Ha Noi, 5 December 2011 – The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, concluded his mission to Viet Nam today by stressing that detention and compulsory treatment of injecting drug users and female sex workers in the so-called rehabilitation centres violate their right to health. “Detainees are denied the right to be free from non-consensual treatment as well as the right to informed consent in all medically related decisions”, he pointed out. Calling the practices “ineffective and counterproductive”, the UN independent expert underscored that the centres perpetuate stigmatization and discrimination of those groups in the society, impede the Government’s HIV/AIDS efforts and have proven futile in reducing drug use and sex work, their stated objective.
“I wholeheartedly support the closure of the rehabilitation centres”, said Mr Grover, adding that: “it is essential to ensure that the considerable resources now invested in these centres are used instead to expand alternative treatments for injecting drug users”. In that context, he commended the Government on initiating a number of pilot methadone and community-based programmes, which “are less costly and more effective in reducing drug use and facilitating the reintegration of injecting drug users back into the society”.
The Special Rapporteur further underlined that participation of affected populations in health decision-making was an essential component of the right to health, and encouraged the Government of Viet Nam to empower its people, including vulnerable groups, to actively participate in formulating and implementing all decisions concerning their health.
- Click here to read the press statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health Mr. Anand Grover
The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health (right to health). Anand Grover (India) is co-founder and Director of the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit and the Senior Counsel in India.
- (*) Read the full end-of-mission statement by the Special Rapporteur: www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=11683&LangID=E
- Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Health/Pages/SRRightHealthIndex.aspx
- OHCHR Country page – Viet Nam: www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/VNIndex.aspx
For more information:
- For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
- Further slowdown in Asia-Pacific growth in 2012 on declining exports, but region to remain growth pole of world economy
- Viet Nam’s 2011-2020 Nutrition Strategy to Improve Nutrition Status of Mothers and Children in Viet Nam
- Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations sign new One Plan for 2012-2016
- Government - United Nations Joint Programme to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Viet Nam draws to a close
- International Women's Day 2012: Empowering Rural Women and Girls; Ending Hunger and Poverty
- Launch of Viet Nam’s multiple indicator cluster survey 2010-2011: disparities for children and women persist