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A child sitting next to a field--we need to protect children from pesticide poisoning

Pesticide Exposure and Poisoning in Children: A Case Study of India

by Leah Utyasheva and Lovleen Bhullar

Date: December 8, 2021

“If we take children’s rights to life and health seriously, the prevention of pesticide exposure and poisoning needs to become a global priority.” ~ Leah Utyasheva and Lovleen Bhullar

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) has been ratified by every UN member country—except for the United States.

Despite that fact, children around the world continue to be exposed to dangerous industrial chemicals, including agrochemicals.

In this paper, authors Leah Utyasheva and Lovleen Bhullar use the case study of India to highlight the failures in laws and policies to protect children—especially in developing countries—from pesticide poisoning. They argue that taking children’s rights seriously demands the elimination of harmful agrochemicals from every day use in India and around the world.

They note that while the UN recommends banning “highly hazardous pesticides” the poisoning of children by agrochemicals is rarely discussed—especially as a human rights issue. India, for example, has no laws or policies that address agrochemical poisoning of children, even though India has a large population of children and pesticide use in that country is widespread.

The authors call for identifying and banning highly hazardous agrochemicals and for including “pesticide poisoning prevention in laws and policies in India and globally.”

Additionally, the authors advocate for using the precautionary principle as a means of protecting and benefiting children and adults, as well as animals, and our shared environment.

Read the article.

This article is part of the Special Section of the December 2021 Health and Human Rights Journal, edited by PZI’s co-founder and president, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian.

Article citation:

Utyasheva, Leah, and Lovleen Bhullar. “Human Rights Perspective on Pesticide Exposure and Poisoning in Children: A Case Study of India.” Health and Human Rights Journal 23, no. 2 (8 December 2021): 49-61.

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