Representatives of the ITUC-AP Conference on Asbestos met members of Committee IX (Demography, Health, Manpower and Transmigration Affairs) of the House of Representatives of Indonesia on Wednesday, 7 March 2018, including Mr. Dede Yusuf M.E., ST, M.Si and Ms. Dra. Hj. Ermalena, Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee accordingly.
Shoya Yoshida, ITUC-AP General Secretary
Wawan Erfianto, KSPI Vice President
Edward P. Marpaung, KSBSI General Secretary
Michael Borowick JP, ACTU Assistant Secretary
Michiko Miyamoto, Director of ILO-Country Office for Indonesia
Francisco Santos-O'Connor, ILO Senior Specialist
Kate Lee, APHEDA Executive Director
Having been advised how asbestos is still widely used in Indonesia, the Chair of the Commission told that most Indonesians, including himself, do not recognise that asbestos, no matter if it is chrysotile, crocidolite or any other form, is used for insulation in buildings and as an ingredient in a number of products and that people are exposed to asbestos not only in workplaces but also in homes. He was concerned that it causes cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovaries and mesothelioma.
The Vice Chair informed that she was once involved in an anti-asbestos campaign, but such campaign is not declining in recent years. She expressed the need to increase public awareness about asbestos and to this end law makers should be equipped with precise scientific data information and data. She also expected to learn from other countries about successful cases of attaining supports of trade unions, industry and people in general.
While the ILO Country Director offered further cooperation and suggested to request the WHO for its expertise, the ACTU and the APHEDA told that they would provide cases in Australia and other countries.
The Chair explained that it would be necessary to involve Commission VI (Trade, Industrial, Investment, Cooperatives and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, and State-Owned Enterprises Affairs) as well Commission VII (Energy, Mineral Resources, Research and Technology, Environmental Affairs) so that anti-asbestos to mobilise relevant ministries and asked the representatives for further cooperation through the KSPI and the KSBSI.
The ITUC-AP General Secretary concluded with appreciation: “The elimination of the use of asbestos is the most effective means to protect people from asbestos exposure and to prevent asbestos-related diseases and deaths. We need to further strengthen our efforts and cooperation with all relevant stake holders at national, regional and global levels toward an Asbestos-Free World”.