October 27, 2022 – Minsk – UNODC, with the Global Fund and the WHO country office, has organized a round table event on “Drug control policies and practices: alternatives to punishment for people who use drugs”. The meeting brought together policymakers, experts in criminal justice and public health, and representatives of civil society to discuss a proportionate approach in policy towards people who use drugs. Critical national stakeholders, including the Ministry of Interior, Supreme Court, State Investigational committee, General Prosecutor’s office, social protection services, CSO, and UN agencies, took part in the discussion.
During the meeting, the participants discussed the necessity and effectiveness of involuntary drug dependency treatment and the introduction of alternative medical and social measures instead of incarceration for offences related to drug use. Also, the meeting introduced participants to the outcomes of the ongoing pilot of alternative measures jointly implemented by the "Positive Movement" CSO and the State investigation Committee. The State Investigative Committee highly appreciated their joint work in providing social assistance to people who use drugs during the investigation period.
The meeting concluded by establishing the technical workgroup to develop legislative amendments to replace imprisonment for people who use drugs and are not involved in commercial trafficking.