Africa Resources Watch, a Congolese human rights non-governmental organisation, has petitioned the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child over ongoing violations to the development of children in Kabwe, Zambia.
AFREWATCH drew the attention of the committee to the toxic pollution emanating from the lead mine previously controlled by Anglo American South Africa Limited.
“The situation in Kabwe represents a violation of rights to health and development – one of the founding principles of Article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,” AFREWATCH said.
It claimed that because of Anglo American’s alleged negligence, young children were suffering from alarming levels of lead poisoning.
Commenting on the incident, AFREWATCH’s Executive Director, Emmanuel Umpula Nkumba, said, “The situation in Kabwe is extremely concerning and we strongly urge the CRC to investigate the claims made against Anglo American by the claimants in the class action lawsuit. Anglo American’s conduct during its 50-year management and supervision of the mine led to today’s conditions, whereby the lives of countless children are at serious risk – including the risk of death.
“The failure by Anglo American to take action to address the ongoing damage to the health and environment of the Kabwe communities does not accord with its publicly-stated commitments. This must change immediately.”
Nkumba added, “AFREWATCH strongly supports the ongoing class action lawsuit against Anglo American, which was filed in the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa in October 2020.”