IMPORTANT NEWS: The Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network convened just before the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore in March 2012! Please click here to access pre-meeting presentations and video presentations of Network members at WCTOH.
Welcome to the HUMAN RIGHTS AND TOBACCO CONTROL NETWORK website. This organization is one formed by colleagues from around the world who believe that tobacco control is a human right and can be advanced by using a human rights based approach. In 2010, an estimated 5 million people will die from their tobacco use. It is estimated by 2030 that 10 million more people will die each year from a tobacco related disease and 80% of these will be in developing economies – those least able to manage this epidemic. One in two people who smoke will die from a tobacco related disease and 50% of these deaths will be in middle age. The human stories behind these statistics are so often heartbreaking. Not only illness and death but the impact on families due to loss of primary breadwinners, the toxic exposures and denial of educational opportunities for children in low-income countries who work in tobacco farming, environmental degradation through deforestation and runoff of pesticides into rivers and streams, and the contribution of tobacco purchases to increased poverty and malnutrition. The World Health Organization projects increasing numbers of smokers over the next 20 years, with women in low- and middle-income countries being a particular target of tobacco marketing. In public health we think in terms of disease vectors; here the disease vector is the tobacco industry. Tobacco-related deaths and economic losses are entirely preventable.
HRTCN works to advance a human rights based approach to tobacco control – utilizing the legal remedies and reporting requirements of current treaties and conventions, including the recent Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. HRTCN will educate on and utilize measures that are currently accessible and will encourage adoption of new measures in order to decrease the morbidity and mortality of the people with the least agency to claim their rights.