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Concept: National Convention


The World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) stands to significantly reduce tobacco-related mortality by accelerating the introduction of evidence-based tobacco control measures. However, the extent to which States Parties have implemented the Convention varies considerably. Article 5.3 of the FCTC, is intended to insulate policy-making from the tobacco industry’s political influence, and aims to address barriers to strong implementation of the Convention associated with tobacco industry political activity. This paper quantitatively assesses implementation of Article 5.3’s Guidelines for Implementation, evaluates the strength of Parties' efforts to implement specific recommendations, and explores how different approaches to implementation expose the policy process to continuing industry influence.

Concepts: National Convention, Evaluation, Convention, Political science, Tobacco, World Health Organization, Implementation, Policy


We explore implications of the United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury for emissions from Asian coal-fired power generation, and resulting changes to deposition worldwide by 2050. We use engineering analysis, document analysis, and interviews to construct plausible technology scenarios consistent with the Convention. We translate these scenarios into emissions projections for 2050, and use the GEOS-Chem model to calculate global mercury deposition. Where technology requirements in the Convention are flexibly defined, under a global energy and development scenario that relies heavily on coal, we project ≈90 and 150 Mg·y(-1) of avoided power sector emissions for China and India respectively in 2050, compared to a scenario in which only current technologies are used. Benefits of this avoided emissions growth are primarily captured regionally, with projected changes in annual average gross deposition over China and India ≈2 and 13 μg·m(-2) lower, respectively, than the current technology case. Stricter, but technologically feasible, mercury control requirements in both countries could lead to a combined additional 170 Mg·y(-1) avoided emissions. Assuming only current technologies but a global transition away from coal avoids 6% and 36% more emissions than this strict technology scenario under heavy coal use for China and India, respectively.

Concepts: Projection, The Current, National Convention, Engineering, Frank Popper, Coal, Technology, United Nations


Frameworks for chemical regulation are based on the science at the time they were written. Today some regulations are being applied to a much broader spectrum of chemicals than we had knowledge of when the regulations were written. This entails a risk that the regulations are being used outside of their chemical application domain. This question is explored using the POP screening assessment in the Stockholm convention, which was developed 20 years ago. Using perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) as an example, it is shown that the assessment can lead to false negative conclusions. A second case study using octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) illustrates that there is also a risk of false positives. The risk for false negative classification of PFAAs is due to the inclusion of a screening criterion - bioaccumulation - that is not a requirement for adverse effects of chemicals in remote regions. For D4 the risk of false positive classification stems from the four screening criteria (persistence, bioaccumulation, long-range transport, and adverse effects) applying to different environmental media/compartments. The major lesson is that applying the POP screening procedure to the broad spectrum of chemicals in modern commerce will require that we rely less on the individual screening criteria and more on the comparison of estimated exposure and the thresholds for effects stipulated in Annex D, paragraph 2 of the convention. Models have an important role to play in this context and should become more strongly integrated into the POP screening process.

Concepts: Broad-spectrum antibiotic, Chemical substance, National Convention, Chemical element, Administrative law, False positive paradox, Regulation, Type I and type II errors


Smoking rates remain high among people with mental health conditions, even though smoking contributes to negative mental health outcomes and is a leading cause of mortality. Many mental health facilities are not covered by smoke-free laws or do not encourage smoking cessation, and people with mental health conditions are often targeted in tobacco industry promotions.

Concepts: Disability, National Convention, Mental disorder, Human rights, Smoking cessation, Nicotine, Tobacco


Data on disability are regularly collected by different institutions or ministries using specific tools for different purposes, for instance to estimate the prevalence of disability or eligibility of specific populations for social benefits. The interoperability of disability data collected in countries is essential for policy making and to monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The first objective of this paper is to map and compare tools that collect data on disability for different purposes, more specifically the Brazilian National Health Survey and the Brazilian Functioning Index to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank Model Disability Survey (MDS), currently recommended as a standard tool for disability measurement. The second objective is to demonstrate the usefulness and value of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health Linking Rules to map and compare population-based surveys and other content-related tools collecting data on disability, even when these have already been developed based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.

