AFREWATCH urges the Committee on the Rights of the Child to investigate lead poisoning claims against Anglo American in Kabwe, Zambia, lawsuit
"AFREWATCH Implores the United Nations CRC to Urge Anglo American to Take Responsibility for Children Poisoned by the World’s Biggest Toxic Lead Mine", 15 January 2021
- Children in Kabwe, Zambia Face Serious and Ongoing Violations to Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Anglo American’s Failure to Address the Damage to the Health and Environment of the Kabwe Communities Does Not Accord with Its Group Human Rights Policy
- AFREWATCH Supports the Class Action Filed in South Africa on Behalf of Over 100,000 Kabwe Claimants Against Anglo American
Africa Resources Watch (“AFREWATCH”), a Congolese human rights NGO with over two decades of experience monitoring the impact of the mining sector in the DRC and wider Southern Africa region, has sent the enclosed letter to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”) regarding the serious and ongoing violations to the development of the children in Kabwe, Zambia, owing to toxic pollution emanating from the lead mine previously controlled by Anglo American South Africa Limited (“AASA”), a subsidiary of London-headquartered multinational mining company Anglo American Plc (LSE: AAL, JSE: AGL). The CRC is scheduled to convene on Monday, January 18th, 2021.
According to the letter, the situation in Kabwe represents a violation of rights to health and development – one of the founding principles of Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The letter also cites the Committee’s General Comment 16, which extends the duties and responsibilities with respect to the rights of children to “private actors and business enterprises”.
... Emmanuel Umpula Nkumba, Executive Director of AFREWATCH, said: “The situation in Kabwe is extremely concerning and we strongly urge the CRC to investigate the claims made against Anglo American by the claimants in the class action lawsuit. Anglo American’s conduct during its 50-year management and supervision of the mine led to today’s conditions, whereby the lives of countless children are at serious risk – including the risk of death. The failure by Anglo American to take action to address the ongoing damage to the health and environment of the Kabwe communities does not accord with its publicly-stated commitments. This must change immediately.”
AFREWATCH claims Anglo American’s conduct cannot be reconciled with its Group Human Rights Policy, which makes several commitments to respecting, upholding and advancing the human rights of the citizens in its areas of operation. Accordingly, AFREWATCH implores the CRC to:
- Closely investigate the allegations made against Anglo American by the claimants of the class action lawsuit; and
- To urge Anglo American to act consistently with its publicly stated human rights commitments as a business.
... More information about the victims and the case is available at www.childrenofkabwe.com.