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Countering illicit drug production and trafficking

5A UNODC

 

One cannot dispute the fact that consumption of illicit drugs directlyaffects not only people’s health and wellbeing, but security.

Illegal drug production takes place in many forms - from a single troubled young adult growing cannabis to mass-scale heroin and cocaine production in illegal laboratories - there’s not a single country in the world that doesn’t have to, at least to some extent, deal and suffer with the consequences of it.Illegal laboratories – where what’s often referred to as ‘clandestine chemistry’ takes place – are the main source of production.

As stated by a recent UN study, global cocaine manufacturing in 2016 reached the highest level ever reported, with an estimated 1,410 tons being produced. A marked increase in opium poppy cultivation and gradually improving yields in Afghanistan resulted in opium production there last year reaching 9,000 tons.Opium poppy production has become established to the great measures in the livelihood of many Afghans, that it is often the main source of income for not only farmers, but also many local and migrant workers hired as day-laborers on farms. Given the circumstances, UNODC and the international community have identified the growing issue of Afghan opiates as a priority, launching The Afghan Opiate Trade Project (AOTP).

According to statistics the production and consumption of all kinds of drugs tends to lead to higher crime rates as well. Aforementioned mass-scale illegal laboratories provide a hefty income source for various violent gangs, terrorist organizations, and similar groups, which allows them to further fund other illegal activities. It is a well-known fact that drugs are also used as a purpose of sex trafficking - in order to ensure that the victim stays submissive and agrees to the traffickers’ needs – the victims, often younger women, are manipulated or forced into becoming addicted to them.

Another alarming drug-related global challenge is drug trafficking. The distribution, manufacture, sale and cultivation of illegal drugs is contemplated as trafficking in drugs. Just in EU, every year citizens spend tens of billions of euros on purchasing illicit drugs from smugglers. Parties involved in drug trafficking are concentrated in particular geographic areas where countries are already facing with political, social and economic problems. Illegal drug trade is often committed by organized groups with broaden network both internationally and domestically. Differentcountries are countering illicit drug trafficking or possession of certain amount of drugs on manydifferent levels - from pursuing capital punishment for drug trafficking todecriminalizing certain ‘’light drugs’’.

Lastly, drug abuse represents a serious threat for both longevity and cultural values, especially among young population, inevitably living a mark on health.According to the 2019 World Drug Report, 35 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders while only 1 in 7 people receive treatment and proper care.

To conclude, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime attempts to prevent abuse of narcotic drugs by asking the following:

*How can international cooperation predict and prevent drug trafficking?

*What are the measures we need to implement in order to reduce the supply of drugs?

*How can decriminalization of drugs in medical purpose prevent illegal drug manufacturing?

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