Member Activity

What is the international drug control regime?

The international drug control regime is based on three international conventions: the 1961 Single Convention against Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. The overarching aim of these three conventions is to control the production, trade, and use of drugs to combat drug abuse and trafficking, while at the same time ensuring that there are adequate supplies for medical and other licit uses. These conventions are widely ratified: 183 state parties ratified the 1961 and 1971 Conventions and 188 parties ratified the 1988 Convention.

Author: Saul Takahashi, Human Rights Lawyer


PDF Read the complete paper (PDF)

WFAD-members Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development (FDID-SL) interacted with street kids at Water Street in Freetown

FDID-SL is a child and youth serving organization with a vision to see a drug free Sierra Leone with an empowered children and youthful population. On the 4th of April FDID-SL engaged street kids at the Bus Station Community with their usual drug prevention and demand reduction education message.

Addressing about sixty street kids, the Director of FDID-SL Mr. Hindowa E. Saidu encouraged the children to live a healthy life style away from drug and violence. He said drug and violence have the potential of destroying their health and rob them of a better future. He admonished the children to stay off drugs and violence, he also implored on them to visit the FDID-SL head quarters to see if they can help them to get in contact with other organizations that can assist them with their welfare.

The programme Officer for FDID-SL Mr. Habib T. Kamara pleaded with the children to stop risky practices as it might land them into prison or deteriorate their health. Speaking on the hazards and disadvantages of drug, Mr. Kamara informed the children that a recent survey undertaking by FDID-SL has shown that their age mates in other ghettoes across the city were losing their lives carelessly as a result of drugs. He furthered that the future of this country squarely rest on their shoulders, so they should do everything possible to protect their own lives.

Although Sierra Leone has been identified by the international community as a transit point for most hard drugs and narcotics such as cocaine to the west, the country has also endured the cultivation of illegal crops such as marijuana. In recent times, the cultivation of marijuana in Sierra Leone has seen unprecedented records with untold social and economic consequences. According to an independent survey in 2006, almost every village in especially the border regions has a huge bed of marijuana farms. In most of the cases efforts by authorities to curb this illegal activity have proved useless. Supposedly, because of the lack of proper control policies and prosecution together with connivance on the part of authorities, this stigma seem unabated and with impurity. Marijuana is trafficked across the borders of Sierra Leone to especially neighboring Guinea and Liberia on almost a daily bases. Astonishingly also because of illiteracy and poverty, the seriousness of these clandestine criminal activities is unnoticed as the locals consider it as just one form of obtaining livelihood. As a result, marijuana use is common and every day teenagers are recruited into addiction and are in fact used as sales agents in youth hideout and even schools.

"CATCH THEM WHEN THEY ARE YOUNG" is a new project lunched by FDID-SL to target the children of school going ages as well as those who drop out of school with the community drug prevention and education messages. This project will be replicated into different communities, especially poor neighborhood across the country.

4323423

A cross section of Street Kids at Bus Station Community and FDID-SL Staff

NOTE: This report was compiled by Mr. Edward N. Blake who is the Communication and Outreach Officer for FDID-SL. He can be reached on +232-78-670-222/76-804-066 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development

FDID-SL being a youth serving civil society organization, working with urban youths associated with drug and alcohol abuse in Freetown, Bo and Moyamba is disturbed by the recent spate of death of young people due to consumption of improperly brewed alcohols that have proliferated the market with little or no check form the Standard Bureau or the Consumer Protection Agency.

It is with deep heart that FDID-SL observed the Funeral Rites of 16 youths formerly of Sewa Grounds who lost their lives through the Consumption of Poorly brewed alcohol. It also saddened the Executive Director and all staff members of FDID-SL to similarly observe the burial rites of ten young person’s former of New London in Bo who lost their precious lives through the intake of badly produced alcoholic drinks. These youths totaling 26 were in the prime of life who would have contributed immensely to the development of this nation.

FDID-SL is of the view that the wellbeing and development of our future leaders should be the concern of not only government but also every well-meaning Sierra Leonean. In this vein, we are calling on the consumer Protect Agency and the Standard Bureau all creatures of statute to urgently look into the production and importation of alcoholic drinks. It is our fervent belief that these institutions were created to ensure that the final consumer of goods is protected against bad and poor quality goods. It is today abundantly clear that these agencies are either not functioning or are not just up to the task of protecting consumers.

