Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CEDAW Committee's Observations to Argentina Include Recommendation on Tobacco

In July 2010, the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK), ALIAR, and other Argentinean civil society organizations prepared a shadow report before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW Committee) in response to the sixth periodic report submitted by the Argentinean government.  The report, “Challenges in the Prevention and Reduction of Women’s Tobacco Use in Argentina,” outlined recommendations on how Argentina can improve its tobacco control policies.  Click here for the report.

After its official review, the CEDAW Committee released its concluding observations, which included the shadow report’s recommendations on public smoking bans and restrictions on tobacco advertising. This recommendation by the CEDAW Committee highlights the negative health impacts of tobacco use in women and links tobacco control, gender, and human rights. This is a meaningful step forward in Argentina’s tobacco control movement, and overall in connecting tobacco control with human rights.  The CEDAW Committee notes:

39. The Committee is concerned about the widespread use of tobacco among women in Argentina and the serious health impact of tobacco on women. The Committee is particularly concerned that women are often targets in tobacco advertising campaigns, which encourage and increase the usage of tobacco among women, resulting in tobacco related diseases and deaths.

40. The Committee urges the State party to ratify and implement the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and put in place legislation aimed at banning smoking in public spaces and restricting tobacco advertising.

This marks one of the first times the CEDAW Committee has made a specific recommendation on implementing concrete tobacco control measures. Additionally, the CEDAW Committee’s recommendation that Argentina ratify and implement the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is also relevant in the efforts to connect tobacco control with human rights.  For more information, the full CEDAW Committee report can be found by clicking here.

Hat tip to the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

(mew)

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