Press Release
IOGT Endorses VNGOC Statement On Situation In The Philippines

For immediate release: August 4, 2016
Media contact: Esbjörn Hörnberg
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IOGT International fully supports the statement made by the Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs, in response to the recent violent, extra-judicial killings of and attacks against suspected drug users, often poor and marginalized people in the Philippines.

The IOGT International Constitution stipulates: “The work of IOGT International and its member organisations is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights.” We therefore strongly support the renewed commitment of the global community, agreed at UNGASS 2016, to respect, protect and promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity in implementing drug policies.

VNGOC Statement On Situation In The Philippines

The VNGOC joins the global community in condemning the recent violent, extra-judicial killings and attacks on hundreds of poor people and people who may or may not use drugs in the Philippines.

We support our Philippine NGO partners who promote evidence based prevention and diversion programs recommended by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). We are concerned that, rather than providing services for people who need them because of problematic drug use, the government is expanding the tools of law enforcement beyond their legitimate scope.

We urge the Government of Philippines to follow the recommendations it voted to adopt at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGASS 2016) during the recent Special Session on Drugs, which reiterated

a commitment to respecting, protecting and promoting all human rights, fundamental freedoms and the inherent dignity of all individuals and the rule of law in the development and implementation of drug policies.”

The Government of the Philippines further committed itself to

Promote and implement effective criminal justice responses to drug-related crimes […] and to eliminate impunity, in accordance with relevant and applicable international law.”

The VNGOC is committed to the international law principle of mutual and shared responsibility and stands ready to support our member organisations in the Philippines to provide the necessary prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation services to confront the phenomenon of problematic drug use in their country.

We urge the Government of the Philippines to request international assistance from UNODC and WHO in this effort, rather than to encourage police and armed citizens to resort to vigilantism. We further urge the Filipino people to follow Pope Francis’ teaching that they

confront the problems underlying the use of drugs by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future.”

Best regards,

Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs

— END

Statement in PDF

Click here for VNGOC statement in PDF