The election of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines in May 2016 - who had based his political campaign on the promise of a violent crackdown on people who use drugs and people involved in the supply of drugs - has led to the killing of over 7,000 people in 7 months.

In addition, over a million people have reported themselves to local authorities as either using or dealing drugs, many of them after being arbitrarily named by police on public listings of suspects.

Already overcrowded prisons have become even more congested. ‘Mega-rehabilitation’ centres are being built with plans to use them for the detention of people who use drugs. Efforts to initiate harm reduction measures (such as needle and syringe programmes and opioid substitution therapy for heroin users) are being stifled in Congress (the Philippines’ legislative body).

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