Victory in Indonesia! 

by Ajat Sudrajat and Laurie Kazan-Allen1



Civil society campaigners in Indonesia have achieved a landmark breakthrough in protecting citizens from toxic asbestos exposures. As per a notification now on the website of the country’s Supreme Court, a petition submitted in December 2023 by the Independent Community Consumer Protection Institute (LPKSM), the Yasa Nata Budi Foundation – a consumer advocacy body – and the Local Initiative for OSH Network (LION), has been granted. As a result, it will now become obligatory for all asbestos-containing products sold in the country to feature warning labels in Bahasa, the official language of Indonesia.2 Although the petitioners have not yet received official notification or a copy of the court verdict, the decision has been made.

Commenting on this news, LION's director Surya Ferdian said a follow-up strategy would be implemented to ensure compliance by all parties. “Indonesians,” he said “had a right to know if toxic material is contained in products being sold in our country. We will conduct a public dissemination campaign about this decision to raise asbestos awareness. The Court’s ruling is a pivotal moment in the campaign to protect all our citizens from deadly asbestos exposures.”

Also welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision, the Coordinator of the Indonesian Ban Asbestos Network (INA-BAN) Muchamad Darisman highlighted the public health import of the news:

“By granting our request, the Judges took a giant leap forward in safeguarding the lives not only of workers but also of members of the public and consumers. It is essential that the Government and all relevant authorities take prompt action to implement the Court’s ruling: warning labels, in our local language, must be put on all asbestos-containing products without any delay; unlabeled products must be withdrawn from sale.”


The speed with which the Supreme Court acted is remarkable considering that the petition was only submitted in December 2023. Explaining the motivation for the lawsuit, Leo Yoga Pranata, from Yasa Nata Budi, said:

“The right to correct information is a fundamental right of society as consumers, therefore we really hope that the Supreme Court will grant this right to a judicial review, in order to protect the Indonesian people from systematic murder by asbestos companies.”

Echoing his colleague’s views, Pupun Supendi, Campaign Coordinator of the LION asbestos program, added:

“Asbestos has been recognized as a carcinogenic material and waste. It should be a strict K3L (Security, Safety, Health and Environment) product. There must be a clear information label regarding the instructions for use and danger symbols. Businesses that can harm people must be prevented from doing so and the public must understand this.”

On March 19, 2024, the Supreme Court confirmed that the petition had been granted: Amar Putusan (Announcement of Decision); Kabul Permohonan (Granted the Application) – as per line 18 in the court order below from the Supreme Court website.3


The March 19th court order was signed by Chairman of the Assembly Supreme Court Justice Dr. H. Yulius and other Supreme Court Justices Hj. Lulik Tri Cahyaningrum and Dr. H. Yodi Martono Wahyunadi.

May 1, 2024


1 Co-author Ajat Sudrajat is from the Local Initiative for OHS Network, Indonesia.

2 Kazan-Allen, L. 125 Years and Counting. February 16, 2024.
Suprihatno, E. Negara Harus Lindungi Masyarakat dari Debu Asbes [The State Must Protect the Community from Asbestos Dust]. December 29, 2023.

3 The case log on the Indonesian Supreme Court website, as shown above, can be accessed online at:



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