10 Years of Drug Policy in Asia: How Far Have We Come? Stoicescu C and Lasco G. (2019)

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Countries in Asia implement some of the harshest drug policies in the world. As United Nations (UN) member states are set to meet in March 2019 to take stock of progress made since 2009 and delineate the next phase for global drug policy, ‘10 Years of Drug Policy in Asia: How Far Have We Come?’ evaluates the impacts of drug policies in Asia over the past decade from a civil society perspective. The critical role of civil society in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of drug policies is acknowledged in the 2009 Political Declaration and Plan of Action, as well as in the Outcome Document of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs. Using data from the UN, academic literature and contributions from civil society, this report aims to provide a critical assessment of drug policy failures and successes across the region, with the aim of informing high-level discussions on the next decade of drug policy.


Keywords: drug users, harm reduction, human rights, law enforcement, prisons

 

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19.1 Million Girls and Women Living with HIV. UNAIDS. (2019)

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Girls and women make up more than half of the 36.9 million people living with HIV. Ending AIDS by 2030 requires that we address girls’ and women’s diverse roles by putting them at the centre of the response.

 

Keywords: HIV, women, girls, response

 

 

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A Guide in Support of National Human Rights Institutions. UNFPA. (2019)

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This Guide provides a conceptual and methodological framework for National Human Rights Institutions conducting country assessments and public inquiries in the context of sexual and reproductive health. The Guide aims to help develop more comprehensive information systems on human rights in the context of sexual and reproductive health, but also to ensure a standardized approach to the assessment of human rights violations in this area. Through featuring experiences from Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Malawi and the Philippines, the Guide illustrates how these frameworks translate into practice.


Keywords: human rights, sexual and reproductive health, assessment

 

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Accelerating Progress: An Empowered, Inclusive and Equal Asia and the Pacific. ESCAP. (2019)

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The report proposes a framework of four synergistic elements necessary to advance inclusion, empowerment and equality: rights and justice; norms and institutions; resources and capabilities; participation and voice. The need for action on all four fronts is illustrated by a deeper look at three pivotal challenges confronted by the region – (1) climate change and its potential to deepen inequality; (2) the urgent need to boost domestic resource mobilization; and (3) the need to strengthen social accountability and civic engagement. It draws out policy messages on how an empowerment-and-inclusion approach to policymaking can be fostered, including on addressing violence against women and girls. The report provides strong evidence that promoting empowerment and inclusion are necessary approaches to reduce inequality and accelerate progress towards a broad array of Sustainable Development Goals. It is a contribution to the ongoing national, regional and global dialogues on opportunities to empower people, ensure their inclusion and advance equality.


Keywords: SDGs, empowerment, inclusion, equality

 

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Access to Hepatitis C Testing and Treatment for People who Inject Drugs and People in Prisons — A Global Perspective. WHO. (2019)

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WHO estimates that 71 million people worldwide were chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 2017. Globally, 23% of new HCV infections and one in three HCV deaths are attributable to injecting drug use (PWID). HCV is also a major concern for people detained in prisons and other closed settings – available data demonstrate that one in four detainees are HCV positive.

This policy brief highlights the current landscape of country hepatitis policies for harm reduction and HCV testing and treatment in PWID and people in prisons. It aims to capture how governments are translating the WHO Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis, 2016-2021 into national plans, and provides a summary of the enablers and barriers to HCV testing and treatment in these populations.


Keywords: PWID, prisoner,  hepatitis, treatment, harm reduction
 

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Act to Change Laws that Discriminate. UNAIDS. (2019)

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Laws that discriminate can be changed. To do so, people need to know their rights, make discrimination visible and mobilize support and the effective use of legal means. Below are some steps and actions that you can take to change discriminatory laws.

 


Keywords: HIV, discrimination, laws, human rights

 

 

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Asia and the Pacific SDG Progress Report 2019. ESCAP. (2019)

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This report analyses Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) trends as well as data availability for monitoring progress in Asia and the Pacific and its five subregions. It assesses progress towards the SDGs and the gaps which must be closed for these to be achieved by 2030. This assessment is designed to ensure the region’s actions remain on target, shortcomings are addressed as they arise, and all interested parties remain engaged. It is an invaluable resource for all stakeholders involved in prioritisation, planning, implementation and follow-up of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific.

 

Keywords: SDGs, data, health, education, gender equality

 

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Behind the Numbers: Ending School Violence and Bullying. UNESCO. (2019)

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The purpose of this publication is to present a synthesis and new analysis of the available evidence on school violence and bullying, based on the latest and most comprehensive data. The aim is to raise awareness, share lessons learned and encourage countries to take evidence-based action to prevent and respond effectively to school violence and bullying. 

 


Keywords: bully, children, adolescents, school, sexual violence, data

 

 

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Behind the Walls: A Look at Conditions in Thailand’s Prisons after the Coup. International Federation for Human Rights. (2019)

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Thailand’s prison population has steadily increased over the years and the country has the dubious distinction of having the largest prison population and the highest incarceration rate among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states.

For more than a decade, United Nations (UN) human rights mechanisms have expressed concern over prison conditions in Thailand. Regrettably, successive Thai governments have failed to make any progress in the implementation of the UN’s recommendations and to uphold their own commitments to improve prison conditions. In addition, since the 2014 military coup, Thailand’s junta has enforced measures that have caused conditions in the prisons to deteriorate. The junta also increased the use of military facilities to detain civilians.


Keywords: criminal justice, human rights, prisons and incarceration

 

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Cannabis and Sustainable Development. Knowmad Institut, FAAAT, Riboulet-Zemouli K, Anderfuhren-Biget S, et al. (2019)

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Due to its characteristics, widespread cultivation and use, and diversity of its applications the Cannabis sativa L. plant directly pertains to at least 62 of the 169 targets found in 15 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Surprisingly, this plant affects the SDGs both positively and negatively.

 

This report explains how the “hemp-issues” of Cannabis sativa L. (non psychoactivity-related uses) can contribute to meeting  Goals 1, 2, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15, but also why reforming the current repressive, prohibitive, and marginalizing policies relating to “marijuana-issues” (psychoactivity-related uses of Cannabis sativa L.) is indispensable to meet Goals 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 16 and 17.


Keywords: SDGs, drug, law, development, cannabis

 

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