The side event at CND61 addressed the issues of access to treatment, the undesired consequences of drug policies, children’s rights, mainstreaming the gender perspective and balanced drug policies
ByLucía Goberna – Committed to ensuring and promoting respect for human rights and quality standards in drug addiction treatment, Dianova International organized on March 16 a side event on the subject at Session 61 of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND61). This is the tenth side event in which Dianova International has taken part since 2012.
The event brought together professionals from different disciplines (including drug policy specialists and experts in the implementation of demand reduction programmes) and different parts of the world to address the issue.
Torbjorn M. Brekke, a senior drug policy advisor at the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, gave a presentation on the differences between the lawful right to quality treatment and the difficulty of ensuring its implementation.
Gloria Lai, Regional Director Asia of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), discussed the undesired consequences of drug policies and the alarming violations of human rights perpetrated against drug users in Asia.
Regarding Asia and India specifically, Dr. Rajesh Kumar, Executive Director of the NGO Society for the Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM), talked about how SPYM is promoting the rights of child drug users and offering quality addiction treatment adapted to their needs.
Gisela Hansen, a clinical psychologist at Dianova Spain’s Can Parellada residential treatment centre, explained how to introduce the gender perspective as a quality standard in drug treament, whether it be in terms of treatment design, organization’s activity, and the composition and training of the staff involved in treatment services. Gisela gave some examples of Dianova’s best practices in this regard, such as collaboration with the academic community and like-minded entities to raise awareness of the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective in all aspects of addiction treatment, and implement relevant advocacy initiatives.
Lastly, Kenneth Arctander of the Norwegian NGO Interest Organization for Substance Misusers (RIO), discussed the impact of drug policies on access to treatment and referred in particular to the decriminalization of drug use and achieving a balance with the control mechanisms applied by governments.
The event was moderated by Lucía Goberna on behalf of Dianova International and was attended by approximately thirty people, including CND representatives from the EU member states, representatives of international organizations like the Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, and other members of civil society and agents involved in the issue. On behalf of Dianova, I would like to thank the speakers for sharing their knowledge with us.