AiAP – Alcohol in All Policies – for the full potential of alcohol policy measures.

Movendi International stands for a comprehensive and integrated approach to alcohol policy making. We call it: AiAP.

Mainstreaming alcohol policy considerations into all relevant sectors of public policy-making helps to effectively and sustainably the alcohol burden on local, national, regional and global levels.

The AiAP approach is rooted in the understanding that addressing alcohol harm in a multi-sectoral approach does reap substantial benefits across many different sectors of society.

AiAP is a strategic approach to public policy making across sectors that systematically highlights and addresses the alcohol harm implications of public policy decisions.

AiAP is rooted in a Human Rights-based approach and the fact that harm caused by alcohol often jeopardizes fundamental rights.

Movendi International continues to be dedicated to fully support and promote the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy through our worldwide network and to advocate for the full implementation of the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy.

We are committed to acting as a watchdog to monitor that it is implemented without interference of the alcohol industry and their lobby front groups.

Alcohol Policy: AiAP

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Movendi International Alcohol Policy: Alcohol in All Policies

This alcohol policy is evidence-based and rooted in the first hand experiences and know-how that Movendi International and our Member Organizations have acquired from working with all aspects of alcohol harm for nearly 170 years.

Our Alcohol Policy Program outlines how Movendi International:

  • Views the substance alcohol,
  • Addresses the harm caused by alcohol and the alcohol industry,
  • Approaches the main principles of policy responses and
  • What Movendi International suggests as solutions.

Download the Movendi International Alcohol Policy here.

The Case For AiAP

Alcohol is a substance that is toxic, carcinogenic, teratogen and addictive. Alcohol kills 3 million people worldwide every year. It is the fifth leading risk factor for death and disability globally. Alcohol is a major global problem concerning public health, social and economic development, democracy, sustainability, and Human Rights.

The direct effects of alcohol intake on the individual user include illness, injury, mental ill-health and premature death.

Alcohol is the socially most harmful drug. Alcohol harm extends to children, families, communities and society at large – alcohol’s “Harm to Others”.

Alcohol drives inequalities. Alcohol harm puts a disproportionate burden on young people.

Alcohol harm is strongly linked to health inequalities: people from deprived socio-economic groups are suffering far greater harm than those from more affluent socio-economic groups.

4 Types Of Alcohol Harm

  1. Alcohol consumption causes harm to the health and well being of the users themselves. But alcohol harm doesn’t stop there.
  2. The social dimension of alcohol harm, meaning that alcohol causes “Harm to Others” than the users themselves, adds to the overall burden of problems caused by alcohol. Alcohol’s social harm is particularly burdensome for vulnerable groups in society, like children, young people, women and girls, indigenous communities or minority groups.
  3. The third dimension of alcohol harm is the economy. Alcohol use burdens harms the productivity, burdens economic development and jeopardizes employability of young people.
  4. Last but not least alcohol harm is a Human Rights issue.

This typology of alcohol harm makes one fact clear: the problems and issues that alcohol harm causes to communities and societies around the world are complex, massive and reach into many aspects of human life. Therefore, addressing the implications of alcohol harm is crucial and necessary to produce sustainable and cost-effective solutions across many different sectors of society.

The Alcohol in All Policies approach means to mainstream alcohol policy into all relevant policy areas.

Mainstreaming Alcohol Policy

Alcohol policy considerations and knowledge about alcohol harm needs to be mainstreamed in and addressed by the following sectors. All agencies, policy-making institutions and decision-makers dealing with these respective sectors are to take account of alcohol harm and its impact on the respective sector and policy decision at hand:

  • Sustainable development and poverty eradication,
  • Health promotion and health system response,
  • Democracy and citizen participation,
  • Welfare and economic prosperity,
  • Human rights, including Child Rights, Women’s Rights and the rights of indigenous people,
  • Trade,
  • Transport,
  • Agriculture,
  • Migration,
  • Labor market and employment opportunities,
  • Media,
  • Education.

Public Health Issue

Alcohol use causes harm to public health and individual well being

Alcohol use is listed as the fifth leading risk factor for premature deaths and disabilities in the world. It is estimated that 3 million people worldwide die of alcohol-related causes every year.

