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Joseph J. Amon, Richard Pearshouse, Jane Cohen, Rebecca Schleifer
Health and Human Rights 2013, 15/2
Background: According to official accounts, in 2012 more than 235,000 people were detained in over 1,000 compulsory drug detention centers in East and Southeast Asia.
Methods: Between July 2007 and May 2013, in-depth interviews were conducted with 195 individuals recently released from drug detention centers in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos.
Results: Individuals reported being held for up to five years in drug detention centers without clinical determination of drug dependency or due process, and being denied evidence-based drug treatment as well as other basic health services. Many individuals reported being forced to perform arduous physical exercise or military-style drills. Forced labor was reported by all individuals having been detained in Vietnam, and some held in Cambodia and China. Physical—and less often, sexual—abuse was reported among those held in each country.
Conclusions: Long-term, compulsory detention for treatment of drug dependency is counter to established principles of medical care and violates a wide range of human rights, including the right to health. Individuals held in drug detention centers in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos are subject to torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.
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Naomi Burke-Shyne, Joanne Csete, Duncan Wilson, Edward Fox, Daniel Wolfe, and Jennifer J. K. Rasanathan
Drug Policies and Indigenous Peoples
Julian Burger and Mary Kapron
International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Control: A Tool for Securing Women’s Rights in Drug Control Policy
Rebecca Schleifer and Luciana Pol
Mechanisms of Accountability for the Realization of the Right to Health in China
Shengnan Qiu and Gillian MacNaughton
The Child’s Right to Protection From Drugs: Understanding History to Move Forward
The Case for International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Control
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Letter to the Editor: Human Rights, TB, Legislation and Jurisprudence
O. B. K. Dingake
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