Human rights panel asks govt to ratify tobacco control convention

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The National Commission on Human Rights continues to encourage the government to immediately ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to protect the right to public health.

“The human rights commission believes that the FCTC is a way for cigarette control, and hence the goverment should adopt the framework as soon as possible,” said the Coordinator for Research and Studies of the National Commission on Human Rights, Elfansuri Chairah, here on Wednesday.

The statement was delivered at a Public Discussion of the National Civil Society Coalition for Tobacco Control with the theme “Charging Nawa Citas Commitment to Fulfilling Right to Health”. Nawa Cita or the nine goals are the government?s priority programmes.

Currently, the government had no strong rules to protect people from cigarettes and tobacco smoke exposure.

Elfansuri said the commission along with other organisations had submitted an academic draft of the FCTCs ratification to the House of Representatives.

The commission had also written to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Trade to explain the importance of Indonesia ratifying the FCTC. “But there has been no reply from the ministries,” said Elfansuri.

Currently, 183 countries have ratified the FCTC, which aims to limit the spread of tobacco products such as cigarettes that have been proven to cause deadly diseases, create addictions, and bring about poverty.

Indonesia is the third largest consumer of tobacco and reports 300,000 deaths related to smoking. Besides, the number of smokers under the age of 10 continues to increase.

“This is, of course, contrary to human rights and the right to life,” said Elfasuri, adding that restrictions on certain rights could be imposed by the government if they damaged public health, disturbed public order, and threatened national security.

Source: ANTARA News