Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Windle, James
Journal Of Drug Policy Analysis
A slow march from social evil to harm reduction: drugs and drug policy in Vietnam
Optional Fields
Vietnam; opium; HIV; harm reduction; compulsory drug treatment
The suppression of drug consumption and trade is high on the Government of Vietnam’s agenda. To accomplish this goal, Vietnam employs repressive policies that often contravene international human rights law. Among the most detrimental and problematic policies are the incarceration of drug users in compulsory treatment centers, and the stigmatization and abuse of consumers by the police. Vietnamese drug policy is, however, slowly changing in the face of one of Asia’s worst ongoing HIV epidemics. While the Communist Government of the early-1990s designated illicit drugs as a “social evil” to be eradicated through punitive and often repressive means, the recent implementation of harm reduction approaches have reduced the level of needle sharing, and thus HIV transmission. This briefing will explore the current trends in drug consumption, production, and trafficking before looking at the key harms and threats associated with drugs in Vietnam. This will be followed by a summary of Vietnam’s drug policies, including the country’s approach to drug treatment, harm reduction, and illicit opium suppression: Vietnam is one of a small number of states to have suppressed illicit opium production, an intervention that centred upon coercive negotiations with limited alternative development. The briefing will conclude with some tentative recommendations for reform and thoughts on what could be expected from Vietnam during the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016).
Grant Details