This year, the McCabe Centre for Law & Cancer celebrates ten years
– a significant milestone and an opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve made so far.
On 6 July, in conjunction with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), one of the McCabe Centre’s founding partners, we hosted a ten-year anniversary Virtual Dialogue to showcase examples of how law can be a tool to progress action on cancer prevention and control.
The panel included McCabe Centre alumni Dr Amit Yadav from The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and Vicki Wari from the National Department of Health in Papua New Guinea, joined by Dr William Onzivu of the WHO Regional Office for Africa and Evita Ricafort, the McCabe Centre’s Regional Manager for Asia.
From tobacco plain packaging laws in India to countering food and alcohol industry interference in African countries, more than 70 participants at the Virtual Dialogue heard how the McCabe Centre has worked to promote the effective use of law to prevent and control cancer and NCDs, including through its training programs and supporting its alumni across the world, and priority areas for the future.
Evita Ricafort highlighted examples of significant developments including landmark legislation addressing alcohol control in Vietnam and progress in tobacco control in Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other countries in the Asia Pacific region.
“Very recently in the Philippines we [the Philippine FDA and Department of Health] won our first ever legal victory in the courts, in any tobacco litigation here, and that is saying a lot because there are dozens of cases that have been filed against the government by the tobacco industry…it took ten years to do that but it happened with the help of civil society helping the government, and getting public health champions to intervene in the case,” Evita said.
Panellists also shared that successful experiences with tobacco control laws are being used to tackle other risk factors for cancer. Vicki Wari commented that her tobacco control work is informing further action on alcohol control laws and food policy in Papua New Guinea, and how evidence can effectively support this. “I am looking at how best to conduct research surveys to argue our case and get our laws up to address noncommunicable diseases and cancer”, she said.
Participants were encouraged to reach out for further support on progressing cancer laws, using regional and international links to support ongoing knowledge sharing, drawing on WHO country offices, as well as the resources and networking opportunities that the McCabe Centre and UICC provide.
You can watch the recording of the Virtual Dialogue here, and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on our future events, workshops and courses.