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January 2010
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UNODC promotes human rights abuse

I’ve always been fed up with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime as the international arm of the prohibitionist movement. But there’s a deeper concern.

Supposedly, being part of the United Nations, they are bound to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And Director Costa often talks a good game in speeches about how important it is that human rights not be abused in the name of drug control. And yet, when abuse occurs, who is not out front condemning it? You guessed it. Countries know that they can commit atrocities of any kind in the name of the drug war and they won’t hear a peep from the U.N.

The UNODC also goes around the world and offers its “expertise” in setting up drug control offices and drafting drug control legislation — always with the mindset of promoting prohibition, and rarely with promoting human rights.

Cambodia is a prime example.

Here’s a country where there have been significant incidents of “drug treatment patients” (read “prisoners”) being abused, raped, and tortured.

Now the UNODC comes in and helps them draft new legislation. Take a look at what’s included…

The right to drug treatment

Article 67(5) “Officers who implement drug treatment and rehabilitation measures in accordance with the right to drug treatment shall not be prosecuted for their activities.”

Compulsory drug treatment

Article 71(4) “If a person is drug dependent to any substance as specified … a guardian, relative or authority can refer, or arrest and refer, the person to drug treatment at a hospital, public drug treatment facility, or any drug treatment facility.”

Now does that look like a way to reduce human rights abuse? No, it looks like a way you can get any relative you don’t like committed and then officials there can’t be prosecuted for what they do.

The UNODC should be condemning this, not helping write it.

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15 comments to UNODC promotes human rights abuse

  • Cannabis

    Their name says it all. United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. They encourage both.

  • claygooding

    Without prohibition,all these anti-drug cartels and organizations cease to exist. While advocates that work for legalization know that their “work” ends with legalization,they look forward to it. Prohibitionist on the other hand are clawing and fighting to keep their “work” going and going and going.
    I saw in an interview the other day,a police chief said that the only reason so many people are advocating legalization of pot is because they expect to make money off of it. HOW?
    I am sure that legislators will keep laws against the growing and selling of marijuana,without a license or permit,so planning on making a living selling pot isn’t a very good idea. And who wants to be locked up while all your friends are out there enjoying their freedom.
    The only people in this fight,for the money,are the cartels and prohibitionists,whose money ends when freedom begins.

    America does not have a marijuana problem,we can find marijuana in any town in America.

  • Hope

    How can they think they have the right to treat people like they do over the drugs and substances they wish to consume?

    It’s wrong to treat people like that.

    How can the lovers of prohibition think it’s right?

  • kaptinemo

    A perfect example of the effects of Mr. Costa’s support of prohibition: dead children, killed by trigger happy Thai police Just like what happens here (Alberto Sepulveda, Chastity Bowers, Esequiel Hernandez, etc.).

    Now where is all that gushing, tear-streaming, breast-beating tender concern for the lil’ ones from prohibs? (Crickets chirping) Thought so…especially when it comes to those whose skin color is two shades or more darker than Wonder Bread. If (literally) ‘little brown brother’ gets whacked, well, they must figure that Asians don’t value life as highly as Westerners. And the surviving family members have Mr. Costa to thank for their losses.

  • Buc

    The 21st century governments will be seen in future history books as existing solely for their own benefit. Although the UN and UNODC are not actual governments, they serve the same purpose by taking your money and using it to benefit themselves without actually giving anything back to those whom are forced to fork it over… other than faux safety arrangements.

  • Paul

    I’ve found that if you ignore whatever the U.N. is doing you won’t miss much. You have to remember that although they maintain the trappings of democracy, many of the “votes” at the U.N. come from countries that are not at all democratic. They ain’t the good guys.

    Cambodia is indeed an excellent example. The country is a mess, and they are entirely overrun by NGO’s. More than 500 of them have descended on the country because its government is weak and they can try out their often contradictory social experiments. Downtown Phnom Penh is actually quite nice since so many businesses have opened up to cater to the NGO staff, but the rest of the country is as poor as it gets. I haven’t been there for a few years, but I hear things haven’t changed much.

    As for turning in drug users, I wouldn’t worry much about that. Everyone in Asian countries know you only call police about a problem as an absolute last resort. Once they arrive anything is possible, and not in a good way.

    @Kaptinemo: I’ve heard many stories about the police murders in Thailand. The happy, friendly Thai image is only one side of their country’s personality. The rough side can be very nasty.

