International activities

In addition to our work with individual countries, CPSP also supports international and regional action on highly toxic pesticides.

Our approach includes a focus on both public health and agriculture, bringing these two disciplines together to tackle the issue of pesticide suicide. 

We work closely with relevant UN agencies, particularly the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), supporting the development of guidance to reduce the risk of pesticides.

Regional Approach

Developing regional HHP strategies

CPSP is working with regional groupings of national pesticide regulators. 

This work aims to strengthen regional capacity and collaboration on identification, reporting, regulation, replacement and monitoring of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs).

CPSP has established links and collaboration arrangements with five regional pesticide regulatory bodies in Asia, southern, eastern and western Africa and the Caribbean. Each of these regional bodies is now developing a strategy on HHPs which CPSP will support to develop and implement.

Regional map with coloured areas

Public Health Approach

Improving treatment of poisoned patients

Pesticide poisoning is difficult to manage in resource poor hospitals and most patients die after arriving at hospital.

CPSP is helping to develop guidelines to improve treatment of poisoned patients. These guidelines will take into account local conditions and contexts, providing advice to doctors working in local hospitals.

Improving data collection

Lack of data on pesticides responsible for poisonings and deaths, especially suicides, is a significant problem in low and middle-income countries.

CPSP is working to improve guidelines and procedures for data collection on pesticide poisonings and suicides and help countries with advice and support.

Agriculture Approach

Identifying alternatives to HHPs

Bans and restrictions on highly hazardous pesticides (HHPS) often face resistance from farmers and traders who are led to believe that there are no alternatives to deal with pests.

CPSP is helping to identify alternative pest control measures for different crop and pest combinations.

Using connections with agricultural advisory bodies, the biopesticides and pesticides industries, and academic research, CPSP provides reassurance to pesticide regulators that agriculture will not suffer as a result of regulatory action.

Monitoring the effect of international bans

CPSP is helping to share knowledge and experience from countries that have successfully taken highly toxic pesticides out of use without affecting crop production.

Our researchers gather data on agricultural yields before and after pesticide bans to monitor the differences. 

We are currently partnering with Pesticide Action Network UK to collect and publish national experiences of replacing HHPs with less toxic pest control measures.

Human Rights Approach

Raising awareness of human rights issues

Pesticide poisoning is not only a health and environment problem, it is also a human rights violation. CPSP is engaged with human rights experts and institutions to raise awareness of the human rights issues associated with pesticide poisoning.

In 2021, CPSP published a paper demonstrating that the State has an obligation to take positive measures to protect individuals’ right to life and right to health. This includes regulation of highly hazardous pesticides. By allowing easy access to lethal pesticides, States violate their duty. 

CPSP priorities for human rights include:

  • Pesticide suicide among young women 
  • The rights of children 
  • Advocating for a human-centred approach to pesticide life-cycle to be entrenched in pesticide legislation
The Rights of the Child: Warunika's Story

Content warning: this video discusses self-harm and suicide