Thailand rounding up its own people into camps

Drug addicts in Thailand will be treated next week

The Ministry of Interior has picked next week to get all drug addicts across Thailand clean. Deputy Permanent Secretary for Interior Mr Surapong Pongtadsirikul has disclosed that there are approximately 30,000 drug addicts who have not been treated so far since the 3rd phase of the drugs eradication program has begun.

During 20-27 February, 2011, drug abusers in Bangkok will be brought to the rehabilitation centers to get clean. There will be those who are encouraged to receive treatment on their freewill and those who will be forced against their will. A rehabilitation camp will be open for addicts elsewhere in Thailand where a rehab center is scarce.

This, remember, is a country with a history of abusing and killing its citizens in its internal drug wars.

The International Harm Reduction Association and other NGO’s have responded:

A coalition of international and Thai health and human rights organisations have voiced their fears that the Thai government’s planned round up of people it suspects are using drugs will trample on human rights and potentially rekindle widespread abuses of vulnerable people.

The organisations responded to an official announcement that the Ministry of the Interior intends to force thousands of people suspected of using drugs into detention centres and keep their names on official registries for future monitoring.

In a letter to the Thai government, the organisations wrote, “These plans for mass detention and forced treatment raise considerable human rights concerns, especially given Thailand’s history of nationwide punitive and ineffective anti-drug campaigns…there is no way for the Government to implement a campaign to forcibly ‘treat’ tens of thousands of people who use drugs without widespread human rights abuses taking place.”

So, where is Yury Fedotov and the UNODC? Why aren’t they jumping in to stop this abuse? Do human rights not matter?

And where is the U.S. State Department? They’ve got no problem jumping in to object to Bolivia’s innocuous amendment about coca. Where’s their objection to this?

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