Asian Parliamentarians Discuss Decriminalisation of Drug Use

16 May 2009

With the support of UNAIDS, Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development organised a parliamentarians’ session at the International Harm Reduction Conference in Bangkok, Thailand on 21st April. It was chaired by Dr Pinit Kullavanijaya, Senator, Thailand and AFPPD Secretary General, and addressed by Dr La Ode Ida, MP and Deputy Speaker of the Upper House, Indonesia; Dr Donya Aziz, MP and Chair of HIV/AIDS Parliamentary Committee, Pakistan; Dr Ouk Damry, MP, Cambodia; Mr Douandy Outhachak, MP and Chair of the Socio-cultural Committee of the National Assembly, Laos; and Dr Prasada Rao, Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific. The session drew over 200 participants. The panellists stressed that a rational approach to drug use would be part of the solution to problems such as drug trafficking, organised crime, HIV/AIDS and violations of human rights. They agreed that in addition to health services and harm reduction programmes, there needs to be an enabling legal environment in which drug users are treated humanely and are not at risk of abuse when they access these services. Read about AFPPD.