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The Basel Convention

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal is a global agreement that establishes the international legal regime governing the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes destined for disposal or recycling. The Convention was adopted in 1989 and came into force in 1992. Currently 169 countries and the European Community have become Parties to the Convention. Parties meet their obligations through domestic regulations that implement the Convention.

The Convention aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, transboundary movements, and disposal of hazardous and other wastes. In the spirit, intent and purpose of the Basel Convention, each country needs to establish and operate an effective control on the import of hazardous and other wastes; this includes end-of-life equipment. Unless such control is in place and enforced, the massive transfer of uncontrolled e-wastes to developing countries in particular, will continue to generate an evergrowing health and environmental burden for these countries. Of the 170 Parties to the Convention, Afghanistan, Haiti and the United States have signed the Convention but have not yet ratified it.