YouthRISE Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation, has decried human rights abuse of drug users at both rehabilitation and detention centres.
The NGO, which is working to protect the human rights of young people in Nigeria, at a media roundtable in Abuja, yesterday, to celebrate this year’s Human Rights Day, said young people doing drugs were abused and their dignities violated within closed settings.
The Project Coordinator of YouthRise, Dr Adeolu Ogunrombi, said research based evidence has shown that young people suffer torture and poor quality health care at the centres.
“The organisation conducted a research into the experience of young people who are in some of these centres across the country, and the findings showed that they experience torture, poor quality healthcare and are kept in prison-like, dehumanising conditions with some having chains around their legs.
“All these are done in an attempt to make them drug-free,” he said.
Ogunrombi lamented that the centres were not monitored by relevant organisations hence the abuses persists.
He also said it was a wrong perception by members of the society that drug users did not have human rights and by locking them up they could be drug free.
“There is also a fallout of the country’s ineffective drug policy that sees drug users as criminals rather than individuals in need of support and public health services. Many of these youths have also experienced a lot of human rights violations in the hand of law enforcement agents.
“As the world celebrates the Human Rights Day, the Nigerian government needs to set up minimum human rights standards and enforce them for everyone operating drug rehabilitation and treatment centres across the country.
“It is also imperative to review our drug laws so that those with problematic drug use are not treated as criminals but provided access to effective treatment and rehabilitation where their human rights are upheld,” he added.
Source: The Daily Trust News