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FCTC COP10: Article 19 (Liability) Decision

The tenth Conference of the Parties (COP 10) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) adopted a series of key Decisions including FCTC/COP10(13) Implementation of Article 19 of the WHO FCTC: Liability.

Read the COP10 Decision on Article 19 (Liability)

ASH is a proud supporter of this Decision adopted by the COP, the governing body of the Framework Tobacco Control, composed of 184 Parties (183 countries and the European Union).

The Decision recalls numerous other FCTC COP Decisions around Liability and acknowledges that issues relating to liability, as determined by each Party within its jurisdiction, are an important part of comprehensive tobacco control.

Key Elements of the COP10 Article 19/Liability Decision:

The Decision calls on three different groups:

Urges Parties:

(a) to hold businesses liable

(b) to require accountability and transparency;

(c) to consider strengthening liability regimes,

(d) to establish and apply, effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions

(e) to exchange information on liability of the tobacco industry,

(f) to ensure policy coherence- international and regional organizations, as well as among non-State actors, particularly those working on Sustainable Development Goals and noncommunicable diseases, and on the environmental agenda;

(g) to call upon international and regional organizations in which Parties are represented to ensure that the work supports tobacco control and does not undermine it;

(h) to closely monitor transactions, that could interfere with and undermine public health policy;

Re-establishes an Expert Group on Liability

(i) to review and collect information to strengthen their criminal and civil liability regimes

(ii) to provide options for Parties to detect and counter tobacco industry efforts to evade applicable liability regimes or to undermine tobacco control, including through corporate reorganization or investments;

(iii) to to support Parties in collecting evidence to be used in tobacco-related litigation;

(iv) to report on its work at the Eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties;

Requests the Convention Secretariat:

(a) to set out the terms of reference of the expert group in accordance with the above mandate and to facilitate the establishment of the expert group, to be composed of:

(i) up to 12 members, with appropriate technical experience and ensuring regional balance; and

(ii) up to two observers with relevant expertise that represent civil society organizations that are accredited observers to the COP;

(b) to make the necessary arrangements, including budgetary arrangements, for the expert group to complete its work

5. FURTHER REQUESTS the Convention Secretariat:

(a) to continue to raise awareness about Article 19 of the WHO FCTC and the tools available for Parties to strengthen its implementation;

(b) to participate in global fora to promote policy coherence between tobacco industry liability and the development of international law in relation to the environment, human rights and regulation of business conduct;

(c) to include an item on liability in the provisional agenda for each regular session of the Conference of Parties

Next Steps

  • Civil society can support and engage in the Expert Group
  • Civil society can also spread awareness around Article 19 and the Expert Group.

ASH is a longtime leader in advocating for and participating in legal action against the tobacco industry and the positive contribution of the WHO FCTC to advancing tobacco control goals.


Contact the ASH Team with any additional questions at info@ash.org.