Drug policies in East and South East Asia continue to focus extensively on tough drug laws and their enforcement, including disproportionate penalties for drugs offences (and the use of the death penalty), compulsory detention for people who use drugs, and forced crop eradication campaigns. However, some significant improvements have been made in the field of harm reduction.
In a worrying development, Cambodian officials are seeking means to speed up court procedures and liquidate the seized assets of suspected drug traffickers before they are convicted to help fund the government’s ongoing efforts to combat drugs.
In Asia, drug policies are used to erode human rights and silence dissenting voices. This adversarial relationship between the state and its citizens displaces the state's responsibility to protect its population.
Duterte has explicitly approved violence that has led to thousands of extrajudicial executions, in the name of an anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths now exceeds those under the murderous rule of Ferdinand Marcos.