Urge the state governments to institute pesticide-free buffer zones around schools
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Can we still do more to protect children from toxic pesticides?
Yes we can! And you can definitely help by supporting our call for pesticide-free buffer zones around schools.
Schools are meant to be safe sanctuaries for children to learn and grow but terrifyingly children in Asia are consistently being poisoned in these supposedly safe learning environments. Children in schools are being exposed to pesticides via reckless aerial spraying and spray drifts that target their young developing bodies.
The world celebrates International Children’s Day every 20th of November. For this year, PANAP and its partners demand state governments to set up a 1 km or more buffer zones around their schools. You help bring about change by supporting them too!
Children must be protected from pesticide drifts. We do not want a repeat of the incidents in Mendocino and Ventura Counties (California, USA), Davao del Norte (Philippines), Nuwara Eliya District (Sri Lanka), and most recently in Po Ampil Primary School in Cambodia, where more than 30 children were poisoned by pesticides during schooling hours alone.
It is evident through numerous studies that pesticides negatively impact the life, health and intelligence of children and thus violate the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. CRC recognizes the child’s “inherent right to life” and that the survival and development of the child should be ensured to the “maximum extent possible”.
Available information show that pesticides drift hundreds of meters from the area of use at health-harming concentrations for days and even weeks after application, especially in rural areas in India, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Philippines, Sri Lanka and many other countries in Asia. 1.5 billion children in Asia are estimated to live in rural areas.
Children’s right to a healthy life should always be of utmost importance over any growing corporate interest. It is unacceptable that countries in Asia continue to be the toxic dump site of pesticides mainly peddled by developed countries. Inadequate laws and regulations in this region should be overhauled specifically for the best interest of our children.
Pesticides users and farms using pesticides in the vicinity of schools should be supported to move towards non-chemical alternatives and agroecology.
We, the PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) and its partners, together with the global community, thus ask the governments to declare pesticide-free buffer zones around schools that would protect children from harmful exposure to pesticides. As an initial risk reduction measure, the buffer zone must have at least a 1km radius.
Making this landmark declaration on the occasion of the International Children’s Day would be a meaningful gift to humanity.
Help us create awareness on pesticide-free buffer zones and realize that it can have the power to protect our future generations from toxic pesticides.
Hoping for your full support in this fight to protect our children,
Saro, Deeppa, Mila, Sathesh, and the PANAP family
Abdullah M. P., Abdul Aziz Y. F., Othman M. R., Wan MohdKhalik W. M. A. 2015. Organochlorine pesticides residue level in surface water of Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Iranica Journal of Energy and Environment 6 (2): 141-146. http://www.idosi.org/ijee/6%282%2915/10.pdf
Convention on the Rights of the Child. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/ProfessionalInterest/crc.pdf
FAO Corporate Document Repository. 2005. Proceedings of the Asia regional workshop on the implementation, monitoring and observance of the international code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides. http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/af340e/af340e04.htm#TopOfPage
FAO and ILO. 2015. Protect children from pesticides. http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3527e.pdf
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Interface Development Interventions, Inc. 2011. Liabilities of companies and public officers of the government for the non-observance and non-enforcement of buffer zones in specific banana plantation and its remedies. http://idisphil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Legal-Research-on-the-Liability-of-Companies-and-Government-Officers-for-the-Non-Compliance-and-Non-enforcement-of-Buffer-Zones-in-Banana-Plantations.pdf
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Lopez, A. (nd). Change.org petition: Institute a 1 mile buffer zone between schools and spraying pesticides and at least a week's notice to schools before spraying begins. https://www.change.org/p/institute-a-1-mile-buffer-zone-between-schools-and-spraying-pesicides-and-at-least-a-week-s-notice-to-schools-before-spraying-begins
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Owens, K and Feldman, J. 2004. Getting the drift on chemical trespass: Pesticide drift hits homes, schools and other sensitive sites throughout the communities. http://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/infoservices/pesticidesandyou/Summer 04/Getting the Drift on Chemical Trespass.pdf
PANAP. 2016. A pesticide free buffer zone needed in Po Ampil Primary School, Takeo Province, Cambodia. http://panap.net/childrenandpesticide/?p=1552
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Poisoned Schoolchildren in Sri Lanka https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/23908082/poisoning-our-future-children-and-pesticides/30
US EPA 735-F-07-003. Pesticides and their impact on children: Key facts and talking points. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-12/documents/pest-impact-hsstaff.pdf
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Watts, M. 2013. Poisoning our future: Children and pesticides. PANAP. http://www.panap.net/sites/default/files/Poisoning-Our-Future-Children-and-Pesticides.pdf
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