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Rights group urges UN to pay Kosovo lead poisoning victims

Posted September 7

— A human rights group is urging the United Nations to reverse its policy and pay compensation to members of the Roma and other minority communities in Kosovo who were resettled in U.N.-run camps in the late 1990s and now suffer from lead poisoning.

Human Rights Watch said in a report launched Thursday that about 600 people forced from their homes after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war were resettled in camps know to be contaminated by lead from a nearby industrial mine.

Last year, a U.N. advisory panel said the U.N. mission in Kosovo violated those people's rights to life and health. It recommended that the U.N. pay compensation and apologize.

But the U.N. instead announced in May it would create a voluntary trust fund for community projects to help minority communities.

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