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Sweden Statement to Demand Reduction Round Table

‘Let me tell you about sofia. 1oyrs old she works hard in school but no friends are brought to play and her parents do not come to parents evenings at school. The hidden secret is her father is a drug addict and her mother works hard to keep the family together. The children growing up in families such as this have a higher risk of developing criminality, not to mention the fact that they are at risk, not least of abuse. We need to learn how to identify these kids in school so that they can reveal their secrets so they can get help. Sweden has been very active in the field of demand reduction. But we have also learnt that this need needs to be an ongoing priority of society. Among our top priorities are children and young people. That focus is also present in the political declaration as well as the draft plan of action. The ability to identify and give proper support to girls like Sofia requires education, knowledge and cooperation at local community level. And last but not least that we trust and support local ngos in their work. They are better equipped and have their ears to the ground. For my part psycho-social problems among such kids is becoming a concern. I am convinced supporting the parents is the most effective way to assist the child. The parents are the most important people in the child’s life and have the most impact on their life. Zero tolerance within the family to alcohol, tobacco, and narcotic drugs is important – it delays experimentation, and the longer they abstain, the smaller is the risk that they will ever try. This is not the super nanny approach. Parents are and must continue to be fully responsible for their children but they need support and advice, there must be a way to provide this. NGOs are able to meet the needs of specific people. In the declaration, NGOs are mentioned several times as a partner to work closely with. Internet is a genuine global phenomen and a global tool that most of use every day. It is also an effective market place and drug store. The work done with cyberspace by incb is very welcome. The latest report contains guidelines to governments to deal with this issue. I see it is as a risk to overlook the internet as an important provider to young people. I want you to take this issue seriously. In Sweden a suggestion is that police can confiscate a drug that may be used for intoxicating purposes, whether or not it has been classified yet and this is helpful. Demand reduction is very important to protect our young people but the resources do not meet those we spend on supply reduction measures.’

One comment

  1. Martin Veltjen says:

    Intoxication can be a human right. With aura’s and ego’s colliding in an ever denser populated world, some novocaine for the soul is necessary.

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