The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (“Basel Convention”) is a binding international environmental agreement adopted in March 1989 to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects resulting from the generation, management, transboundary movement, and disposal of hazardous waste. It came into effect in May 1992 and has been ratified by 170 countries (as of January 2009), though not by the United States. Despite notable success in strengthening the Basel regime and constructing requisite norms, critics charge that much work remains, such as ensuring effective compliance, minimizing hazardous waste generation and transboundary movement, enforcing liability on waste exporters, and halting illegal waste traffic.

The Basel Convention prohibits any export of hazardous waste, defined as toxic, ...

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