Drug problem requires collective solutions

26 Jun 2018

A world free of drug abuse requires collective action. On #WorldDrugDay, Ms. Mia Seppo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, and Mr. Sergey Kapinos, Regional Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Office for South Asia, penned down their opinion. It says-

"As the Secretary-General has reminded us, based also on his own experience with drug policy in his native country, it is vital that we examine the effectiveness of the War on Drugs approach, and its consequences for human rights. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently expressed concern about the alleged violations in Bangladesh and called for an investigation. The UN and others have been calling for many years for a focus on alternative criminal justice responses and for resources for prevention, treatment, and social reintegration, including anonymous drug dependence treatments and harm reduction services.

Bangladesh has been making efforts to provide such responses, supported by the UN and partners, for example through drop-in centres for drug users, review of policies, support to HIV prevention, and capacity building for law enforcement and civil society partners. But it is important to ensure that these and other valuable public health services continue to be allowed to operate safely, and that years of investments and the health and welfare of those who use and benefit from them are safeguarded. 

The people of Bangladesh deserve a life free from drugs, and effective drug policies that uphold their basic rights. This is particularly important to ensure that the youth and children continue to enjoy their rights to education, health and information, and remain free from the experience of violence. It is time for governments, people, civil society and the UN to join hands to collectively act against the drug problem and help our younger generation lead healthy and safe lives. The UN stands ready to work with Bangladesh towards these goals."

Read the full Op-Ed in The Daily Star and The Daily Star Bangla.

#ListenFirst #StandUp4HumanRights

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