Civil Society Observatory of Illicit Economies in Eastern and Southern Africa - Risk Bulletin Issue #17
In Issue 17 of its regular Risk Bulletin, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime reports on a range of recent developments in the Eastern and Southern African region.
Over the past decade there have been increasing claims that the world is moving towards a critical turning point in international drug policy, based on a growing recognition that governments must consider alternative approaches to drug policy which include decriminalisation. While this shift has been hailed as a sign of progress by many, INPUD believes there are still important and overlooked questions regarding the extent to which the needs and rights of people who use drugs are being prioritised in countries that have decriminalised drug use.
By Phumlani Malinga
On 28 July INHSU (The International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users), TB HIV Care, SANPUD (South African Network of People Who Use Drugs) along with the a representative from the Department of Health, Dr Kgomotso Vilakazi-Nhlapo, the Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, and others held a World Hepatitis Day Advocacy and Training Roundtable, to help drive efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat in South Africa.
The United Nations' High Level Meeting on AIDS process may have come to an end and the Political Declaration adopted, but for many of us, the work has just begun!
As with the Multi-Stakeholder Taskforce, so the Love Alliance welcomes the critical commitments on transformative and measurable targets on programmes that are needed to end AIDS, specifically the 10-10-10 targets on societal enablers, calling for member states to end all inequalities faced by key populations by 2025.
Following the successful national launch of South African Network of People Who Use Drugs (SANPUD) in October 2020, Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, launched the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial SANPUD chapter in Amajuba District, Kwa-Zulu Natal Province on 7 June 2021.
As a colonial construct, the global drug control regime has undermined the rights of indigenous peoples (including the right to self determination, and to practice and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs), obliging all states to abolish traditional uses of coca, cannabis and opium by means of crop eradication and drug law enforcement.
World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.
The 2021 theme this year is 'Hepatitis Can’t Wait' - and we at SANPUD along with partners will be hosting a virtual event for World Hepatitis Day 2021, which aims to increase knowledge and drive forward efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat in South Africa.
“Drugs cost lives” – so begins the preface of the World Drug Report 2021, the flagship annual publication from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which is published on the UN’s International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This year’s slogan for the day was #ShareFactsSaveLives and in the preface, UNODC’s Executive Director states that, “it is crucial to cut through the noise and focus on facts, a lesson that we must heed in order to protect societies from the impact of drugs”.
It is therefore deeply disappointing that UNODC’s report omits so many facts and fails to present the full picture of the impact global drug control.
July 21st is International Drug Users' Remembrance Day, where we take time to remember the people whose lives were unjustly cut short due to the criminalisation and stigmatisation of people who use drugs. To us, they were #MoreThan a casualty; they were our family, friends, peers and loved ones.
By Phumlani Malinga
The release of the Paper on Drug Use and City Government by the Global Commission on Drug Policy was a great opportunity to establish credibility, spark conversations and change the narrative about people who use drugs in the media. The focus of the coverage was to showcase the expertise of the South African Network of People Who Use Drugs in assisting public institutions in developing human focused research informed sustainable ways of dealing with the increase in numbers and visibility of people who use drugs.