Break the Health Apartheid

PSI is calling on all affiliates to urge their governments to reject counter-proposal to the TRIPS Waiver.

The European Commission finally admitted that trade rules pose a threat to access to health products globally, in a shift on its long-held position in the discussions for a TRIPS Waiver (to suspend intellectual property rights on Covid-19 related products). While the counter-proposal that was leaked to the press on 15 March is attributed to the quad of USA, the EU, India and South Africa, it only reflects positions from USA and the EU, and is absolutely inadequate.

 The goal of the TRIPS Waiver initially proposed by India and South Africa is to facilitate scaling up of production of medicines, vaccines, tests, and PPEs around the world, and especially in developing countries to break the vaccine and health apartheid that is leading to unnecessary loss of lives. A meaningful TRIPS Waiver must be a legally binding text that: (a) covers vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics; (b) does not contain eligibility criteria limiting the countries that can use it (c) applies to all relevant intellectual property obligations in particular patents and trade secrets; and (d) practically expands the policy space of government and freedom to operate of manufacturers at the national level to access technology and expand production. The leaked text falls short of all these criteria.

 See the PSI statement rejecting the text: Too little, too late.

 This is an important time to make the voice of labour heard. We call on our affiliates to reach out to your government to urge them to reject the leaked proposal. 

What you can do

  • Check the map above to see if your government had endorsed the proposal (shown in green), is still undecided (yellow) or is blocking the discussions (red);

  • Download and use our model letter to write to your government urging them to reject the leaked proposal and asking them for a meeting;

  • Check our Briefing: Health Before Wealth, and our Explanatory Note for a background and more details on the more recent developments;

  • Let us know if you would like any support to adapt the letter or to prepare to meet with your government representatives,

  • Let us know the actions you take so that we can promote them and show that trade unions of public services workers are taking action so that corporate copyrights no longer impede the covid response and recovery! 


  • Any time, the sooner the better.

Get in Touch

For any support or further information, you can contact your Sub-regional Secretary, or Susana <>, Justin <> or Pedro <>