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ILO continues to avail of tobacco funding


By Samuel Medenilla 

Despite increasing public pressure to the International Labor Organization (ILO) to cut its ties with tobacco companies, the labor arm of the United Nations (UN) will still continue to use funding from the firms for now.

The International Labor Organization had justified its ties to tobacco companies as a way of helping improve the working conditions of the some 60 million people involved in tobacco leaf growing and production worldwide, notably in Africa and Asia. (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)


The World Health Organization (WHO) said the ILO decided during its governing board meeting earlier this month to defer again its decision on accepting money from tobacco companies.

“ILO’s Governing Body has decided…to postpone once again its decision to its next Governing Body meeting in March next year,” WHO said in its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) website.

In a report from the Agence France-Presse, ILO has committed not get any new funding from the tobacco industry.

ILO was supposed to have already decided on the matter last March.

ILO is currently the only remaining UN body with links to tobacco companies in the form of funding aid, which it uses to help tobacco farmers and child laborer.

WHO has been pressuring ILO to comply with the Article 5.3 of its FCTC, which urges organizations not “to endorse, support, form partnerships with or participate in activities of the tobacco industry.”

“The Convention Secretariat will continue to strive for all UN agencies to sever ties with an industry that is killing more than 7 million people each year,” WHO FCTC said.

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