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Unions Unite for Worldwide Asbestos Ban Campaign

On the 12th May, Trade Union campaigners, IndustriALL, united with union affiliates in Australia and the UK to campaign as the UN vote on listing chrysotile asbestos as a dangerous substance.

Government representatives from more than 160 countries participated in the conference. The United Nations conference ran from the 11th to the 14th of May in Geneva, Switzerland. The Rotterdam Convention lists other asbestos types as dangerous substance, but not chrysotile.

The campaign involved “powerful” advertising on public transport throughout Geneva since two weeks prior to the convention, reminding the public and conference visitors of the dangers and harm inflicted by the commercial use of asbestos.

IndustriALL Global Union represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in mining, energy and manufacturing industries around the world. Among their extensive trade union work is their campaign for safer workplaces. From the UK, union campaigners, Unite, will join the cause in raising awareness of the dangers of chrysotile asbestos. Australian union, AMWU’s national president Andrew Dettmer, said:

“It is a moral failure of significant magnitude that chrysotile asbestos is not listed under the Rotterdam Convention.”

Exposure to asbestos in the workplace is an epidemic that continues to plague people all over the world. Statistics from the World Health Organization reveal that over 100,000 people worldwide die from asbestos-related diseases every year. Asbestos is a banned substance in 50 nations, but elsewhere the commercial use of asbestos has increased.

The UN Convention requires all nations to unite in the decision to ban chrysotile asbestos for it to be classed as a dangerous substance, yet four nations are opposed. Russia, Brazil, India and Kazakhstan are major exporters of asbestos and pro-chrysotile campaign lobbyists, funded by Russia, are opposing the ban, deeming it safe despite scientific evidence.

You can read more on asbestos awareness, and Global Asbestos Awareness Week 2015 here.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers can provide immediate legal representation and sympathetic support for people exposed to Asbestos anywhere in the UK.

If you or a family has suffered from an Asbestos-related cancer or disease call the expert Personal Injury Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 844 0275 or contact us online.

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