Alcohol use harms the human being both physically and mentally. It can not only lead to dependence but also increases people’s risk of developing more than 200 diseases including liver cirrhosis and some cancers.

Alcohol is a causal risk factor in the global epidemic of Noncommunicable diseases. It causes addiction and other mental health conditions.

Alcohol is a causal risk factor in the global HIV/ Aids epidemic and is linked to the spread of other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Alcohol is also a major risk factor for violence, accidents and injuries, both intentional and unintentional. As such alcohol is a major risk factor for the global epidemic of gender-based violence.
Alcohol also inhibits and harms the development of the human brain.

Mounting evidence from independent science shows: There is no safe amount of alcohol use and the higher the consumption, the bigger are the health risks.

Social Issue - Harm To Others

Alcohol’s Harm to Others requires the consideration that health and social harm overlap and often multiply one another. How this overlap- and multiply-effect unfolds can be seen in different types of harm caused by alcohol:

  • Alcohol violence, e.g. intimate partner violence, gender-based violence or domestic violence, causes health as well as social problems;
  • Children of parents with alcohol problems are exposed to health harms and all too often to the complete collapse of the functioning of their social life and environment;
  • Alcohol is more harmful to a developing fetus than heroin or cocaine.

Harm to Others consists thus of four dimensions:

  1. A collective dimension,
  2. An individual dimension,
  3. A short-term dimension, and
  4. A long-term dimension.

All four dimensions interplay and cause the magnitude of alcohol’s social harm.

Harm To Others therefore signifies the total failure and collapse of the “alcohol market”. The price of alcoholic products does not come near the real costs that alcohol use causes society.

Economic Issue

Alcohol’s Harm to Others, its harm to the individual’s health and well being, and to public and global health, all create a burden on the economy of any society.

  • In the European Union for instance, alcohol harm costs €156 billion every year.
  • In the USA the annual costs of alcohol harm are $223 billion.

Alcohol costs any society more than the alcohol trade adds to the respective economy.
Alcohol harms the productivity of companies especially burdening small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) because the costs of alcohol harm in the workplace are relatively higher for SMEs and the impact is more strongly felt by smaller businesses. This is a crucial correlation because a significant proportion of the global workforce is employed by smaller enterprises.

Alcohol harm burdens economic development of communities and societies by causing ill health and social problems and creating avoidable costs for the health and social care systems.

Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) show the extent to which alcohol harm is undermining societies’ investments into its citizens, especially young people. And alcohol harm jeopardizes the employability of young people.

Alcohol harm erodes the prosperity of communities and societies and the costs for alcohol do undermine societies’ ability to prosper and develop sustainably.

Human Rights Issue

Alcohol harm is a Human Rights issue.

It is especially a Women’s Rights, Child Rights and Indigenous People’s rights issue.

In some parts of the world gender-based violence is alcohol-related in up to 80% of all cases.

Alcohol means that children are often exposed to unhealthy environments, neglect and abuse, early initiation into the alcohol norm and early onset of alcohol use and other detrimental factors in the socialization of children and young people. And alcohol marketing violates their fundamental right to grow up safely and healthy, free from alcohol and other drugs. Young people are disproportionately burdened by alcohol harm.

Alcohol harm is also challenging democracy: the global alcohol industry is increasingly challenging fundamental institutions for any democratic society; and alcohol leads to citizens’ apathy, creating obstacles to active citizenship and participation in the matters of communities and society.

Alcohol is an obstacle to development and justice. At least 14 of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are adversely affected by alcohol harm.

Health and well being is a Human Right. Without health and well being all other goals of public policy making remain out of reach.

WHO Global Alcohol Strategy

The protection of the health of a population by preventing and reducing the use of alcohol is a public health priority.

The “WHO Global Alcohol Strategy ” goes a long way in recognizing the global and transnational aspects of the burden that alcohol harm causes. In its Global Alcohol Strategy WHO states that Non-governmental Organizations are especially encouraged to form wide networks and action groups to support the implementation of the strategy.

Movendi International continues to be dedicated to fully support the implementation of the WHO Global Alcohol Strategy through our worldwide network. We are committed to acting as a watchdog to monitor that it is implemented without alcohol industry interference.