Consumers and Workers Right to Know
Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration, adopted at the Rio Summit in 1992, states that individuals shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities. It also encourages States to facilitate and promote public awareness and participation by making information widely available.
Access to environmental information, such as pollution data or information about the hazards of chemicals, are crucial for effective participation of citizens and workers in environmental decision-making. This information also facilitates direct measures for environmental and human health protection by affected parties.
UNITAR has responded to the importance of providing access to environmental and chemical hazard information through its capacity building programmes on
- Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) and
- The Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
The two concepts are core tools for enhancing community, consumer and workers right-to-know and have been internationally endorsed as essential elements of a national chemicals management programme.