UNITED NATIONS CHILD WATCH
Dr. Ariel King,
WOW, Children and Youth Issues
WOW Permanent Representative ECOSOC at UNOV – Vienna
(Copyright 2011 Ariel Consulting International )
Focus: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Commission on Narcotic Drugs, 54th Session, Vienna 21-25 March 2011
1. Healthy and safe children through family skills training programs
“Healthy and safe children through family skills training" to highlight the importance of family skills training programmes in preventing substance abuse among children and adolescents.
Research has shown that the family is the most important factor in protecting children and young people from drug abuse and other dangers. When parents spend quality time with their children and monitor their activities, children are much less vulnerable to substance abuse, delinquency and risky sexual behavior. However, many parents lack the relevant child-rearing knowledge and life skills to prevent their children from abusing drugs or engaging in other risky behaviors.
UNODC has been running family skills training programmes as part of its larger programme to prevent drug abuse in order to equip parents with the skills they need to help to protect their families from drug abuse. Family skills training programmes enable parents and children to interact in a relaxed social setting that encourages communication. Parents learn skills that help them to supervise and provide consistent discipline to their children. Children learn personal and communication skills and how to resist peer pressure.
Speaking at the event, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said: "Family skills training is cost-effective. Ten dollars are saved in substance abuse health-care costs for every one-dollar spent on family skills training. Additional savings can be expected if we take into account the positive impact family skills training can have on juvenile justice, social services and education."
The family skills training programme is being implemented in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan and Turkmenistan), the Balkans (Serbia and Albania) and Panama and is to be extended to additional countries and regions in 2011.
"Thanks to this programme, I learned useful and important skills to help me to raise my children better. I could discuss my problems with other parents, and as we became friends we were better prepared to support each other. I now have more confidence and less stress. Most importantly, the training sessions helped me to become closer to my children", said a parent beneficiary from Bishkek.”
2. A Smart Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Drug Use and Criminal Behavior
“More than 50 percent of parolees and 37 percent of probationers fail to complete their sentences satisfactorily. Those high failures rates persist in spice of may local, stat and federal (USA) initiatives – including treatment-diversion programs – intended to improve offender outcomes. A new community supervision model for substance-abusing probationers called HOPE has achieved much better results, both as a pilot and in an randomized controlled trail. The program relies on a mandate to abstain from illicit drugs (delivered during a clear warning in open court), backed by swift and certain sanctions – as little as two days in jail for the first violations. Unlike diversion programs and drug courts, HOPT does not require every participant to undergo formal drug treatment”
Smart Probation in Hawaii – Project HOPE
HOPE Program Outcomes
Organization: USA Office of National Drug Control Policy
Publication: Hawken, Angela (2010) Behavioral Triage: A new Model for Identifying and Treating Substance-Abusing Offenders, Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Vol 3(1) 2010.
3. “The rights of the child” – The forgotten Human Rights Issue?
“The only explicit statement about narcotic and psychotropic drugs in any core United Nations Human Rights Convention is located in Article 33 of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Protection against drugs is, hence, unquestionably a Human Rights issue.
Protecting children form illicit use/ production/ trafficking of drugs is not a option for States Parties to the CRC. It is an obligation. Since CRC is ratified by the vast majority of UN member states (except Somalia and USA) the obligation is universal. However, it could be in danger of being forgotten.
Member states “shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.”
Specifically Article 3 says: In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, court of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
Further, Article 6 of the CRC states that “every child has the inherent right to life and the Member states, “shall endure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.” And Article 27 states that member states “recognize that rights of every child to t standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.”
“Protecting children from illicit use/ production/ trafficking of drugs is not an option for States Parties to the CRC. It is and obligation”.
Organization: World Federation Against Drugs
Publication: The Right of Children to be Protected from Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances – a human right / international law perspective. Stephen Dahlgreen and Roxana Stere. Fri Forlag. World Federation Against Drugs, 2010.
United Nations Economic and Social Council Documents
Promoting international cooperation n addressing the involvement of women
And girls in drug trafficking, especially as couriers. Report of the Executive Director. United Nations Economic and Social Council E/CN.7/2011/7
(2 January 2011).
Measures to protect children and youth people from drug abuse. Report of the Executive Director. United Nations Economic and Social Council E/CN.7/2011/13
(11 January 2011).
Promoting coordination and alignment of decision between the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Programme Coordinating Board of the Join United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Note by the Secretariat. United Nations Economic and Social Council E/CN.7/2011/10 (20 December 2010).
Activities of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Report of the Executive Director, United Nations Economic and Social Council E/CN.7/2011/3. E/CN.15/2011/3 (28 December 2010).
Achieving zero new infections of HIV among injecting and other drug user.
(Argentina, Croatia, El Salvador and New Zealand: revised draft resolution)
United Nations Economic and Social Council E/CN.7/2011/L.15/Rev.1
(25 March 2011).
United Nations Publications
Children and Psycho-social Issues
Families First! Prevention of drug us, HIV/AIDS and crime among young people through family skills training programmes. United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime,
2011 UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children Building Resilience,
UNICEF – United Nations for Children’s Fund, 2011
Evidence-Based Family Skills Training Programme. United Nations Office of Drugs
and Crime, Vienna, 2010.
Reducing the adverse health and social consequences of drug abuse: a comprehensive approach. Discussion paper, United Nations Office of Drugs
and Crime. United Nations, New York 2009.
Children and Drugs
The Right of Children to be Protected from Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances – a human right / international law perspective. Stephen Dahlgreen and Roxana Stere. Fri Forlag. World Federation Against Drugs, 2010.
Guide to implementing family skills training programmes for drug abuse prevention,
United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Vienna; United Nations, New York, 2009
Schools –School-based education for drug abuse prevention. United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Vienna; and Global Youth Network, New York, 2004.
From coercion to cohesion – Treating drug dependence through health care, not punishment, Discussion Paper based on scientific workshop, UNODC Vienna October 28-30, 2009. United Nations New York, 2010.
Agenda for Accelerated County Action for Women, Girls, Gender Equality
And HIV, Operational plan for the UNAIDS Action Framework: Addressing Women,
Girls, Gender Equity and HIV, UNAIDS, 2010.
Getting to Zero: UNAIDS 2011-2015 Strategy, UNAIDS, 2010
HOW UNODC deals with HIV and AIDS, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,
WHO, UNODOC, UNAIDS, Technical Guide, for countries to set targets for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for injecting drug users.
World Health Organization, United National Office on Drugs and Crimes, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 2009.
Hawken, Angela (2010) Behavioral Triage: A new Model for Identifying and Treating Substance-Abusing Offenders, Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Vol 3(1) 2010.
Orange Magazine, 54th Annual Meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Vienna, March 2011.
Mentor Foundation, Mentor Arabia, Drug Prevention for children and youth
Orange Magazine, 54th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs –
“It’s Prohibition Stupid!” March 2011. www.organgelog.eu
Office of National Drug Policy, Executive Office of the President, USA
World Federation Against Drugs www.WFAD.se