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Home Assignment 1

952 words - 4 pages

Two main issues are exposed during the documentary: the health issues regarding the affected population and the cyber crimes that occur due to the misuse of personal information contained in hard disks.

The first is perhaps the most serious one, once most of the countries receiving this e-waste have no facilities to treat it properly (Li et al., 2012) and frequently child labor is used (British Columbia University, 2009). Because of this, thousands of people are exposed to toxic gases and heavy metals during their work activities without realizing the harmfulness of that activity (Grant et al., 2013). All too often, these countries are also responsible for the production of these compounds ...view middle of the document...

Attempts of bank fraud and extortion of an American Congressman coming from Ghana (Siciliano, 2009) expanded the awareness of the final destination of developed countries e-waste. Ever for western citizens that do not care about the life of millions in Asia and Africa, the issue becomes startling when their own money and privacy start to be harassed.
Even though it looks like the exportation of e-waste is just a burden for poor countries, all too often, it becomes a mean of living for whole families (Umair et al., 2013). This issue turns a feasible solution to the problem much more complex than merely forbidding e-waste all over the world as decision from Basel Convention that lack the ratification of 17 countries to come into force internationally in a voluntary way (Li et al., 2012), intends to do.

Any possible solution to this issue shall address several conflicting points in a way as integrated as possible. Among them, one could cite the expansion of consumers’ awareness regarding the final destination of their gadgets and general electronic equipment and its consequences, through initiatives such as Shakila Umair’s work (Umair et al., 2013) in showing working conditions in these digital dumping grounds. By doing this, consumers will be able to press producers to deal with the problem in a more robust way and ask for more durable products, such as the Phone Blok (Phonebloks.com, 2014). Furthermore, by applying the principle of producer responsibility, facilities can be improved in developing countries in order to provide safe working conditions, using money from the producers. Other possible solutions would be to add in the scope of organizations like Swedwatch, the observation of the final destination given to waste by recycling companies and improve substantially the oversight of “donated computers” going out developed countries.

Works Cited

Barba-Gutierrez, Y., Adenso-Diaz, B. and Hopp, M. 2008. An analysis of some environmental consequences of European...

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