The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Notice of the 2017 FCA General Assembly

The Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) General Assembly (GA) will take place virtually from December 8 to 15, 2017. There are no elections planned this year to renew the Board, with the longest serving representatives entering their fourth year and no Board positions being up for renewal.

The Chairperson of the FCA Board of Directors, Nonguebzanga Maxime Compaoré encourages all FCA members to review the annual Board report and to provide feedback (approval or non-approval) and comments during the GA. Further details on this process will be provided to FCA members on December 7.

ILO to Reconsider Cooperation with Tobacco Industry

The International Labour Organization (ILO), the last UN agency accepting funding from the tobacco industry for its activities, postponed the decision on its future relationship with the industry, failing to act despite persistent calls from the Workers’, Asia-Pacific and European groups, and many countries of the Americas. The ILO will revisit the issue of cutting ties with the tobacco industry in March 2018 at the 332nd Session of the Governing Body in Geneva.

The FCA calls on the ILO to take all the necessary steps to develop an “integrated ILO strategy to address decent work deficits in the tobacco sector” that produces tangible results and is sustainable without funding from the very industry responsible for the exploitative working conditions that foster child labour.

It is time for UN agencies to quit ‘Big Tobacco’

Claims made by Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT) – a group funded and controlled by transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) – in its online release, dated 30 October 2017, should not distract from the fact that the International Labour Organization (ILO) through its current partnership with ECLT and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) stands in contrast with international standards codified in the World Health Organization Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Over 180 non-governmental organizations including Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) have called on the ILO to finally align itself with the UN Interagency Taskforce (UNIATF) on Non-Communicable diseases model policy and stop all cooperation with 'Big Tobacco'.

FCA would like to point out in the documents below that ECLT conducts Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities on behalf of ‘Big Tobacco’, over-promoting its activities and seeking to sidestep exploitation at the farm level.[1]After 17 years of funding from TTCs, the tobacco companies that fund it have made ECLT a hallmark of their sustainability reporting; though it has had little impact on the prevalence of child labor in the countries in which it operates.[2] There is wide recognition that poverty among tobacco farmers is a driver of child labor. ECLT allows TTCs to invest a relatively small amount of money in social programs that work to address some of the symptoms of that poverty while ignoring their role in perpetuating it.

  • Policy Brief: ILO should end Cooperation with Tobacco Industry (EN, FR, ES)
  • Policy Brief: Reference and Bibliography List (EN)
  • Tobacco and Allied Workers Union of Malawi Letter to ILO (EN)

 


[1]Otanez MG, Muggli ME, Hurt RD, Glantz SA. Eliminating child labour in Malawi: a British American Tobacco corporate responsibility project to sidestep tobacco labour exploitation. Tob Control. 2006;15(3):224-230.doi:10.1136/tc.2005.014993

[2]17Marty Otanez and Stanton Glantz. Social Responsibility in Tobacco Production? Tobacco Companies’ use of Green Supply Chains to Obscure the Real Costs of Tobacco Farming. Tob Control. 2011 Nov;20(6).403-411.

 

ILO amongst last UN Agencies accepting money from 'Big Tobacco'

 

On 1 November 2017, delegates of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) will be asked to vote to extend their partnership with the tobacco industry. This proposal comes despite recommendations from the UN Economic and Social Committee (ECOSOC), an interagency taskforce to turn down any kind of funding from an industry with a vested interest in watering down any health and safety or labour regulation endangering its business model. If passed, ILO will run rogue in contradicting the ECOSOC resolutions and continue to maintain ties with the tobacco industry.

Letter to UN SG on Cooperation between Tobacco Industry and ILO

 

Download Letter to UN SG on Cooperation between Tobacco Industry and ILO

 

24 October 2017

Secretary General Antonio Guterres
United Nations, S-233
New York, NY 10027

Dear Secretary General Guterres,

RE: Cooperation between the tobacco industry and the International Labour Organization (ILO)

I am writing to you about a matter currently in front of the ILO Governing Body, which will meet next from 26 October to 9 November 2017 for its 331st meeting. The proposal GB.331/POL/5 concerns the ILO’s ongoing cooperation with the tobacco industry and acceptance of tobacco industry funding through its partnership with Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT). This practice stands in direct conflict with international standards, in particular Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation UN Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC).

FCA calls on ILO to cut ties with Tobacco Industry

The Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) joins the calls on the International Labour Organization (ILO) to end its cooperation with the tobacco industry. The FCA is amongst the initial signers of an open letter to the members of the ILO Governing Body that are due to vote on the matter during their meeting in Geneva from 26 October – 9 November 2017. The ILO is one of the last UN agencies to follow the recommendation of the UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) to refuse any form of collaboration with the tobacco industry. On its date of publication (16 October), more than 180 organisation had signed the open letter to the ILO.

 

Statement by the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

The global tobacco control community remains deeply concerned by the creation of the so-called “Foundation for a Smoke-Free World”, funded exclusively by the multinational tobacco company, Philip Morris International (PMI).

In its 14 Oct. issue, The Lancet published four pieces on the Foundation, including one by its head, Derek Yach.“The articles in the most recent issue of The Lancet have, if anything, raised our level of alarm,” said Francis Thompson, Executive Director of the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control (FCA). The FCA is a global alliance of nearly 500 member organisations in more than 100 countries.

FCA notes that there is a long and tragic history of tobacco companies funding questionable research to delay effective measures to reduce deaths from smoking. Aware of their lack of credibility on health, Philip Morris and other tobacco companies also have a lengthy track record of paying third parties to advance their arguments and providing funds for what they describe as independent research efforts.

Plain packs proliferating

Global map of tobacco plain packaging, 2017

Plain packaging has been adopted in 8 countries and is under consideration in at least 15 other jurisdictions, a major increase from less than one year ago.

On 1 July, Norway joined Australia, France and the UK as countries that have implemented plain packs. Hungary, Ireland, New Zealand and Slovenia have all set dates for the measure, starting with Ireland on 30 Sep 2017.

TobaccoUnmasked at Sri Lanka observatory

CCT Director Mahesh RajasuriyaThe information portal for the newest tobacco control observatory, designed to inquire into and document tobacco industry interference in public health policy-making, opened in July in Sri Lanka. TobaccoUnmasked (tobaccounmasked.lk) is part of the Centre for Combating Tobacco (CCT), which opened in 2016 at the University of Colombo, in Sri Lanka. We spoke to the CCT’s Director, Dr Mahesh Rajasuriya.

ECOSOC resolution challenges tobacco lobby

At first glance, tobacco control is one of the most successful fields in public health policy. Since 2003 there has been a unique international treaty, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which has been embraced by almost every UN member state, and the dangers of smoking are undisputed.