GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.'s labor agency said Thursday that it will stop taking funding from the tobacco industry and will not extend its public-private partnerships with a business faulted for harmful health effects.
Anti-tobacco groups say the International Labor Organization, which brings together business, labor groups and governments, has been the last U.N. agency to retain ties to the tobacco business.
The Geneva-based body has struggled to calibrate its mandate to help ensure proper working conditions, particularly in an industry linked to child labor, amid a broader U.N. fight against the health risks of tobacco use.
The ILO has received over $15 million through partnerships that aim to fight child labor in the industry. They include deals with Japan Tobacco International as well as with a nonprofit group that is linked to some of the world's biggest tobacco companies.
In its decision, the body "decides that no new funding shall be accepted by the ILO from the tobacco industry, and that existing Public Private Partnerships with the tobacco industry will not be prolonged beyond their expiry dates."