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;
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;
Below: UYDEL addresing the journalists at Ibamba Restaurant
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