Islamic Republic of Iran


Visit of the Mission of Foreign Ministry of Netherlands to UNODC Iran Activity-Site Commending Support for Recovered Drug Users


Tehran, 13 December 2023 – Mr. Rutger Fransen and Mr. Tim Goudsmid, Senior Policy Officers on Iran in the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands, recently embarked on a visit to the Yas Employment Workshop in Tehran. The visit of the mission was coordinated through the Drug Control Headquarters, and the representative from the Drug Control Headquarters, Mr. Alireza Lashgari, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Iran Country Representative, Mr. Alexander Fedulov and UNODC Iran staff accompanied the mission. The purpose of their visit was to explore potential cooperation opportunities and learn from the workshop’s successful initiatives in supporting recovered drug users.

The Yas Employment Workshop is a transformative space that provides crucial support to women heads of households, young women, and men who have overcome drug use. The workshop not only offers an opportunity for individuals to acquire new skills but also empowers them to earn a livelihood by producing a range of undergarments using sewing devices. However, the workshop’s significance extends beyond employment; it serves as a nurturing community that offers training and assistance to individuals who have endured significant challenges in life.

By fostering collaboration and contributing to the production of undergarments, the personnel at the Yas Employment Workshop not only secure a sustainable income for themselves and their families but also actively contribute to the prevention of social harm. The workshop’s commendable focus on providing training and support specifically to women heads of households married to men who use drugs, as well as young women and men in recovery from drug use, sets it apart. These individuals often encounter formidable barriers to employment and struggle to find meaningful work. Recognizing these challenges, the Yas Employment Workshop strives to create an environment where personnel can grow personally and professionally while acquiring new skills.

Impressed by the remarkable work carried out by the center and its unwavering commitment to supporting recovered drug users, Mr. Rutger Fransen and Mr. Tim Goudsmid praised the accomplishments of the Yas Employment Workshop during their visit. They acknowledged the workshop’s significant impact on the lives of individuals who have triumphed over drug use, emphasizing the importance of such initiatives in facilitating their reintegration into society.

The visit also served as an opportunity for UNODC Iran to seek out successful practices in this regard from the Netherlands and explore avenues for future cooperation. The Netherlands government, renowned for its innovative approaches in supporting vulnerable populations, expressed a keen interest in building partnerships to further enhance the support systems available for recovered drug users in Iran.

The Yas Employment Workshop stands as a shining example of how dedicated efforts can transform lives and foster social inclusion. The visit of Dutch delegation reaffirmed the significance of international cooperation for collaboration and sharing best practices to improve the lives of recovered drug users in Iran and beyond.

UNODC Country Partnership Programme (CPP) for Iran (2023 – 2026) has been instrumental in implementation of activities and cooperation with the national partners, and UNODC Iran continues to support the national partners in its initiatives and programme related to drugs and crime.