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Increasing drug abuse worries Nigeria’s Human Rights Commission

Increasing drug abuse worries Nigeria’s Human Rights Commission

  • August 2018
  • Posted By Ben Craske

Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has voiced concern about the increase in drug abuse and addiction in the country, stating that the combination of a weak government policy framework and a shortage of public healthcare facilities have made the situation worse.

The NHRC noted that the worsening drug situation had often caused various types of human rights violations, including murder, kidnapping, rape, and hate speech. Tony Ojukwu, NHRC’s Executive Secretary, made that observation in Abuja when he welcomed an advocacy visit by a delegation from the West Africa Drug Policy Network (WADPN).

Okereke Chinwike, WADPN’s National Coordinator, noted that the chaotic distribution and dispensing of poisonous drugs by untrained individuals had exposed the public to major adverse health issues. He said that his team came to visit the NHRC to explain WADPN’s activities and to explore possible collaboration between the two organisations to promote effective policy and legal reforms on issues related to drug abuse that impact Nigerian’s well-being and health.

Chinwike expressed the need to treat drug addiction as a human rights issue instead of a criminal issue, which would lead the government to provide healthcare facilities to treat people addicted to drugs. He indicated that the WADPN would host a summit in September and bring all stakeholders together to discuss reforming national drug policy and set a new course towards the sanitary distribution and use of drugs. WADPN plans to present a document at the summit that will help guide legislators and policymakers as they address drug policy reform.


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