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E. Human rights violations in compulsory detention centres

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E. Human rights violations in compulsory detention centres

46. Persons who use drugs or who are suspected of using drugs may be confined in compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres without trial or an evaluation of their drug dependency, often for months or years, and frequently outside the supervision of the criminal justice.58

47. Compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres, sometimes referred to as re-education through labour centres, typically subject detainees to long hours of physically strenuous exercise, physical and verbal abuse, beatings, solitary confinement and enforced labour, according to the Special Rapporteur on torture (see A/HRC/22/53, paras. 40-42). The Special Rapporteur on the right to health noted that these practices are not evidence-based and medical professionals who are trained to manage drug dependence are often inaccessible. Moreover, treatment is often conducted en masse and disregarding the need for informed consent to be given on an individual basis (see A/65/255, paras. 31-33).

48. Non-consensual experimental treatment, torture, ill-treatment and sexual violence have also been reported at compulsory detention centres (see A/HRC/22/53, paras. 40-42). Imposition of compulsory treatment, at the expense of not having access to opioid substitution therapy and other harm reduction interventions, also increases the risk of disease, particularly through HIV infection (see A/65/255, para. 36).

49. These practices have been condemned by 12 United Nations entities in a joint statement in which they call for the closure of compulsory detention centres.59 Nevertheless, compulsory drug detention centres, many of which are located in East and South-East Asia, continue to detain approximately 235,000 people.60

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