You are here: Home > Focus Areas

Focus Areas

Diagram showing focus areas - read in detail below

Globally, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – mainly cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes – are the leading cause of death, a major cause of poverty, and a barrier to economic and social development.

Four out of five people with an NCD live in low- and middle-income countries. The rapid rise in NCDs hinders poverty reduction efforts in low- and middle-income countries, in particular, by diminishing resources within families, reducing workforce productivity, and placing tremendous demands on health systems.

Law intersects with cancer and NCD prevention and control at every stage. We work to prevent NCDs through implementing legal interventions to reduce exposure to risk factors, and control NCDs through improving laws to advance equitable healthcare for all people.

We achieve this through:




Tobacco control with a focus on legal challenges to implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control under domestic law, international trade law, and international investment law


Availability, accessibility (including affordability), safety, quality and efficacy of cancer treatments and services, and supportive care services, including the relationships between domestic, regional and international legal frameworks and the costs and availability of products and services

Overweight & obesity prevention with a focus on the relationships between unhealthy diet regulatory measures relating to packaging, marketing, product content and fiscal policies, and obligations under international trade and investment law 


Support for patients and health practitioners making medical treatment decisions, with a focus on advance care planning and end-of-life decision-making 

Prevention of alcohol-related harm with a focus on the relationships between regulatory measures relating to availability, packaging, marketing, product content and fiscal policies, and obligations under international trade and investment law 


Regulation, qualification and education of health practitioners, including building the capacity of health practitioners to understand and apply laws and policies, and protecting people against unproven therapies

The role of evidence in the development and implementation of laws and policies, and in courts and tribunals where regulatory measures are challenged 


The collection and use of health information at individual and population levels to support cancer research and policy development and implementation

The development and implementation of policy coherence and effective multisectoral collaboration in the development, implementation and defence of laws and policies across health, trade, investment, sustainable development and human rights


Protection of the rights of people affected by cancer, including non-discrimination, access to insurance, working through or after cancer, and the particular needs of adolescents and young adults

Through both streams of our work, we contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals:

Good health and well-being

Gender equality

Peace, justice and string institutions

Partnerships for the goals