May 22 2009

Asian Ban Asbestos Network (A-BAN)

1. Introduction This paper was discussed and agreed at the Asian Asbestos Conference (AAC2009) in Hong Kong from April 25-28, 2009 and then the Asian Ban Asbestos Network (A-BAN) was launched.

2. Organization A-BAN is a network of organizations and individuals from countries and regions in Asia and Pacific which agree to work together on activities towards achieving common objectives. As membership will be free, fundraising activities will be required to stimulate donations from international agencies, charities or national sources.

3. A-BAN Personnel

As the ethos of the organization will be collaborative, the personnel steering this new body will be chosen from several Asian countries. A-BAN has co-chairperson, a coordinator and vice-coordinators.

  • Co-chairs
    • Prof. Domyung Paek, Seoul University, Korea and Ban Asbestos Network Korea (BANKO)
    • Prof. Takehiko Muramaya, Waseda University, Japan
    • Mr. Apo Leong, Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), Hong Kong
    • Mr. Jagdish Patel, Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), India and Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV)
    • Mr. Apolinar Tolentino, Building and Wood Workers’ International Asia Pacific, Malaysia
  • Coordinator
    • Mr. Sugio Furuya, Ban Asbestos Network Japan (BANJAN), Japan and ANROAV
  • Vice Coordinators
    • Mr. Yeyong Choi, BANKO, Korea
    • Mr. Sanjiv Pandita, AMRC, Hong Kong and ANROAV
    • Ms. Madhumitta Dutta, Corporate Accountability Desk – The Other Media, India
  • Advisors
    • Mrs. Laurie Kazan-Allen,, International Ban Asbestos Secretariat (IBAS), UK
    • Dr. Barry Castleman, Environmental Consultant, USA
    • Ms. Fiona Murie, BWI, Switzerland
  • Contact Address

4. Objectives

The clue to A-BAN’s overall purpose is in the name; specific objectives include:

  • facilitate a total asbestos ban in Asia as soon as possible;
  • take steps to reveal the hidden epidemic of asbestos-related diseases in Asia;
  • reveal the widespread asbestos contamination of Asian infrastructures;
  • stop the international transfer of the asbestos industry;
  • obtain justice for all asbestos victims, family members and affected communities;
  • achieve an asbestos-free society in Asia and globally.



In collaboration with elected officials, A-BAN members will engage in the following activities:

  • share information and national experiences on asbestos-related topics;
  • coordinate regional and multinational campaigns and research;
  • forge ongoing relationships with stakeholders in order to develop joint initiatives;
  • generate and support grassroots initiatives on asbestos;
  • reach out to international partners in the labor movement, medical profession, academic community etc.


6. Strategy

6.1 Sharing information and experiences

  • set up an A-BAN email distribution list and website;
  • having researched available asbestos information, develop written and other material to fill the information gaps;
  • periodic/occasional (skype) meetings to discuss strategies and developments;
  • hold meetings (virtual and real)/ conference

6.2 Coordinate regional and multinational campaigns and research


  • against major polluters such as Nichias;
  • against misinformation spread by industry;
  • against transfer of hazardous waste (including ships).


  • mapping current/past asbestos polluting operations such as mines and factories;
  • multinational, interdisciplinary research such as the project undertaken in August 2008 by a team from Korea, Japan and Indonesia at the asbestos textile plant in Indonesia.

6.3 Joint Initiatives:

  • facilitate projects between asbestos victims groups, trade unions, environmental and occupational safety and health campaigners, medical professionals;
  • define a feasible structure with a relation to Asian Network for the Rights Of Occupational Accident Victims (ANROAV), Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) regional networks, etc.

6.4 Generate and support grassroots initiatives on asbestos/ international collaboration

  • having identified available human and financial resources, establish outreach programs which could include running workshops and training, awareness programs, diagnosis and identification of victims, legal support to the victims for sical justicein Indonesia, China, India and other countries..
  • building on established international links, define a role and lobbying position for A-BAN with international agencies such as the WHO, the ILO, etc.