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The Role of Civil Society in Policy Advocacy PubuduSumanasekara Executive Director ADIC-Sri Lanka 11.11.2008-Malawi.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of Civil Society in Policy Advocacy PubuduSumanasekara Executive Director ADIC-Sri Lanka 11.11.2008-Malawi."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of Civil Society in Policy Advocacy PubuduSumanasekara Executive Director ADIC-Sri Lanka Malawi

2 Alcohol and Drug Information Centre 40/18,Park road Colombo 05 Sri Lanka

3 I ntroduction to Sri Lanka Population – million in 2000 Ethnic groups- Sinhala - 74% SL Tamil % IN Tamil - 5.5% Muslims - 7% Religions- Buddhist - 69% Hindu- 15.5% Islam- 7.5% Christians - 7.5% (Source – Central Bank of Sri Lanka)

4 ADIC Vision Create a world where every person realizes that using what ever drug at what ever level is an impediment to happiness Mission Drug prevention through creating a Social change and Effective education.

5 OUR OUTREACH 23 OUT OF 25 DISTRICTS ARE COVERED USING VARIOUS MICHANISAMS. -WORKING DIRECTLY - WORKING THROUGH OTHER NGOO - VARIOUS PROJECTS

6 Library and Information Library and Information Programmes Public Awareness Public Awareness Community Interventions Community Interventions School Based Interventions School Based Interventions Media Advocacy Media Advocacy Policy Advocacy Policy Advocacy Research and Evaluation Research and Evaluation Human Resource Development. Human Resource Development.

7 The Background of Policy on Alcohol and Tobacco in Sri Lanka In 1991 ADIC started the campaign in election period to raised the issue Launch the campaign that “vote any one who support the alcohol policy” Repeat the campaign in every election until 1995(parliament. Provincial council, local government )

8 Exposing the relevant Industries and their marketing efforts. Gifts ADIC’s Role in the Policy Process….

9 ADIC’s Role in the Policy Process Making the government realize that alcohol and tobacco policy is a peoples issue.

10 ADIC’s Role in the Policy Process…. Supporting the Policy effort as a Professional… Providing the much needed research & information

11 Providing the much needed research & information Cont.. Collect industry augments and provide explanations Collect myths and misconceptions of Parliamentarians and provide answers Observing the industry behaviour and exposing it to public

12 Providing the much needed research & information Cont.. Innocent looking arguments created by the industry and spread by others If you increase the price of legal alcohol people will shift to illegal alcohol which is more harmful People drink alcohol as because they have other problems such as social insecurity, poverty, lack of education marginalization etc. So, priority should be given to solve those problems before doing alcohol prevention There are many other policies to develop in Sri Lanka before developing an alcohol policy Educating children on harm done by alcohol and what is good and bad is more important than developing a policy to prevent them If you work for alcohol policy you will lose votes

13 ADIC’s Role in the Policy Process…. Being a Pro Policy pressure group

14 ADIC’s Role in the Policy Process…. Being a pressure group …..demonstrating public Outrage.

15 The Background of Policy on Alcohol and Tobacco in Sri Lanka In 1995, the former Executive President of Sri Lanka, recognizing the harm form alcohol and tobacco, commissioned a group of academics & professionals to draft a “National Policy on Alcohol and Tobacco”. This Policy was Presented to the President on the 12 th November, 1997.

16 Key stages Establishment of the Presidential Task force on Alcohol and Tobacco Control within the Presidents Office. ADIC Convened the first NGOO Policy Forum to discuss the issue of a National Policy on Alcohol and Tobacco in Sri Lanka ADIC Assisted the Presidential Committee by presenting them with a ‘ Model Policy’ to based on the Scandinavian, Canadian & Australian Experiences Formulation of the Bill to set up the ‘National Authority on Alcohol and Tobacco Control’. The Bill approved by the Cabinet and entered in to the Parliaments Order Paper in 1999.

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18 Changing of the line ministry in to 2004 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Industry influences to the former president and to the opposition

19 While waiting for a National Policy…… Get the desired result by transferring the power to the people

20 Ratification of the FCTC by Sri Lanka 2004 New president elected Re-emergence as ‘Private Members Bill’ in 2005

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22 An amended ‘Bill’ presented to the parliament by the Hon. Minister of Health & being challenged in the Supreme Court in 2005

23 ADIC Intervened in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka in Support of related Bills irrespective of political differences.

24 The National Authority on Alcohol and Tobacco (Act No. 27 of 2006) was certified on the 29 th August, The Act came into effect on the 01 st of December, ( after 10 years of the first draft)

25 Contents of the act … related to Alcohol policy Definition of Alcohol products - any product containing 1% or more pure alcohol Purchasing age – over 21 years of age and the seller is liable Prohibition of vending machines and self service methods of dispensing alcohol product.

26 Contents Conti…. Prohibition of alcohol advertisements Prohibition of Sponsorships for any educational, cultural, social or sporting organization, activity or event Prohibition of free distribution of alcohol products Drinking and Driving- Provision relating to motor traffic act

27 We do not have to wait until the perfect policy is made. Youth of a country is a powerful force that can be effectively mobilized to take care of public health policies. Addressing determinants and creating a culture which discourage alcohol use is more effective and sustainable but we need policies to protect least informed and less intelligent people and children While there are some policies that can be established easily there are others that will be bitterly fought over. It’s important that actions are not based on what we like, what we know and what we find easy to do but is based on evidence and movement is in the right direction. The importance of networking among like minded agencies. Every challenge can be converted to an opportunity. Our experience…. The learning


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