11th July 2017

International day against drug abuse .. where does Morocco stand?

The direct effects of the drugs scourge are not only limited to drug addicts, but its adverse consequences extend to the families of addicted and to the whole society.

Drug trafficking - a major threat to public health - is promoted by transnational organized crime networks and the spread of corruption and violence. The damage of this scourge affects millions of people, especially poor and vulnerable groups such as women and children.

The annual celebration of World Drug Day on June 26 is an opportunity for the evaluation of national and international policies in the fight against this destructive phenomenon and for the creation of new measures to deal with it.

In his message on the occasion, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of "verifying the effectiveness of the war on drugs approach, which had serious consequences in the field of human rights."

In this regard, he called for an approach based on prevention and treatment, believing that this measure could yield positive results. Antonio Guterres said that this approach involves the application of "non-punitive procedures to deal with the possession of certain types of drugs for personal use" with "increased resources allocated to prevention, treatment and reintegration measures, including harm reduction measures."

On the other hand, according to the report of the International Narcotics Control Board for the year 2016, which was presented in Rabat in March 2017, women and girls account for one third of the total number of drug users worldwide, particularly in high-income countries.

The report of the United Nations, however, indicated that women represented only one-fifth of the people receiving addiction treatment. Women who wish to receive treatment encounter social, cultural and personal barriers.

In Morocco, combating illegal drug trafficking is a national priority, through a socio-economic approach based on security and health.

Since 2005, the Kingdom has adopted a national drug control strategy, intended essentially to target drug trafficking networks through the mobilization of all actors, the consolidation of international cooperation, and the use of new technologies at border control points.

This strategy includes two key components, namely support for income-generating activities in the northern regions of the Kingdom, particularly in fishing, crafts, tourism and the promotion of alternative crops.

In this regard, the Agency for the Economic and Social Development of the Provinces and Regions of the North is considered to be one of the active players in the fight against drugs, where it supports a number of economic and social programs in these regions. It also encourages the adoption of high value-added alternative and modern crops (cultivation of olives, aromatic plants and covered crops).

It should be recalled that the current government has expressed in its program its determination to activate the international strategy and the achievement of its objectives as well as to support the capacities of security agencies in their fight against international trafficking networks. The government has also announced the launch of national campaigns to raise awareness against drug hazards among young people, while promoting international cooperation in the field of security.

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