CND day 1 – Swedish government statement: ‘protecting children against drugs is a human right’

Sweden associates itself with the statement made on behalf of the EU. Sweden is fully committed to the Political Declaration and Plan of Action adopted in 2009. Sweden remains a strong supporter of UNODC’s activities in addressing the world drug problem and as a guardian of the Conventions. We welcome the integrated programme approach. From a Swedish point of view, we uphold a mutually reinforcing and balanced approach between demand and supply. We need to work effectively in the international community to build a political consensus and uphold public support. Supply and demand reduction through prevention, treatment and rehabilitation are equally important. The ultimate aim is abstinence and reintegration of dependent users.

There is no contradiction between drug conventions and human rights and fundamental freedoms. One of the most important elements is the protection of children from illicit drugs. Our children are most vulnerable to drug abuse. We have legally binding obligations under international law to protect children of their rights and give them good living conditions. We must ensure that children do not become victims of illicit drugs. Last year, a resolution was adopted on children’s rights. States should take measures to protect these rights. States should raise awareness among the general population and among children (article 33 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child). Protecting children from drug abuse, production and trafficking, is an obligation.

Science has made great progress through research conducted. Evidence shows that prevention works. The work of NGOs is crucial to prevent drugs and support families affected by illicit drugs.

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