Resolution concerning asbestos, 2006

ILO Resolution | 01 June 2006

(adopted by the 95th Session of the International Labour Conference, June 2006)

The General Conference of the International Labour Organization,

  • Considering that all forms of asbestos, including chrysotile, are classified as known human carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a classification restated by the International Programme on Chemical Safety (a joint Programme of the International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme),
  • Alarmed that an estimated 100,000 workers die every year from diseases caused by exposure to asbestos,
  • Deeply concerned that workers continue to face serious risks from asbestos exposure, particularly in asbestos removal, demolition, building maintenance, ship-breaking and waste handling activities,
  • Noting that it has taken three decades of efforts and the emergence of suitable alternatives for a comprehensive ban on the manufacturing and use of asbestos and asbestos-containing products to be adopted in a number of countries,
  • Further noting that the objective of the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention 2006 is to prevent occupational injuries, diseases and deaths,

1. Resolves that:

(a) the elimination of the future use of asbestos and the identification and proper management of asbestos currently in place are the most effective means to protect workers from asbestos exposure and to prevent future asbestos-related diseases and deaths; and

(b) the Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162), should not be used to provide a justification for, or endorsement of, the continued use of asbestos.

2. Requests the Governing Body to direct the International Labour Office to:

(a) continue to encourage member States to ratify and give effect to the provisions of the Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162), and the Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 (No. 139);

(b) promote the elimination of future use of all forms of asbestos and asbestos containing materials in all member States;

(c) promote the identification and proper management of all forms of asbestos currently in place;

(d) encourage and assist member States to include measures in their national programmes on occupational safety and health to protect workers from exposure to asbestos; and

(e) transmit this resolution to all member States.