World Social Forum 2016: PHM Presentations

Working with PHM friends from across the globe, PHM-North America organized a series of activities at the World Social Forum in Montreal that was held August 9-14, 2016. The activities will focused on trade and health and the impact of extractive industries on health.

Presentations from each of the sessions are attached below. Thanks to presenters for your contribution to our sessions!

Activities on trade and health

The People’s Health Movement and Health and Trade Network organized activities that explored the ways that trade agreements impact health. 

Are current trade agreements bad for our health?

This session explored the impacts of trade agreements that have been harmful to people’s health, including social determinants of health, with a specific focus on the TPP, access to medicines, alcohol policy, and trade policy in the European Union.

A Health Impact Assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreements: Few Gains Many Risks, Ron Labonte, University of Ottawa

BITS to TTIP: EU Trade Policy and Health, Emma Woodford, Health and Trade Network

Trade and Access to Medicines, Jason Nickerson, Médecins Sans Frontières Canada

Alcohol Control: The hidden public health threat from WTO to TTIP, Robert Pezzolesi, US Alcohol Policy Alliance

Investor-State Dispute Settlement: a public health threat that spans sectors

During this session, David Schneiderman explained the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism that gives private companies the right to bring a proceeding against a foreign government to settle a dispute. He walked participants through pertinent provisions of an ISDS chapter of a trade agreement. Liz Wiley and Emma Woodford followed up with a role play of a stakeholder briefing.

How to Dissect an Investment Chapter, David Schneidermann, University of Toronto

ISDS Case Studies

What would a healthy trade agreement look like?

This session focused on activism and advocacy. Presenters showed their organizing work at the international, national, and local levels and demonstrated creative ways for people to get educated and engaged. We went on to discuss our vision for “healthy” trade agreements, where participants discussed in small groups what we would actually like to see in in these agreements.  

Challenging the Free Trade Regime, Jane Kelsey, University of Aukland (the audio when Dr. Kelsey speaks is great!)

The TPP: Health and activism, Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

Towards Trade Justice: A view from the ground, Gillian Locascio, Washington Fair Trade Coalition

Activities on extractive industries and health

Hydrocarbons and Health

Local campaigns have been resisting fracking across North America. Many of them have used health as a lens to mobilise populations against this extractive industry, given the environmental and social dangers inherent to its expansion. At this session, the People’s Health Movement invites activists and organisers from across the United States and Canada, including those involved with EauSecours, Council of Canadians, Food and Water Watch, to share their strategies, their skills, and their knowledge on using health as a mobilising tool, and to reinforce each other’s campaigns in the process.

presentations coming soon…

Health as a mobilising tool against extractive projects

Join the People’s Health Movement for a discussion about how activists have used health arguments to strengthen anti-mining organizing and how others can benefit from incorporating a health perspective into their campaigns. Partners will share their experiences organizing against uranium mining at Baker Lake, to serve as a starting point for others to strategize and learn about the strength in approaching anti-mining organizing work through a health lens. Other partners at the session may include MiningWatch, activists from Latin America, and physician activists opposing open pit mining in Western Canada.

presentations coming soon…

Workers and environmental health

The tension between job security and environmental health concerns have been a longstanding dynamic in organising resistance to corporate power in extractive industries. How do we as health activists bridge the gap between the health impacts of job insecurity and industrial pollution? How do we organise with workers and families, who may be balancing short-term survival with long-term ill health? How do we contextualise the health impacts of a commodity chain to the immediacy of economic stability for a region? Join the People’s Health Movement for a facilitated discussion on how we can surmount these organising challenges, drawing on cases in the asbestos, gold, and uranium industries.

presentations coming soon…