A study focused on the development of recommendations intended to improve the national drug policy of Belarus and its implication from medical and legal perspectives was presented in Belarus
09 February 2022
The purpose of the comprehensive evaluation was to assess the criminological and socio-medical factors that influence the drug situation at the national level, to formulate effective approaches to forecasting and planning of the most efficient responses to the problems related to drug trafficking.
The prepared forecast of the drug situation development in Belarus will determine the perspectives for formulation and implementation of the state policy to counter spread of drugs and drug trafficking.
The team of national and international experts reviewed national and international drug laws and drug enforcement practices, national criminal justice statistics, open sources and grey literature concerning drug control, drug enforcement, crime investigation, crime prevention, and human rights.
Certain recommendations of the study:
- Harmonize drug laws in accordance with the international standards in order to ensure a balanced and proportional approach to crimes related to drug trafficking;
- Review the narcological registration procedure allowing for its consequent abolishment. Any form of client/patient registration needs to serve the purpose of individual and/or public health only, should contribute to the monitoring and assessment of the progress, and must comply with basic standards for protection of confidentiality. Review any forms of coercion to medical examination and treatment.
- Introduce integrated care approach for substance use disorders. This would include developing and adopting common standards and mechanisms for screening and assessment, developing care plan, and monitoring and evaluating the progress;
- Ensure the provision of a comprehensive package of services in prisons on the prevention of HIV, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis including substitution therapy;
- Engage in planning, development, implementation and follow-up drug enforcement assessment representatives of the key groups of population, their families, human rights lawyers, health professionals, social workers, national and international independent researchers, and gender experts.
The study was implemented with the support of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.