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Asbestos Ban Campaign Update

Jan 29, 2021

December 2020 was a busy month for the Asbestos Ban Campaign in Vietnam. On 11 December, a training course was held with medical experts with the aim of building the capacity for doctors to diagnose asbestos-related diseases. The following week, another workshop was held to advocate for the labelling of asbestos containing products. Both of these activities were supported by Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA as part of the Asbestos. Not here. Not anywhere. Campaign in collaboration with partners working on the ground in Vietnam. This project receives support from Australian trade unions and the Australian Government through both the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA).
Training Course: Eliminating Asbestos Diseases push continued in 2020 as COVID restrictions were lifted

In order to build capacity for medical doctors to diagnose asbestos-related diseases (especially mesothelioma), the Vietnam Health Environment Management Agency (HEMA) – Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, held a training course in Hanoi on December 11 2020, with medical experts from 19 hospitals covering 10 provinces attending. Madam Luong Mai Anh, Associate Professor – Vice Director of HEMA confirmed the support to prevent Vietnamese people from harmful exposure to asbestos. She went on to reiterate and show support to push the policy to ban the use of chrysotile asbestos in Vietnam.

 

Workshop to Advocate for the Labelling of Asbestos-Containing Products

In an effort to advocate for the labelling of asbestos-containing products, the Institute of Resource, Environment and Community Development (IRECO) in collaboration with the Vietnam Consumers Protection Association (VICOPRO) and Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA held a workshop on 15 December in Hanoi. Fifty participants attended the workshop including from different ministries such as the Ministry of Industrial & Trade (MOIT), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Construction (MOC), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the National Assembly’s Social Affairs Committee, as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and press agencies.

An open letter was developed to advocate for the ban and a draft labelling policy was shared at the workshop to get feedback and comment from experts and participants in attendance. The letter will be submitted to the country’s leaders.

The workshop attracted strong media coverage with 8 newspapers and 2 TV channels broadcasting news about the workshop. Labelling of asbestos containing materials, the rights of consumers to know what they are buying and an asbestos ban, is strongly opposed by the pro-asbestos industry groups in Vietnam.

Participants attending the workshop to advocate for the labelling of asbestos-containing products.

Join the Campaign to Ban Asbestos

We are building a movement of people in Australia to join with unionists and campaigners across South East Asia to support their struggle to ban asbestos and eliminate asbestos-related diseases. We want to secure an asbestos-free future because as long as asbestos is being used anywhere, it remains a risk everywhere.

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