Bangladesh: UNODC trains police officials on drugs, crime and HIV/AIDS with focus on vulnerable groups

Dhaka, Bangladesh/22 December 2022: Globally, more than 11 million people remain in pre-trial detention or imprisonment and overcrowding in prisons remains a persistent challenge for countries. Individuals confined in prison settings remain vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other health conditions, posing a risk to the physical and mental well-being of prison staff, officials and healthcare professionals, who operate in close proximity with prisoners on a day-today basis.

There is an increasing global recognition of the important role that law enforcement officials play in protecting and promoting individual and public health, especially the health of vulnerable communities. With regard to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, there is a need to enhance awareness among law enforcement officials and build capacities to ensure uninterrupted access to essential HIV-related health and social services for vulnerable populations including people who inject drugs (PWID).

In this backdrop, UNODC conducted the first ever five-day training on “Drugs, Crime and HIV/AIDS”, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Police Staff College. Attended by 25 inspectors from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), the training was based on a manual, ‘Police Training Module on Drugs, Crime and HIV/AIDS,’ jointly developed by UNODC and Bangladesh Police. The training was opened by Mr. Marco Teixeira, Representative, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia.     

UNODC, under the UBRAF mechanism, has carried out interventions on HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh since 2020, following consultations with stakeholders. These are aimed at rendering technical assistance to counterparts and stakeholders for effective implementation of HIV prevention programme with PWIDs and other at-risk populations.

This is also in line with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), which emphasizes, “Prisoners should enjoy the same standards of health care that are available in the community, and should have access to necessary health-care services free of charge, without discrimination on the grounds of their legal status.”

This activity contributes to SDG 3 and SDG 16:

(Supported by UBRAF Mechanism)