The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

Industry Interference

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.

Ending Tobacco Industry-ILO Cooperation Once and for All

Mafoya Dossoumon, Communications Manager at Framework Convention Alliance

The International Labour Organization (ILO) partnership with the tobacco industry-funded Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation (ECLT) and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) is a relic of a bygone era, when the tobacco industry was seen as a normal business.

The partnership stands in contrast with Article 5.3 of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global treaty with 181 Parties. The United Nations Interagency Taskforce (UNIATF) on Non-Communicable diseases, of which ILO is a member, recommends that United Nations (UN) agencies limit interactions and avoid any real or perceived partnership with the tobacco industry. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) adopted Resolution E/RES/2017/8, which calls on members of the Taskforce to develop and implement policies on preventing tobacco industry interference, bearing in mind the Model Policy for agencies of the UN, drafted by UNIATF.

Last week in Geneva, the ILO, one of the last UN agencies to cooperate with the tobacco industry, reconsidered its unnatural relationship with the industry. Framework Convention Alliance (FCA) strongly recommends an end to the Public-Private Partnership (PPPs) with ECLT and JTI.

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.