Treatment or Torture? Applying International Human Rights Standards to Drug Detention Centers

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Increasingly more people who use drugs are locked away in the name of drug rehabilitation without any real access to medical care or legal recourse. Drug users rarely enter such detention centers voluntarily, and even if they do, they nearly never are allowed to leave at their will.

Detention centres rely on physical abuse, shackles, solitary confinement, and other indignities to “treat” drug addiction and extract labour from the detainees. Moreover, they are often overseen by government authorities, with private business exploiting the forced labour inside. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people quickly return to drug use once they are released from these centres.

This report — part of the Open Society Foundations' Campaign to Stop Torture in Health Care — makes the case that abuses in these facilities constitute torture or cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment. The comprehensive analysis relies on frameworks to suggest governments must take action to close these facilities or risk not meeting their international obligations.

Contributing Organization:
HIV Legal Network
Contact person:
Terry Gould
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Record last updated:
Fri, 15/08/2014 - 12:41