Concepts: Collected, National Convention, World, Implementation, United States, Policy, World Health Organization, Disability


Listening to women as part of their antenatal care has been recognized as valuable in understanding the woman’s needs. Conversations as part of routine antenatal interactions offer ideal opportunities for women to express themselves and for midwives to learn about the woman’s issues and concerns. The antenatal visit and the convention of antenatal consultations for midwives have not been well explored or defined and much of what takes place replicate medical consultative processes. As a consequence, there is little to assist midwives construct woman-centred care consultations for their routine antenatal care practice. This study showed how some practices were better in promoting the woman’s voice and woman-centred care in the hospital setting.

Concepts: Explorer, Best practice, Women's suffrage, Ethnography, National Convention, Woman, Obstetrics, Childbirth


Seven congeners of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (BDE-28, BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, BDE-153,BDE-154 and BDE-183) and six indicator polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (PCB-28, PCB-52, PCB-101, PCB-138, PCB-153 and PCB-180) were measured in 32 regional pooled human milk samples originating from 1760 volunteering primiparous mothers to evaluate the current human body burden of general population and the temporal trend in China. Individual human milk samples were collected following a WHO-designed procedure. This work is one of parts of the evaluation of effectiveness of Stockholm Convention performance. The concentration of ∑7PBDEs ranged from 0.3 ng g(-1) lipid to 4.0 ng g(-1) lipid with a mean of 1.5 ng g(-1) lipid. The concentration of ∑6PCBs ranged from 2.3 ng g(-1) lipid to 19.0 ng g(-1) lipid with a mean of 6.6 ng g(-1) lipid. By comparing with background determination in 2007, there was no significance for ∑7PBDEs. However, BDE-47, BDE-99, and BDE-100 significantly decreased with an average of 45%, 48%, and 46%, respectively, from 2007 to 2011, and an increase of BDE-183 was founded in most regions. For ∑6PCBs, there was a significant decline with an average reduction of 41% from 2007 to 2011. These results indicate the effectiveness of reduction and elimination of POPs in China. Future national human milk biomonitoring is worthy to be done to further evaluate the time trend and effectiveness of the Convention performance.

Concepts: National Convention, PCB Congener List, Flame retardants, Persistent organic pollutant, Persistent organic pollutants, Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins, Biphenyl, Polychlorinated biphenyl


Article 16 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) guarantees persons with disabilities freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse. This article explores the current status of implementation of article 16 in South Africa, with specific reference to the legislative framework underpinning protection from exploitation, violence and abuse. This investigation is done specifically in the context of gender-based violence, which remains a cause of great concern in this country.

Concepts: The Current, National Convention, Torture, Terrorism, Disability, Human rights, Domestic violence, United States


The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities spells out in the most up-to-date and specific manner the rights of persons with disabilities. In doing so the Convention presents serious challenges to many conventional practices in respect of people with disabilities, especially those with mental health disabilities. According to a number of authorities, most notably the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ‘substitute decision-making’ is not consistent with the Convention. ‘Respect for the rights, will and preferences’ is to be regarded as the touchstone for compliance with the Convention. However ‘will and preferences’ is nowhere defined. This paper examines the meaning of these terms, and draws attention to instances where a contemporaneous ‘preference’ may be at variance with a person’s ‘will’. In such cases, it is argued, that ‘substitute decision-making’ - or giving effect to the person’s ‘will’ - may be justified.

Concepts: Preference, Person, Animal rights, National Convention, People, Disability, Mental disorder, Meaning of life


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) enshrines the freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse, a provision, which has hitherto received little attention. Exploring the contents of Article 16, this paper seeks to unpack both the potential for violence prevention as well as the implementation challenges. It situates violence protection within related treaty provisions and touches on specific challenges in institutional care as well as the private realm.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Rights, National Convention, Law, Torture, Animal rights, Disability, Human rights