Colombia: Victory against asbestos

28 June 2019 17:17

Congressmen in discussion about asbestos prohibition in Colombia. Source: Radio Caracol

The recent news that asbestos will now be prohibited in Colombia is a victory for workers and their families in Colombia and globally. After a long struggle that began in 2007, and multiple discussions in the legislature, the government finally approved and signed an agreement that will prohibit asbestos and its derivatives in all industries in Colombia.

The agreement of 16 June calls for a ban that will become effective on 1 January 2021. Prohibition will include the entire chain of production from mining, processing to export. Colombia is now looking at a replacement for asbestos during the next five years, in order to prevent injuries.

"The BWI has been active in campaigning for a worldwide ban of asbestos as it is known carcinogenic material which is harmful to workers. Colombia’s decision to ban asbestos is a victory for workers in Colombia and globally. We congratulate the Colombian trade union movement in having achieved success in their long-term campaign efforts for the ban", said Ambet Yuson, BWI General Secretary.