Celebrating World Drug Day in Afghanistan

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, is marked on 26 June every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving a world free of drug abuse.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of treating people who use drugs with respect and empathy; providing evidence-based, voluntary services for all; offering alternatives to punishment; prioritizing prevention; and leading with compassion. The campaign also aims to combat stigma and discrimination against people who use drugs.

In Afghanistan, several activities were conducted with the support of UNODC to celebrate this Global Day of Action.

In collaboration with the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI), a two-day exhibition was organized in the UN compound where women entrepreneurs supported by UNODC Alternative Development Programme exhibited and sold their products. 10 women entrepreneurs, from several provinces across Afghanistan (Kabul, Panjshir, Khost and Balkh) displayed their products such as saffron tea, scarves, jackets, jewellery and handicraft. The exhibition served as a platform where the entrepreneurs’ products are not only displayed and sold, but participants were also able to exchange new ideas and innovative practices to expand their network and seek broader entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Another initiative was led by the Bridge Hope Health Organization (BHHO), a community-based organization which organized a debate gathering drug users and their relatives. The discussions focused on the living conditions and the human rights of people who use drugs as well as the different way of promoting bottom-up civic engagement and action involving the general community. Stickers and posters, with slogans endorsing “Support Don’t Punish” in English, Dari and Pashtu were distributed and placed on local transport in Kabul.

Also, the UN Web TV prepared report about stigma and discrimination of drug users in Afghanistan