Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rights abuse in drug treatment centers

Drug policies based on ideology rather than science are fueling human rights abuses of drug users, according to a panel of experts speaking at last week’s Eighteenth International AIDS Conference which took place in Vienna, Austria.

Violations of physical and legal rights coupled with poor outcomes mar many country’s drug treatment programmes, which can include forced labour or exercise and prison-like conditions.

Asia acts as the epicentre of such mandatory programmes, in which drug users are forcibly removed from their communities and kept in centres for months to years. Currently, the continent boasts an estimated 400,000-5000,000 detainees. Considering programmes in China and Cambodia, Richard Pearshouse says that these programmes have seen a “massive scale up” in recent years...

...T.M. Hammet of USAID voiced similar concerns as he described the situation of detainees in Vietnam’s “06 Centres,” who also experience no due process and may spend up to four years within the programme. Countrywide 33,000 users are currently detained...

Click here for full article, from Aidsmap July 27.

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