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FACTS

The UNGASS Outcome Document gives guidance to governments and NGOs alike to how one can prevent drug use and promote public health by using a comprehensive, balanced and humane approach.

It is unacceptable that tools of law enforcement are used in the name of drug policy far beyond their legitimate scope

International protests against drug-related killings in the Philippines

Prevention of drug problems does not give anyone a «license to kill». This is the essence in an open letter sent by FORUT to the Government of the Philippines through their embassy in Oslo. FORUT strongly appeals to the Philippines to stop using killings and other inhuman methods as a part of their drug policy. NGOs from all over the world have expressed the same concern.

FORUT says in the open letter that it is the overarching responsibility of any government to protect the lives, health and well-being of its citizens.” Preventing drug use and drug dependence must be an integral part of a strategy to create a healthy population and a safe society. However, such a strategy cannot adopt methods that in themselves are contrary to the life, health and safety of citizens. It is unacceptable that tools of law enforcement are used in the name of drug policy far beyond their legitimate scope”.

Civil society organisations from all over the world have launched the same protests to the government of the Philippines. The Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs says in a letter on behalf of their members: “The VNGOC joins the global community in condemning the recent violent, extra-judicial killings and attacks on hundreds of poor people and people who may or may not use drugs in the Philippines”. The VNGOC urge the Government of the Philippines to request international assistance from UNODC and WHO in this effort, rather than to encourage police and armed citizens to resort to vigilantism.

FORUT is a Norwegian development NGO, specialized in the prevention of drug and alcohol problems in the developing world. On this background FORUT expresses its deepest concern over the reported killings of a large number of citizens in the Philippines in the name of drug prevention. “We appeal to the Government of the Philippines to stop these killings and other inhuman treatment of people and to adopt evidence-based, humane and internationally accepted methods to prevent drug-related harm”.

Overview of general asembly hall 1700p.jpgLike the VNGOC statement, FORUT also makes reference to the UNGASS conference in New York earlier this year. The meeting adopted an excellent Outcome Document which gives guidance to governments and NGOs alike to how one can prevent drug use and promote public health by using a comprehensive, balanced and humane approach.

FORUT concludes: “It is now the duty and the challenge for both governments and NGO to implement such a strategy, adapted to national realities in our respective countries. We appeal to the Government of the Philippines to refrain from inacceptable methods and instead join hands with the international community in a global effort, built on the principles of sustainable development, promotion of public health and human rights. There are plenty of good interventions to choose from in the UNGASS Outcome Document, interventions that will not only reduce drug-related harm but also promote social and sustainable development in a broad sense”.

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