Last month, the Latin American legal teams from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator’s (GHAI) Food Policy program and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) hosted a joint legal workshop in Mexico for lawyers working on healthy food policy and tobacco control in the region. The workshop was a collaboration with Food Policy program Colombia partner Dejusticia and the Global Center for Legal Innovation on Food Environments at the O’Neill Institute. This workshop combined the 12th tobacco control legal workshop with the fifth food and health law workshop, consolidating more than a decade of regional efforts, strengthening capacity of lawyers working in the field.

Together, the food and tobacco control legal teams from Latin America explored the legal challenges, opportunities, connections and lessons learned from both movements. During the three-day workshop, more than 50 lawyers from the region participated in the event. The workshop included sessions on evidence for litigation; challenges when regulating advertising of tobacco products and ultra-processed food and beverages; human rights and environmental impacts from these industries; among others. Although the event focused on legal discussions and presentations, GHAI and CTFK conducted a specific communications-focused training to further develop and hone lawyers’ communications skills.

“I found it interesting to have discussions from both experiences, since it allowed us to identify issues where progress has already been made and issues that would be worth studying further.” – Natalia Anzola, Red PaPaz, Colombia

“The workshop was enriching, because it made it easier for me to identify arguments and counter-arguments and possibilities to boost moments and actors that operate in a similar way in both food and tobacco.” – Mylena Gualdron, FIAN Colombia

At the end of the workshop, the book, “Law, Trade and Nutritional Labeling” (in Spanish) was released, which is a collaboration of Dejusticia with University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia and GHAI, and highlights lessons learned from food policy advocacy in Latin America. The book includes academic articles discussing the connections between international trade law and front of package labeling (FOPL) as well as case studies from advocacy efforts and policy discussions around FOPL in Latin America.

To read the book, click here.

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