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The ILO will break its ties with the tobacco industry in 2018

The Governing Body of the International Labor Organization (ILO) decided today to break its ties with the tobacco industry, from which it received funding through two programs to fight against child labor in the cultivation of tobacco and that will expire in 2018, informed the organism today.

Geneva, November 9 (EFE) .- The Board of Directors of the International Labor Organization (ILO) decided today to break its ties with the tobacco industry, from which it received Funding through two programs to combat child labor in tobacco cultivation that will expire in 2018, the agency reported today.

The executive body of the ILO "decides that (...) it will not accept more financing from the tobacco industry and that existing public-private partnerships with the tobacco industry will not be renewed beyond of its expiration, "said the organization in the document adopted today in its 331th Administrative Council.

The cooperation between the ILO and the tobacco industry refers to two programs with a financing of 15 million dollars from the sector, according to sources of the organization.

In particular, the ILO currently maintains agreements with Japan Tobacco International (JTI) and with Eliminating Child Labor in Tobacco-growing Foundation (ECLT-financed by tobacco companies) that expire in June and December 2018, respectively.

decision taken today, after several postponements of a complicated debate due to the difficulty of finding a consensus, the ILO Council - in which governments participate equally, companies and trade unions- asks the CEO, Guy Ryder, to look for the money that will be missing elsewhere.

In the document, the executive body of the ILO recognizes that in the sector of There are "significant deficits in decent work, particularly with respect to youth work," and he points out that despite today's decision, it is an issue that the organization "must addressed by an integrated strategy. "

In this regard, he urges Ryder to develop an integrated strategy for the tobacco sector, to mobilize the corresponding funds out of of the sector and to report on progress in this regard at the 332th session of the Council in March 2018.

The decision of the ILO Governing Body comes as a result of a Resolution of the UN Economic and Social Council of June 2017 on the "Policy Model for Agencies of the United Nations System for the Purpose of Preventing interference from the tobacco industry. "

The ILO has maintained that its collaboration with the tobacco sector in the fight against child labor has yielded clear achievements, although today it has recognized the important persistent deficits.

Several NGOs and tobacco control entities claimed that these agreements had done very little to end child labor and that The real problem lies in the fact that companies pay very little to producers and peasants, who, with a living wage, would not have to send their children to work.

In the debate in Regarding the decision whether or not to break ties with industry, the ILO said that, if it ran out of private financing, it did not know whether it would obtain it from the States, since it has requested it and It has not received positive responses.

The NGOs denounced, however, that the agreements undermined the obligations of the ILO as a UN entity, given that the Framework Convention for the Control Tobacco makes clear that the interests of the industry are contrary to the principles of public health.

In parallel, the ILO is part of the UN Interagency Working Group for Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases (UNIAFT), which states that members "should reject collaborations, joint programs and any other agreement with the tobacco industry ".

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