The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (2003) is the world’s first and so far the only public health treaty in the WHO’s 60-plus-year history. It is considered by the international community as a “best buy” in the struggle against the rapid rise of noncommunicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries, and is currently in force in almost all of them. The treaty is galvanizing governments and civil society organizations to face the disease and death driven by a powerful multinational industry. This lecture was co-hosted by the USC School of International Relations.
Director of the International Legal Consortium
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Patricia Lambert is a South African human rights lawyer and social justice advocate currently working as the Director of the International Legal Consortium (ILC) at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, DC – part of the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. In the past four years, the ILC has assisted almost 50 countries to draft or revise their tobacco control legislation and is assisting several countries to defend their tobacco control measures in courts of law.
For ten years, during the Mandela and Mbeki administrations, Patricia worked as a legal adviser to the South African government on a range of human rights, trade, environmental and health issues. While with the Ministry of Justice, she co-drafted South Africa’s Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, lodged with the UN in December 1998; advised on the post-Apartheid revision of laws pertaining to sexual offenses against women and children; and participated in the judicial transformation process. During her time with the Ministry of Health, Patricia assisted the government in its historic legal battle with the multinational pharmaceutical industry over the country’s groundbreaking laws aimed at providing affordable medicines and also represented her government in the revision of the WHO’s International Health Regulations. She was also the Chief Negotiator for the government during the negotiations for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first public health treaty, and served as Africa’s representative on the Bureau that managed the treaty-making process.
Patricia currently serves on the Boards of the Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control (FCA); Action on Smoking or Health (ASH-US); the International Network of Women Against Tobacco (INWAT) and the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA).