LION campaigners outside the Indonesian Supreme Court. Photo credit: LION

The Indonesian campaign against asbestos has achieved a landmark victory in a recent Supreme Court case advocating for mandatory labelling of asbestos-containing materials, highlighting the risks of exposure.

Last December, our partner organisation – Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION), together with the Independent Community Consumer Protection Institute (LPKSM), and the Yasa Nata Budi Foundation – submitted a compelling petition to the Indonesian Supreme Court. Backed by extensive evidence from both local and global research, including invaluable support from experts in Australia via the pro bono efforts of Maurice Blackburn, the petition emphasized the critical need for warning labels on asbestos-containing products.

In a groundbreaking decision, the Indonesian Supreme Court ruled in favour of the petition. This landmark verdict mandates that all asbestos-containing products sold within the country must now prominently display warning labels in Bahasa, the official language of Indonesia.

Surya Ferdian, Director of LION, expressed profound gratitude

for this achievement and outlined plans for a comprehensive follow-up strategy. This includes an extensive public awareness campaign to educate communities about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the significance of this pivotal ruling.

Muchamad Darisman (INA-BAN), Jennifer Kanis and Jacob Varghese (Maurice Blackburn).

“By granting our request, the judges took a giant leap forward in safeguarding the lives of workers and members of the public and consumers. Authorities must take prompt action to implement the Court’s ruling: warning labels, in our local language, must be put on all asbestos-containing products without any delay; unlabelled products must be withdrawn from sale.” –  Muchamad Darisman, Coordinator of the Indonesian Ban Asbestos Network (INA-BAN) 

This victory marks a significant step forward in safeguarding workers’ health and promoting awareness of asbestos-related risks in Indonesia. We extend our congratulations to our partners LION and all activists involved.

Additionally, we express our thanks to Unions WA and Maurice Blackburn for backing the campaign and their dedication to ongoing pro-bono efforts in this cause.

Asbestos. Not here. Not anywhere.

The Union Aid Abroad- APHEDA campaign work in Indonesia with LION is supported by Australian trade unions, Australian Aid, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency and the International Ban Asbestos Network.

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