Report on coercive treatment

Treated with Cruelty: Abuses in the Name of Rehabilitation, a new report by the Campaign to Stop Torture in Health Care (CSTHC) , provides first-person testimonies of drug users who have been detained in such centers located in China, Cambodia, Mexico, and Russia.

Tied to these harrowing stories are human rights commentaries, which offer an in-depth review of the international standards in health and human rights that are being denied to those detained in treatment.

The former Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, also adds his voice in an introduction calling for the closure of drug detention facilities.
Methadone, used to treat opiate dependency in many countries for over 40 years, is banned in many countries.

All efforts to stop drug use have tended to criminalize users a policy that has marginalized drug users from wider society.

Many families believe that it would more appropriate to send their children to treatment centers for help with their drug dependency.

They believed they were doing the right thing in sending their sons and daughters to treatment centers  which seem in reality more like prisons.

This was  the case with Francisco‘s family in Mexico who sent him to rehabilitation Centre for treatment of his cocaine addiction.

So a society which tries to resolve an issue in blaming people in needs go to increase the use.

In some countries drug users in treatment centres are being used as labour for private interests

In china there is some evidence that prove that treatment centres are using drug users as forced  labour: “After eating, we run as fast as we can into the workshop to begin a day of frenzied labor.

We sprint there because we need every second to meet our production quota for the day; if we don’t, our buttocks will bear the brunt of punishment at day’s end” said a Chinese prisoner to CSTHC.
According to this report from CSTHC, China has one of the largest and most established drug detention systems in the world.

The Reference Group to the UN on HIV and Injecting Drug Use estimates that China detains 300,000 people in drug detention centers, while UNAIDS has placed the number at half a million.
Human Rights Watch, in interviews with former detainees in Beijing, Yunnan, and Guangxi provinces, has documented pervasive physical and sexual abuse, poor conditions, and lack of access to health care or treatment.

In addition to beatings, lack of medical treatment, and rape, drug detention in China often means being forced to work for up to 16 hours a day without pay. Many centres sign labor contracts with private companies.

The abuse of the drug users work seems like a state policy in China.  Its economy is always looking for low cost workers. So drug users  are now abused like prisoners who works for free.

The answer to this State policy   could be done by customers who can boycott Chinese products which use drug users work.

Also, In Mexico, drug treatment is mostly delivered by unregulated, expensive private institutions, infamous for their harsh and abusive methods.

So in these two countries drug treatment is synonym while the health of users is not getting better.

In Soviet times, Russians who used drugs were detained in state-run facilities against their will.

Today the laws mandating compulsory drug rehabilitation have been overturned. That, however, has not meant the end of drug users being detained involuntarily in modern Russia.

Instead, private groups have now stepped in to perpetuate this punitive regime—while the government looks the other way.

The parents would sign a paper stating that they, the parents, commit their child to rehabilitation at such and such.

In these countries there is a big use of drugs which is anchor in the culture of the poor part of the society.

 Is  Methadone is not the only solution against the drug use it doesn’t mean a repressive methods drug users would a part of solution.

Under the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), Article 1, one element of torture is that it must be inflicted by, at the instigation of, or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.”  

So treatments which use such methods could not be seen as treatment but as torture which is condemned by UN.

The increasing of drug use could not be stopped by arbitrary arrests like in Cambodia but with a preventive policy based on social programs to help people to exit from poverty.

The poverty in these countries seems to be the main factor of the drug use.