Pharmaceutical effluent
Some residents still fish in lakes adjacent to pharmaceutical factories, and to graze cattle nearby.
ARTICLE | 24 September 2020

Swedwatch calls for EU pharma strategy to protect rights and environment

Despite the alarming and well-known risks of pharmaceutical pollution, pharmaceutical products are exempt from various EU provisions regulating chemicals. Swedwatch urges the European Commission to ensure that its Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe holds importers and producers to account for impacts on human rights, public health and the environment.

REPORT | 26 June 2020

ICT workers should not be exposed to hazardous chemicals

As electronics manufacturing has been widely outsourced to Asia in recent decades, so has exposure to hazardous chemicals – to countries with weaker rights for workers. In the Philippines women are exposed to these chemicals and suffer from miscarriages and cancers. In a new report, Swedwatch calls on tech companies to ensure workers are not exposed to hazards.

REPORT | 10 June 2020

Mining machinery sales in Myanmar may be aggravating human rights abuses

Major mining machinery suppliers still appear to lack adequate safeguards in their sales, two years after Swedwatch highlighted alarming environmental and human rights impacts of jade mining in Myanmar. In a new report, Swedwatch calls again on Caterpillar Inc., Komatsu Ltd and Volvo CE to comply with international human rights standards for doing business in high-risk areas. 

  • High-risk and conflict areas
  • Vulnerable groups
  • Climate and environment
  • Community rights
  • Public procurement
  • Labour rights

High-risk and conflict areas

In areas where there is war or conflict, or where the state is weak, there is a higher risk of human rights violations. Companies active in such areas need to know and act responsibly on these risks.

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Vulnerable groups

Some groups, for example children, indigenous peoples or migrant workers run a higher risk than others of being adversely affected by companies’ activities. Whoever they are, companies have a duty to respect their special rights.

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Climate and environment

Climate and environment are closely linked to human rights. Companies have a responsibility to know how they affect the climate and the environment, and to make sure that they do not contribute to environmental degradation and climate change.

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Community rights

Forced displacement in connection with new land-related projects is common and in breach with several human rights. People who depend on family farming might end up losing their homes and incomes when forced to move.

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Public procurement

Swedish municipalities, county councils and government authorities procure goods worth more than 63 billion euros annually. A large portion are manufactured or grown in countries where there is a high risk of negative impacts on human rights and the environment.

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Labour rights

There is a high risk of employees’ rights being abused in global supply chains. Guaranteeing good working conditions is a substantial and important part of companies’ responsibilities in terms of respecting human rights.

Read more about Labour rights