Mauritius rights record under global spotlight


Japanese vessel, MV Wakashio, spills oil into Mauritian waters

from HANSLEY NABAB in Port Louis, Mauritius
PORT LOUIS, (CAJ News) THE United Nations (UN) is assessing Mauritius’ human rights record in relation to hazardous substances and waste in its waters.

Its top envoy on the issue is visiting the Indian Ocean island country to evaluate.

A key focus of the assessment will be the causes and aftermath of the oil spill from the Japanese bulk carrier vessel MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius from late July 2020.

The spill has heavily affected local communities, already in a situation of distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I remain deeply concerned about the threat of devastating ocean pollution caused by the Wakashio incident,” said Marcos Orellana, UN Special Rapporteur on toxics and human rights.

He said the oil spill had serious health, environmental and economic consequences.

The envoy’s assessment ends on Friday when he would have expected to delve into insights into solid waste management facilities and related challenges in Mauritius, including plastics management.

“Another issue deserving particular attention will be assessing port reception facilities for handling ship-generated waste,” Orellana added.

The envoy will present a comprehensive report with his findings and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2022.

An estimated 1,000 tonnes of oil spilled into the ocean when the MV Wakashao broke apart.

Some scientists called it the worst environmental disaster ever in Mauritius.

Two weeks after the incident, the Mauritian government declared the incident a national emergency.

Perceived failure of the government of Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth to respond promptly and effectively resulted in protests.

– CAJ News




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