Why are farmers being denied voice at CoP7 meet on tobacco control?
The WHO is holding the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of Parties (COP7) Meeting in India from 7-12 November, 2016. The decisions on tobacco control at this Conference, as in previous such Meetings, will affect the livelihood of millions of tobacco farmers and farm labour connected with tobacco cultivation in the country.
Commenting on the absence of Indian tobacco farmers from WHO’s CoP7 session Shri B.V. Javare Gowda, President, Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) said, “As representatives of the tobacco farmers in India and in view of the fact that the COP7 is being hosted by India, we wish to make an urgent appeal that farmers should be allowed to participate in the deliberations of the Conference.
Our participation will help us understand the future course of actions being proposed by the WHO on tobacco control and the impact of these measures on the tobacco crop cultivated by us and the livelihood of millions that are dependent on tobacco in the country.” Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA) General Secretary Murali Babu, said, “In this connection, we have written to the Government that FAIFA as representatives of Tobacco Farmers be included in the official Indian Delegation to COP7.
"Allowing tobacco farmers, access to the COP 7 to take part in the deliberations will underline the principle of transparency which is required in any public policy-making process and underscore the inclusiveness and fairness of the global health body.”