The “dirty” side of the European countries, illustrated by their growing e-waste export to Africa and its shameful consequences regarding human rights over there

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Lapenu, Delphine
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E-waste, understood as high-tech items discarded, is an emerging international issue that may affect both the environment and human health when it is mishandled. It requires high investments in order to be managed in an environmentally sound manner as it is required by a multitude of legislations. However, today, the majority of e-waste produced in rich countries is exported to developing countries where it is well-known that these poor countries have much lower environmental and social standards. Admittedly, the European Union is the only economic organization today that has adopted binding regulations about e-waste. Nevertheless, the analysis of these latter reveals important shortcomings which still allow a large part of European e-waste to move to Africa. On the other side, this continent, being the poorest of the world, seems compelled to accept these toxic products, but in the detriment of the health of its peoples. In this regard, this thesis aims at assessing the efficiency of the international environmental and Human Rights regimes to protect the health of African peoples. The ultimate objective will consist in determining whether or not the European countries may be held responsible for the adverse effects of their e-waste on African peoples’ health.
Second semester University: Panteion University, Athens
pollution, Africa, European Union