-Ranjan K Baruah
Amongst all the crimes in the world drug abuse and illicit trafficking are common in many countries. Drug abuse is a serious concern as many people died at early age due to uses of illegal drugs. Like drug abuse another crime around the world in illicit trafficking. These are getting global concern and by resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
This year’s theme highlights that justice and health are two sides of the same coin when it comes to addressing drug problems. Effective responses to the world drug problem require inclusive and accountable institutions of criminal justice, health and social services to work hand in hand to provide integrated solutions, in line with the international drug control conventions, human rights obligations and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The key organisation in the UN system related to this issue is United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC). It encourages individuals, non-profit organizations, the private sector and Member States to get involved in its social media campaign to mark this day and invites them to draw on the resources provided in the social media campaign package. It supports Member States in implementing a balanced, health- and evidence-based approach to the world drug problem that addresses both supply and demand and is guided by human rights and the agreed international drug control framework. This approach involves: treatment, support, and rehabilitation; ensuring access to controlled substances for medical purposes; working with farmers who previously cultivated illicit drug crops to develop alternative sustainable livelihoods for them; and establishing adequate legal and institutional frameworks for drug control through using international conventions.
Past Observances Themes
2016-2018 - “Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”
2015 - “Lets Develop — Our Lives — Our Communities — Our Identities — Without Drugs”
2014 - “A message of hope: Drug use disorders are preventable and treatable”
2013 - “Make health your ‘new high’ in life, not drugs”
2012 - “Global Action for Healthy Communities without Drugs”
2011 - “Say No!”
2010 - “Think health - not drugs”
In his message António Guterres, Secretary-General of UN said that “national priorities may differ, but the international community shares a common goal to protect people’s security and well-being, while striving for the progress and dignity of all. I welcome the theme of this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – “health for justice, justice for health” – underlining the importance of a holistic approach involving health, human rights, criminal justice and social service institutions.” He calls on all governments to live up to this pledge. This means cracking down on drug trafficking and those who profit from human misery, including by enhanced international cooperation and intelligence-sharing across the entire drug supply chain. It also means human rights-based, gender- and age-sensitive prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services for drug use and HIV, offered without stigma or discrimination. It also means law enforcement approaches that protect people from violence and criminal exploitation.
Making our society free from illegal drugs or illicit trafficking needs contribution from each and every one of us. Individuals, governments, civil society, media all must work together to make our world free from illicit trafficking and illegal drugs which has killed millions around the world. There are challenges but we must make sure that we make our society free from illegal drugs. (With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to [email protected]