African youth advocate for humanitarian drug policy based on respect for human rights

Youth from Kenya, South Africa and Seychelles recently participated in a regional training workshop in Nairobi as part of an UNDEF funded project to promote the active participation of young people in drug policy development by building the capacity of youth organizations to advocate for the rights of vulnerable people drug users.

At the end of the workshop, the participants issued a Declaration for a New Humanitarian Drug Policy which advocates for the rights of people suffering from drug addiction and the need to engage in drug prevention programmes. The participants committed to a series of actions within their own countries including raising awareness of the rights of drug users, involving community leaders, organizing social and health campaigns on drug abuse and facilitating activities in schools with teachers and students.

The Declaration also calls on the relevant authorities to promote the rights and inclusion of drug users including establishing links between prisons, health services and civil society to ensure follow up and continuation of services for drug users after release from prison.

The next step for the young participants is to develop peer education project proposals to support marginalized and at-risk youth in their own countries.

The project is being implemented by the international NGO Villa Maraini.