INTERPOL Launches Tool to Prevent Illegal Trades in Hazardous Chemicals

This is the first e-learning module to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent this illicit trade, according to the agency.

INTERPOL, working with the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, has released the first e-learning module aimed to help law enforcement officers identify and prevent illegal trading in hazardous chemicals and wastes.

About 22 million tons of hazardous chemicals and wastes are moved worldwide each year, according to the agency, which said the online tool aims to increase awareness and understanding of the three global treaties that contribute to the safe management, production, movement, use, and disposal of hazardous chemicals and wastes.

"The legal international trade in chemicals is an important part of the global economy, but it is crucial that this trade be effectively monitored,"” said David Higgins, head of INTERPOL's Environmental Security unit. "This e-learning tool provides targeted capacity building to law enforcement officials to help ensure safe and environmentally sound management of hazardous substances."

"Protecting human health and the environment from the dangers of hazardous chemicals and wastes is a growing area of responsibility for enforcement officers. This tool will help them to meet their responsibilities to protect their countries, their peoples, and the global community," said Jim Willis, executive secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

The module explains how to visually identify hazardous chemicals and wastes from the container appearance, labels, codes, and names, and the PPE required for inspections, and it provides guidance on how to identify and deal with possible cases of illegal trade/trafficking and the importance of developing cooperation with different agencies at the national and international levels. It is available in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish at the INTERPOL website.

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