Drug policies in most countries in the region focus on strong law enforcement, with little space given to health protection and social inclusion. Nevertheless, some countries have recently responded to the increased demand for treatment and rehabilitation with some level of healthcare and harm reduction services.
Tom Blickman of TNI explores the rapid expansion in Morrocan illicit cannabis cultivation, associated with considerable corruption and repression, which could lead to a productive debate on regulation.
Iran has managed to build its own harm reduction system, sustainable in its own way. It is not like any other western system and not quite like the systems described in manuals and recommended by WHO and UNAIDS.
Reprieve has called for “urgent clarification of the European Commission’s policy on funding counter-narcotics operations in Iran”, following reports in the Iranian media that a UNODC official said the EU was actively seeking to provide support for Iranian drug enforcement operations.
The death penalty has failed to reduce drug trafficking in Iran, a senior Iranian judiciary official said on Saturday shortly before the scheduled execution of 12 people for narcotics-related offences.
The main goal of the conference is to advocate for and promote harm reduction in the countries of the MENA region and to foster networking between civil society organisations and other stakeholders working in the field.