The UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, in partnership with the governments of South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka), is executing project RAS/H71 titled, "Prevention of spread of HIV amongst vulnerable groups in South Asia".
Dr. Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert and Mr. R Gunashekar, Project Officer, undertook a mission to Bhutan to conduct
National training on HIV and drug abuse prevention in the prison settings
of Bhutan, this was facilitated by the Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency (BNCA). This National training is a collaborative effort of UNODC and BNCA, Bhutan to initiate HIV and drug abuse prevention activities in the
prison settings. A total of 23 participants from Prisons, Officers from the Royal Bhutan police, Health departments, NGOs and BNCA officials participated in the workshop.
The primary objectives of the workshop were: to equip the participants with knowledge and information pertaining to substance use and HIV/AIDS in prisons; sensitize the prison officials/ officers responsible for rehabilitation of drug users and NGOs working in HIV/AIDS prevention in prisons, to the problem of substance use and HIV/AIDS in prison settings; and Capacity Building of Prison Officers and Other Service Providers for facilitating training and interventions in the field.
The participants shared that they gained immensely from the workshop and felt confident that they will be able to incorporate elements of the training into their work.Through the workshop, the participants developed a set of priorities and recommendations for rolling out of activities in the prison and it was presented to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police assured the group that the recommendations would be considered for immediate implementation. Mr. Kipchu Namgyel, The Chief of Police, Royal Bhutan Police and Mr.Kinley Dorji, Executive Director, BNCA, have expressed their keenness to launch prison intervention initiatives with the prisons of Bhutan.