Environmental Protection

Interpol Part of European E-waste Coalition

"The e-waste challenge has many facets. Illegal shipment is just one aspect, and it causes substantial losses of valuable resources. At the same time, the illegal trade in e-waste leads to extreme pollution cases at local dump sites," said Dr. Jaco Huisman, scientific coordinator of the project.

INTERPOL and seven partners recently launched the Countering WEEE Illegal Trade (CWIT) project to counter the illegal trade and disposal of electronic waste, calling it an increasing threat to global environmental health and security. Funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme, the two-year CWIT project was launched to create recommendations for the European Commission and law enforcement agencies to assist them in countering the illegal activity.

The project's main goal is to identify the existing policy, regulatory, procedural, and technical gaps that criminals exploit and to recommend solutions. Partners in the project include experts on e-waste analysis, criminal analysis, database management, regulatory compliance, and security research. The consortium consists of INTERPOL, United Nations University, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, WEEE Forum, Cross-border Research Association, Compliance and Risks, and Zanasi & Partners.

"The diverse expertise brought together in the CWIT consortium will encourage a comprehensive and multidisciplinary examination of the illegal trade in e-waste," said David Higgins, who leads INTERPOL's Environmental Crime Programme. "Cooperation across all sectors involved – including industry, law enforcement and policy makers – is essential to tackling this issue at its roots and will help ensure a more secure global environment and level economic playing field."

"The e-waste challenge has many facets. Illegal shipment is just one aspect, and it causes substantial losses of valuable resources. At the same time, the illegal trade in e-waste leads to extreme pollution cases at local dump sites," said Dr. Jaco Huisman, scientific coordinator of the project and scientific adviser to the United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace, Sustainable Cycles (UNU-ISP SCYCLE). "CWIT will help to better understand the severity of these transborder movements and the role of companies and brokers involved in e-waste trading. This intelligence-based approach will assist us in creating substantially improved countermeasures," Huisman added.

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