The 31st IMF World Congress recognises that whilst 32 countries worldwide have banned the use of asbestos, its use is expanding in many markets, particularly in developing countries. This Congress also recognises that the deadliest workplace hazard ever known continues to kill 100,000 people every year.
The IMF must intensify the fight against this global killer and launch a high profile international campaign which:
· in addition to the call for a global ban on asbestos contained in the IMF action plan, puts pressure on the 150 member states of the ILO that have not even ratified the 1986 ILO Convention setting out minimum standards to do so;
· opposes the actions of asbestos producing nations in exporting increasing quantities of the killer product to newly industrialising nations in Asia, the Far East and Africa;
· condemns the cynical and dishonest worldwide propaganda campaigns mounted by asbestos producers to promote asbestos as a “safe” product; · confirms treatment and compensation for workers suffering from asbestos-related diseases should be bourne by employers.
· highlights and condemns the actions of insurance companies that pursue court actions which seek to limit or avoid their liability to pay compensation to workers who have contracted asbestos-related diseases;
· pressurises governments to adopt compensation schemes for workers harmed by asbestos that shift the burden of proof away from the worker, and ensure that guaranteed compensation is paid swiftly to victims of employers’ neglect;
· calls for increased governmental and international co-operation and co-ordination to raise funds for the development of improved research, diagnosis, care and treatment of workers suffering from asbestos-related diseases;
· develops a programme of education and awareness raising about the risks of exposure to asbestos, particularly amongst workers in developing countries who work with no protection;
· calls upon all governments worldwide to introduce effective legislation that implements preventive and protective measures for all workers liable to be exposed to asbestos during the course of their work;
· requires national governments to implement transition programmes for workers displaced by the banning of asbestos.