February 23, 2011
The Thai Ministry of Interior has started a special week of action to get all drug addicts across Thailand clean.
Deputy Permanent Secretary for Interior Mr. Surapong Pongtadsirikul has disclosed that there are approximately 30,000 drug users who have not been treated so far since the third phase of the Thai drugs eradication programme has begun. During 20-27 February, drug users in Bangkok will be brought to the existing rehabilitation centres. They will be encouraged to receive treatment out of their free will but if they refuse, they will be forced against their will. A makeshift rehabilitation camp will open for addicts elsewhere in Thailand where rehab centres are scarce. The names of the arrested drug users will be recorded in a database specifically designed for easy tracking and providing updates on their progress in the future.
IFHHRO is very concerned about this development as forced treatment for drug addiction is a clear violation of health and human rights. We call upon the Thai government to refrain from treating drug users for their addiction against their will and make sure that voluntary drug addiction treatment services are available, accessible, acceptable and of sufficient quality.