On International Human Rights Day, marked by the theme "Freedom, Equality, and Justice for All," the Manipur Users Collective (MUC) draws attention to the escalating human rights abuses faced by drug users in Manipur, India.
In the midst of the ongoing crisis since May 3, 2023, the MUC paid tribute to those who lost their lives during this turbulent period and extends heartfelt solidarity with the affected families. The coalition also empathized with the displaced population and calls for a just response to the crisis.
Despite the severity of the situation, drug consumption across the state shows no signs of decline. In fact, the crisis has exacerbated the issue, with an uninterrupted drug supply leading to further human rights violations under the pretext of treatment and moral policing.
The gravity of the situation necessitates immediate attention to protect the rights and dignity of individuals, especially considering that many of them belong to the reformative age group. Reports reveal a critical point in the abuse of rights towards drug users, encompassing discrimination, violence, and neglect. Authorities must promptly recognize and address these violations to uphold the principles of human rights.
The MUC calls upon both local and national authorities to thoroughly investigate and rectify instances of abuse, holding those responsible accountable. A comprehensive and compassionate approach is urgently needed, focusing on rehabilitation and harm reduction rather than punitive measures. The eradication of poppy plantations is also stressed as a crucial step in combating the root causes of drug abuse.
Furthermore, the MUC emphasized the importance of acknowledging drug use as a health issue rather than a moral discrepancy. In achieving a pragmatic, efficient, and judicious response, meaningful consultation and engagement with individuals and institutions involved in addressing the issue are imperative.
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