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Tobacco and Human Rights Basics

This section is designed to be the starting point for advocates new to the nexus between tobacco control and human rights. These resources are intended to give a short overview. If you are interested in learning more, you can find in depth resources on our Learning Resources page.

Tobacco is a Human Rights Violation

Watch a video produced by ASH with our colleagues that explains briefly why tobacco is a human rights violation and what advocates can do!

Linking Tobacco and Human Rights

ASH Human Rights Resource Guide

ASH put together this resource as a guide for advocates that would like to get involved in human rights reporting at the national level. It provides an overview of how to report to human rights treaty bodies and the Universal Periodic Review

ASH's Tobacco and Human Rights Primer

2018- This document is intended as broad overview of tobacco and human rights, but contains many relevant references and information. This is a great starting point for advocates new to this area.

  • Cape Town Declaration on Human Rights and a Tobacco-Free World

    2018- In May 2018, 163 organizations from all World Health Organization regions announced their support for the Cape Town Declaration on Human Rights and Tobacco-Free World. The Cape Town Declaration, drafted by ASH and our allies, clearly links tobacco and human rights and issues several calls to action to achieve a tobacco-free world. Variations on this document were subsequently adopted by conferences in Cape Town, Madrid and Bali.

    Read the Cape Town Declaration here.

    En Español, En Français

  • Statement from the Danish Institute for Human Rights

    2017- After conducting a “Human Rights audit” of Philip Morris International, the Danish Institute on Human Rights (DIHR) came to the conclusion that Tobacco is deeply harmful to human health, and there can be no doubt that the production and marketing of tobacco is irreconcilable with the human right to health.”  

    Read their full statement.

    Read ASH’s response.

Human Rights Concepts
  • The Ruggie Principles

    UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework and Guiding Principles

    UN Special Representative John Ruggie proposed a framework on business & human rights to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2008, resting on three pillars:

    1. the state duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business;
    2. the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and
    3. greater access by victims to effective remedy, both judicial and non-judicial.

Tobacco and Children’s Rights

  • Fact sheet- Children Have a Right to a Tobacco Free World

    A factsheet on tobacco and children’s rights produced by our friends at Unfairtobacco.

Tobacco and Women’s Rights

  • The Generation Equality Forum and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

    View an introduction to the 2021 Generation Equality Forum from ASH’s partner Dr. Soon-Young Yoon, Chair of the Board, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and UN representative for the International Alliance of Women. Click here for information on CEDAW and its connection to tobacco control.