Justice for Asbestos Victims
On the opening day of the Rotterdam Convention COP, Indonesian and other Ban Asbestos campaigners, Rotterdam Convention Alliance representatives, and supporters held a vigil and media conference at the entrance to the meeting venue in order to remind delegates about their responsibility to include chrysotile asbestos in the Convention. Subono, a victim of asbestos, later gave the following intervention in the plenary:
"My name is Subono. I worked for 14 years at SICP, a manufacturer of chrysotile raw materials imported from Russia, Brazil and Kazakhstan. I am suffering from asbestos related disease from exposure to chrysotile asbestos. I am here representing other friends who are victims of asbestos in Indonesia and in the world.
We are angry with the countries blocking the listing at this Convention. There are over 200,000 deaths from chrysotile exposure every year. Millions dead over the last 20 years. Almost half of all global occupational diseases are caused by chrysotile asbestos but still no action here on this substance. COP9 marks the 7th COP over 12 years that chrysotile asbestos has been recommended but blocked.
We condemn this veto.
We know the lie of safe use. I worked in inhuman, dusty working conditions without real Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This made me and my friends often experience pain, coughing, shortness of breath, fatigue. Examinations that companies did were company secrets and not accessible
We demand, at this meeting, chrysotile can be included in the list of Appendix III or that the Convention is reformed to ensure this. Our hope is that all delegates here support it.
How can the financial interests of just a few Parties block the desires of the many to protect workers like me, from toxic exposures?"
IPEN Views of Rotterdam COP9 (español / 中文 / English / русский)
In the run-up to the Rotterdam Convention's 9th Conference of the Parties (COP9), IPEN completed a "Views" document that addresses some issues that will be discussed at the COP9. These include enhancing effectiveness; compliance; amendments to Articles 16 & 22; listing HBCD, carbosulfan and chrysotile asbestos; and more.
The Views document can be read here.