The recently published United Nations Human Development Index gives life expectancy in Sierra Leone at 48 years. This is no good news comparing this to other nations where life expectancy stands at 80 years. We are of the view that the uncontrolled production and importation of poorly brewed alcohol into our market is partly responsible for the low life expectancy. FDID-SL is of the view that the youths of this country deserve to live a dignified life wherein issues appertaining to their physical wellbeing are placed at the top of government’s priority list. A nation with an unhealthy youthful population is unarguably doomed to fail as this portion of society forms the nucleus of its working class. Youth were the ones who participated actively in the war and were equally the ones who suffered most. It therefore behooves the government through its established agencies like the Standard Bureau and consumer Protection Agency to ensure that the market is reaped off these poorly brewed alcohols in order to protect the lives of our future leaders.

FDID-SL is kindly appealing to the young people of this nation to refrain from alcohol and drug abuse as it will only lead to their destruction and subsequently undermining national developmental strides.

FDID-SL

Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development

 

Parents Contre la Drogue (P.C.D) is worried about the changes in French drug policy.

Since the 1970s, the French drug policy has been based on the Law on sanitary measures to fight against drug abuse and suppression of smuggling and the illegal use of poisons from December 31st 1970. The 1970’s Act raised drugs as a "social evil”, it blames for the first time in French history the simple use of all substances classified as narcotics without distinction between soft and hard drugs, between private and public, between occasional use, regular or problematic. The law makes no distinction between the various narcotics and applies equally to each of them. In the eyes of the law, there is no difference between cannabis and heroin use, It is the same for traffic. In the early 90s, the harm reduction policy arrived in France. Risk reduction was released on July 21, 1994. This policy is largely delegated to organisations working with harm reduction or self-support. For these organisations, the prohibition and repression are doomed to fail.

The majority of these organisations argue openly in favor of the legalization of cannabis and decriminalization (see the legalization) of all drugs. This can be done thanks to huge subsidies from the government (Ministry of Health, etc.) and local authorities. The amount of grants awarded each year for these organisations represent hundreds of thousands of euros. Thanks to these grants they can create campaigns for the legalization of cannabis and injection rooms, they can invite organisations or people responsible for injection rooms as K9 European conferences in Switzerland or even, as we have seen last, test drugs at taxpayer expense (an organisation of self-support has indeed tested 50 different drugs and made the apology in a journal. This journal is part-financed by the Ministry of Health). The French press, partly composed of libertarian journalists, of course gives them full support.

The new government’s ideology is relying exclusively on these organisations and because of that the entire drug policy will be questioned. Within a few months, several injecting rooms will open in France but it does not have to stop there, we already know that Madam Minister of Health is preparing to authorize the Cannabis therapeutics. Some organisations are already asking for the distribution of heroin. And what comes after that?

Regarding our organisation, we have been fighting for many years for the prevention and especially primary prevention as a primary goal. France has for many years been one of the countries that consume the most cannabis among young people. This is partly due to the fact that there have never been real prevention campaigns in schools. Unlike many countries, parents' organisations are absolutely not recognized by the state because we reject the message of acceptance of the drug that comes with harm reduction. Because the lack of state recognition, we cannot do prevention work in schools, we do so only in private schools. I personally campaigned for over 20 years for a policy modeled on the Swedish. This policy I made known to parents at conferences and I devoted a whole chapter in my book "Cannabis: Ce que les parents doivent savoir" (eng: Cannabis: What parents need to know).

Parents Contre la Drogue (P.C.D)

www.parentscontreladrogue.com
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) conducted a series of advocacy activities between 4th to 6th March 2013 which were premised on the Declaration of the Second Congress of World Federation Against Drugs (May 2012) which called upon members to create awareness about Article 33 of the UN CRC and work with parents, children and communities to support prevention programs advocating for drug free environments. In addition, these activities are in line with Mentor Foundation International who advocates for best practice principles in prevention, especially in working with parents, schools and communities.

1. Presentation and Submission of petition to The Defence and Internal Affairs Committee of Parliament:

UYDEL petitioned the Parliamentary Committee to seek a recall of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (control) Bill 2007 that needed to be debated and enacted into law since it has remained a Bill for the last six years.

The Chairperson of the Defense Committee welcomed the timely petition and noted that the Committee would seek permission to move a Private Members Bill if the Minister of Internal Affairs does not retable the Bill in Parliament by 12th March 2013. The MPs also requested for more information about drug abuse in Uganda to enable them to come up with good proposals and laws.

