[Hanoi] From 4th to 5th September 2015, the meeting of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) meeting will be held and is jointly organized by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC ) Hong Kong and Center for Development Initiative (CDI), Vietnam. The meeting will be attended by more than 100 delegates from 20 countries around the world including delegates from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. The delegates will include representatives of health and safety organizations, labour organizations, environmental organizations, academics and scientists from various Universities, policymakers from Vietnam, representatives of International organizations like the ILO and the WHO and representatives of the victims organizations.
The two-day meeting comes in the backdrop of Asia’s growth as the manufacturing hub of the world and the price paid by the workers and the communities in terms of increasing accidents and diseases caused by both the occupational and the environmental reasons. Vietnam itself is at the threshold of a major industrial revolution with increasing share in the manufacturing especially in the electronics and garments sector and thus like other Asian countries is facing problems of occupational and environmental health and safety for its workers and communities. The key issues that would be discussed in the meeting include:
1) Overall problems of Occupational and Environmental Health in Asia - considering that most of the countries do not have proper data regarding the impact on workers and community health (in terms of accidents and diseases at work). The ILO and WHO estimates about 1 million people die due to work related reasons in Asia and millions more get injured and sick. Toll due to environmental pollution is much higher.
2) Major Accident/disasters in Asia in recent years: The meeting will discuss the recent spate of accidents ranging from Tianjin explosion in China, Kentex shoe fire in Philippines, Factory Fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan among others. Some victims/survivors from these tragedies (from Philippines, India) will share their experiences. Why accidents are increasing would be discussed and analyzed by various experts from across the world.
3) Occupational and Environmental Diseases in Asia: The meeting will discuss the increasing occupational diseases in Asia ranging from dust related lung diseases, cancers due to exposure to chemicals in various industries including electronics and asbestos manufacturing and benzene related cancers. Victims / activists from the ground will share their experiences of exposure and disease and their struggle for justice. Experts and scientists will share their findings on reasons for increase in occupational and environmental diseases in Asia and possible ways to deal with it.
4) Building Cross border collaboration to effectively eliminate or reduce occupational and environmental diseases: Participants (both grassroots victims and scientists) will share the best practices in terms of how the problem was dealt in different countries under different scenarios and meeting is expected to provide a platform for cross border sharing and developing joint strategy towards making Asia a safer and healthy place
This is a unique gathering of grassroots organizers, policy makers, NGO experts and academics from many prestigious universities and would be a good opportunity to talk to them on issues that confront Vietnam also including prevention of Occupational accidents, occupational and environmental diseases and lastly but not the least efforts to eliminate dangerous chemicals and processes from Asia and Vietnam including Benzene, Asbestos among others.