update – 18 June 2021

Petition to Parly on E-Waste Policy

On 15 June 2021 the Speaker of Parliament announced to the House that they have received a petition from Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) calling for Parliament to exercise its Constitutional mandate by enacting a National E-Waste Policy. The petition was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Climate and Tourism.

The MIHR petition follows the March 2021 MIHR convened National E-Waste Conference which revealed that Zimbabwe does not have a policy to manage the handling, disposal and recycling of electric and electronic waste. This is despite the facts that the country recycles 0.03kt of the 17Kt e-waste it generates annually (2020 Global E-Waste Monitor Report). It is also against the background of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) which seeks to create a Middle Upper Income economy by year 2030 through digital economic development, rapidly increasing internet and ICT usage and digitalization of the government.

Electronic and electrical waste contains several toxic additives or hazardous substances, such as mercury, brominated flame retardants (BFR), and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) which are harmful to humans and the climate.

Launch of the Initiative to Improve Rights of the Girl Child

On 16 June 2021 during the Day of An Africa Child, MIHR partnered with Yvonne Kapuya’s Supporting Souls Sending Smiles campaign to launch an initiative that will see 60 secondary school going girls from Bulawayo’s peri-urban Hyde Park community receiving regular sanitary pads, being trained on human rights and responsibilities, participating in local human rights initiatives and engaging various stakeholders (inclusive of local community leadership and duty bearers) on rights violations affecting them.

The initiative is initially expected to run up to December 2021 and is anticipated to address rampant human rights violations that include access to education, sexual and reproductive health rights, bullying, child pregnancy, environmental rights violations and access to information concerns faced by young girls in the area.

Source: Matabeleland Institute of Human Rights

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