See media links related to this activity below;

http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/640360-drug-abuse-high-in-secondary-schools-mps-told.html

http://www.bukedde.co.ug/news/70477-enjaga-y-evuddeko-ebimansulo-okweyongera-uydl.html

2. Press briefing:

A press briefing was held on 5th March 2013 and was attended by 20 journalists from both print and electronic media houses. The briefing was aimed at creating awareness about Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which sets out to protect children from any use of illicit drugs. In addition, the Prevention Smart Parents Model was promoted and stakeholders were encouraged to use the materials as part of the interventions geared towards reduction in drug abuse problems among young people.

See media links related to the story below;

http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/640435-45-of-ugandan-youth-take-drugs-and-alcohol.html

Below: UYDEL addresing the journalists at Ibamba Restaurant

1232143

63535453

3. Drug Abuse prevention workshop for stakeholders

This workshop was attended by 48 people from NGOs/CBOs and was aimed at increasing awareness and popularize Article 33 of the United Nations Convention of the Right of the Child (1989) among the NGO social workers, teachers and parents in Uganda; Training NGO social workers, teachers and parents on prevention of onset, identification, communication, and referral of children using narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances using Prevention Smart Parents model; Induct NGO social workers, teachers and parents in evidence based interventions (Brief and Motivational Interviewing) that help young people deal with problems and commit to change and Building the knowledge and skills base of stakeholders in becoming prevention experts in their communities.

At the end of the workshop, participants came up with a Declaration urging government to domesticate Article 33 of the UN CRC and noted that children and young offenders be directed towards compulsory rehabilitation, counseling/treatment for psychosocial support rather than incarceration.

Below: A cross section of the participants during the workshop

34545634

345343

Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky

The philosophy of Preventive Cities has as its leaders leaders in Latin America, Juan Alberto Yaria (Argentina), Guillermo Fernandez (Argentina), Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky (Brazil) and Olga Velez (Ecuador). Preventive Cities is a concept that developed through a focus on a truly comprehensive approach to drug demand reduction, from the smallest town to the largest city. And even, within a city it is possible to implement a Preventive Neighborhood, a Preventive school or a preventive workplace. If the local government, school system, sports and religious associations, social services organizations, parent groups and/ or others work together to reject drug use, trafficking and sales in their community, they can have a tremendous impact. This endeavor has developed over the years and has become the initiative of Mayors, city councils and other concerned groups who want to keep their communities safe and drug free. The most prolific examples of Preventive Cities’ achievements are from Argentina and from Ecuador .This process is an ongoing one requires close follow-up and guidance in many instances, with great participation of the local leaders involved.

6
From the left: Mina S. Carakushanky, Paulo Carvalho, Clarissa Garotinho, Rodrigo Maia, Guillermo Fernandez


On June 29 took place a very dense one day closed seminar for a group of 43 politicians from Rio de Janeiro State. The seminar was idealized and made possible by Federal Congressman Rodrigo Maia (who is also one of the candidates for Mayor of the City of Rio de Janeiro) after he read about the philosophy of Preventive Cities and met some professionals from several Latin American countries who are directly involved in organizing communities and spreading the knowledge about what is needed and can be done to reduce the demand for drugs.

All the seminar participants are candidates in the next October local elections, for the posts of Mayors and City Councils. Among the participants, besides Rodrigo Maia, was the candidate for Deputy Mayor, Clarissa Garotinho. The Democratas and their strong partner the Partido Republicano (to which Clarissa Garotinho belongs), want to take the drug theme into the open political discussion, even knowing that they will be the voice against a seemingly tide on the opposite side. Their strength stems from the awareness that they believe and plan to do what the majority of Brazilian families want to know and see be done.

The seminar designed and coordinated by WFAD Board member for Latin America, Professor Mina Seinfeld de Carakushansky, offered information based on scientific data and concrete examples of what is happening in the world, the challenges, the opportunities and the results, for serious work for drug demand reduction. From 9AM to 6 PM, Guillermo Fernandez D’Adam, Paulo Carvalho and Mina Carakushansky presented the strength of the concept of Preventive Cities and showed the way of possible solutions to the drug problem.
One of the reasons why people of the younger generation start using drugs and alcohol is because of their addicted parents. In most rural areas and slums the younger generation is pushed towards addiction because they lack support for their education. The reason is that addicted parents spend all their money on drugs and alcohol and nothing is left to spend on education for their children. In most cases, the kids drop out of school mainly because of financial difficulties. They have nothing to do at home which may push them to drugs because this is the easiest way to pass the time. To finance their drug consumption they begin their youth as criminals. At the end of the day they might end up in prison.

We have to stop this, in order to protect the next generation. When we rehabilitate the parents we also protect their children. Apart from that we need more prevention, for example to provide assistance for education.

Page 10 of 10