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Stand with Rajendra - demand action on chrysotile asbestos now

In partnership with Union Aid Abroad APHEDA, the global justice organisation of the Australian union movement.

Rajendra Pevekar is a victim of the deadly global asbestos industry. His father worked in an asbestos company. As a result, both he and his mother now suffer from asbestos-related disease from secondary exposure. Rajendra will speak out on behalf of the 107,000 people who die annually from asbestos-related disease. In May, the meeting of the Rotterdam Convention will take place in Geneva and Rajendra will face representatives from countries who are blocking asbestos from being added to the list of hazardous chemicals.

For the last ten years chrysotile asbestos has been recommended for listing onto the Rotterdam Convention which adds restrictions to its trade. But it's been blocked by a few countries who gain directly from its export. This must stop. To overcome this problem, a group of 12 African countries have proposed an amendment to the voting system. The amendment calls for a 75% majority method of voting where consensus is not possible. This will enable dangerous chemicals to be listed that are now being vetoed. The amendment will make the voting process consistent with other conventions like the Basel and Stockholm Conventions.

Trade unions and ban asbestos networks globally stand with Rajendra. We call on all delegates to take two actions in Geneva. Firstly, delegates must support the amendment to the voting system. Secondly, delegates must support the listing of chrysotile (white) asbestos – an important step to restrict its trade.

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