Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries

National Training of Police Officers on UNODC Toolkit for Law Enforcement Officials on Drug Use and HIV Prevention 

19-21 September 2017, Police Training College - Islamabad, Pakistan      

Sub Programme 3 of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, in collaboration with the UNODC Country Office for Pakistan has organized a three day 'National Training of Police Officers on UNODC Toolkit for Law Enforcement Officials on drug use and HIV prevention', from 19-21 September 2017 in Islamabad.

Approximately 47 police officers from 21 districts of Punjab province of Pakistan participated in the workshop. The workshop was conducted by the Sub Programme 3 Coordinator in addition to experts from the UNODC Country Office for Pakistan , who highlighted the benefits of using the UNODC toolkit to enhance communication and engagement of law enforcement officials with drug users and other marginalized, diverse and/or vulnerable populations.

The objective of the training was to; develop a better understanding of the important role that the police play in the public health sphere; to improve understanding of public health responses to drug use; to allow trainees to apply the learned skills with diverse and vulnerable populations, including people who use drugs; to teach participants to learn to form and sustain partnerships within the community to protect public health, to reduce crime; and, also to give trainees the skills to conduct further training courses on the subject in their respective countries.

There is increasing global recognition of the important role that the police have in protecting citizens and public health, especially in diverse and vulnerable communities.  Law enforcement officials have a significant role and responsibility to ensure uninterrupted access to essential drugs and HIV-related health and social services for vulnerable populations including people who inject drugs (PWID).

By virtue of their role in upholding law and order, promoting community safety and protecting human rights, law enforcement officials are often in frequent contact with drug users and people who inject drugs.

During the three day training course, the participants from 10 districts of Punjab Province gained practical knowledge and improved their skills on how to deal with drug users, including providing counseling, as well as referring them to the nearest available drug treatment and HIV prevention service centres. The Commandant of the police training college thanked UNODC for providing the participants an opportunity to gain knowledge and skills on drug use and HIV prevention, noting that the  trainee law enforcement officials  are being provided lectures on drug and HIV prevention on regular basis.  

It is also expected that the participants of the training will further disseminate the gained knowledge and skills to the other police officials in their respective districts.

UNODC thanks the European Union for funding the event.