“PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF DRUG USERS”
The Thai Drug Users' Network (TDN), a group of active and former drug users who have organised in response to the deplorable health and human rights situation of drug users in Thailand, held a press conference today at the 14th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm (ICRDRH) in Vhinag Mai, Thailand, to demand an immediate end to the murderous policies promoted by the Prime Minister's office under the rubric of fighting a war on drugs.
The Network also calls on the government to respect and protect the human rights of drug users and their families through the repeal of discriminatory laws and policies, which have allowed for the denial of quality health care and treatment for this population. This must include access to substitution therapy, and antiretroviral therapy for HIV positive users, to be covered under
"The government needs to immediately implement a full range of harm reduction programs, particularly needle exchange, to address the HIV/AIDS and hepatitis crisis exploding in our community," said Wassawut Yimchaen, a Thai drug user activist from Alden House. "We also need a legal environment which allows us to participate actively in relevant decision-making and program implementation." Pop, a young drug user from
Australian drug user activists at the conference vehemently oppose the extra-judicial killings intended to wipe out the use of illicit drugs in Thai society, but in fact result in the murder of innocent people in the Thai community. "On May 14th we will help coordinate an international day of action initiated by TDN to oppose these atrocities," said Gary Meyerhoff, representing the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), a peak organisation representing all drug user groups in
"We will also mobilise to move the location of the next International AIDS conference from