A toxic tragedy

Today marks the fifth year since tragedy struck for thousands of men, women and children living in Ivory Coast.

Five years ago, toxic waste was dumped in various locations across Abdijan – Ivory Coast’s commercial capital.  One month after the dumping more than 100,000 people sought medical attention for a range of health problems and there were 15 reported deaths.

In July last year a Dutch court found multinational company Trafigura guilty for delivering hazardous waste to Amsterdam while concealing the true nature of the waste, and for exporting the waste to Ivory Coast.

Despite Trafigura having paid out US$260 million (nearly £158million) in total, much of the money remains unaccounted for and thousands of victims have not received a single penny.  The process has been dogged by repeated delays and a lack of transparency.  More than 6,000 people are owed the equivalent of a year’s wages after a hard won settlement with Trafigura.

Justice is currently sorely lacking for the thousands of people affected by the toxic waste dumped on their doorsteps. As Amnesty marks the fifth anniversary of this disaster, we’re calling on the government of Ivory Coast to the survivors of this dreadful disaster get the money to which they are owed.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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