According to official accounts, more than 235,000 people are detained in over 1000 compulsory drug detention centers in East and South East Asia. Individuals in such centers are held for periods of months to years, and can experience a wide range of human rights abuses, including:

  • violation of the rights to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment;
  • freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention;
  • a fair trial;
  • privacy;
  • the highest attainable standard of health; and
  • freedom from forced labor.

Since 2010, an increasing number of United Nations agencies, human rights experts, and others have expressed concerns about rights abuses associated with compulsory drug detention centers, and since 2012, called for their closure. Although they do not represent a complete break from the past, these calls mark a significant shift from past engagement with drug detention, which included direct and indirect funding of detention centers and activities in detention centers by some donors.

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