Speaker: Joseph AMON
Director of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division
Topic: “My children have been poisoned” – China’s pead poisoning public health crisis
In China today hundreds of thousands of children suffer from permanent mental and physical disabilities as a result of lead poisoning. Chinese authorities are covering up the problem, denying health care to millions of children at risk, and harassing and detaining parents seeking essential medical information and treatment for their children.
Human Rights Watch’s new report “My Children Have Been Poisoned” is based on interviews in Henan, Yunnan, Shaanxi and Hunan provinces, and documents how local government authorities have turned away children from care, provided false or misleading information on the risks of lead exposure, and blocked domestic media coverage of the epidemic. Local governments are allowing factories to operate without environmental safeguards and in violation of Chinese environmental laws. The report provides a grassroots perspective of how China’s rapid economic development, coupled with weak enforcement of environmental regulations, has created a public health crisis.
Joseph AMON is the director of the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch. Mr. AMON had worked previously for more than 15 years conducting research, designing programs, and evaluating interventions related to chronic and infectious diseases. He is also an Associate in the department of epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and a Lecturer in public and international affairs at Princeton University. Amon has a master’s degree in tropical medicine and a Ph.D. In epidemiology.
Speaker: Joseph AMON,Director of Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights Division