    Police wear black uniforms with silver armbands, and are armed. Ex-prime minister Thaksin was responsible for ordering the murder spree. I don’t know what the numbers are, but I hear they were in the thousands. The police would come to drug dealer or users’ houses, drag them out and shoot them in the head. The ordinary Thai’s reaction to this was to say, “Well, you just don’t understand. We had to do it.”

    If you are thinking of going to Thailand, don’t break the law and stay out of questionable situations. I believe Thailand is number 4 in the world for prison population (America is number 1!!) and they happily jail foreigners. You do not have a right to a speedy trial and you won’t get a fair one regardless. Beware.

    The police are free to search you whenever they want, and they do. A friend of mine was touring Thailand and took a ferry to an island. The police got on board the ferry and said that since the trip was an hour long, there was plenty of time to search every last passenger for drugs, and they did. Take off your shoes, turn down the cuffs of your pants, go through your bags, pockets, even your hair. Lots of people, both locals and foreigners, were arrested.

  • Cliff

    This is how totalitarians take over the language with semantic infiltration. Now you don’t have any freedoms except ones granted by those placed in authority over all of us.

    Instead of God given natural rights to live your life as you see fit, including ownership of your body, we get a right to compulsory forced drug rehabilitation inflicted on us by the compassion fascists.

  • Servetus

    The UNODC says drug treatment is a right and then summarily demands that citizens be stripped of their civil rights. “Prosecuted for their activities” can mean anything up to and including false imprisonment and murder. That might work in Thailand, but it’s not welcomed in the United States and most other industrialized nations.

    The second paragraph violates U.S. law with regard to involuntary commitments to treatment programs such as mental hospitals. The intent of such a law is to prevent people from committing their elderly aunt, etc., to a mental hospital just to grab her estate.

    That something as prestigious as the United Nations should ensconce a demented subculture that advocates tyranny of this sort is inexcusable.

    I wonder how the general assembly would react if they were really made aware that they have a cabal of psychopaths and sado-moralists operating within the UNODC that undermines the chief mission of the Geneva Conventions and all that the UN allegedly stands for.

    I mean, damn, UN, clean up your own act.

  • Emma

    The UNODC also recommends that anti-drug agencies distribute fake drugs!

    World Drug Report 2009, page 184: “Other techniques for breeding mistrust, such as the distribution of inert substances packaged to look like drugs (e.g. copycat ecstasy pills with popular logos) or the infiltration of user chat groups could also dampen the spread of the market.”

  • claygooding

    Emma,that may well be how the fake buds got their start,but the developers figured out they could make money selling them and abandoned their plan to spread distrust and just go for the money.

  • Hope

    “Other techniques for breeding mistrust”.

    Ah the UN. Professional “Breeding” of mistrust among people of the world. Lovely.

  • Cliff

    “The second paragraph violates U.S. law with regard to involuntary commitments to treatment programs such as mental hospitals. The intent of such a law is to prevent people from committing their elderly aunt, etc., to a mental hospital just to grab her estate.”

    However, U.S. laws allow involuntary asset forfeiture without due process, or even a real crime being committed, just a ‘reasonable suspicion’ of the money somehow being related to something which might be illegal, or mabye not.

    Here when the State takes your hard earned money they are like;

    “Anyways it’s ours now, too bad for you, prove to us (the State) that it’s yours legally and we’ll still get a cut for our troubles. Have a nice day prole.”

    Under U.S. laws, you have a few rights left, just not to your stuff or self ownership.

  • chuck

    It is a sad day for human rights everywhere. The video of the drug war in Thailand is an embarrassing reminder that the U.S is the root of most, if not all, ass-backwards drug policy around the globe. How can you preach prohibition when your own countrymen despise it. When will they (ONDCP and UNODC) open their eyes to the fact that we are not going to take this lying down anymore?

  • Cliff

    “The Intl. Assn. of Exhibitions and Events has adopted a policy aimed at achieving drug-free workplaces in the exhibitions and events industry. Its first step: random drug testing for all IAEE employees.”

    I wonder why they are so late to the party. With the economy tanking like it is I would imagine that there are very few exhibitions and events being scheduled. Leaves plenty of time for stupid human tricks, like making someone pee for his or her livlihood. I’m glad I don’t work for them

  • Cliff

    Sorry, wrong thread, but the opinion remains the same.