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Impact of toxic waste management in Denmark and Greenland to be examined by UN expert

GENEVA (29 September 2017) – UN human rights expert Baskut Tuncak will visit Denmark from 2 to 13 October to assess the country’s human rights record in relation to the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes.

“Denmark has been a leading voice in shaping and implementing policies to ensure people are protected from hazardous substances and waste, both at home and abroad. Public institutions, businesses and civil society have important contributions to make,” said the Special Rapporteur.

“I am keen to learn more about the main achievements as well as the main challenges that remain to be addressed,” he said. 

“I also intend to pay specific attention to the situation in Greenland. The particular vulnerabilities of indigenous communities in the Arctic to pollution released around the world, as well as the impact of extractive industries like mining and foreign military activities will also be examined,” the expert added. 

The human rights expert, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Danish Government, will meet representatives of the Government in Copenhagen and Nuuk, as well as civil society organizations and the business community.

A press conference will be held at the conclusion of the visit, on 13 October 2017 at 11:00 am in the press room at UN city, Copenhagen (Marmorvej 51). Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists. To ensure access to the UN office, please send a message to VictoriaA@unops.org before 12 October.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report with his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2018.


Mr. Baskut Tuncak (Turkey) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes by the UN Human Rights Council in 2014. As Special Rapporteur, he is part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page: Denmark

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Denmark and Greenland (during the visit):  (Marcelo Daher   +41 79 444 5401) or mdaher@ohchr.org

In Geneva (before and after the visit): Marcelo Daher (+41 22 917 9431 /mailto:) or write to srtoxicwaste@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Bryan Wilson – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9826 / mediaconsultant2@ohchr.org)  

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