Brazil does not monitor the activities of therapeutic communities, Conectas tells the UN

The organization presented the principal issues surrounding private institutions that treat people for problems concerning drug use, at the United Nations Human Rights Council

Sala do Conselho de Direitos Humanos da ONU Sala do Conselho de Direitos Humanos da ONU

Flaws in what are known as therapeutic communities – private institutions that provide treatment to people with problems with drug use – were presented by Conectas at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council, on Friday (2), in Geneva, Switzerland.

The organization pointed out that there is no clarity about the type of work carried out by these institutions, there is no proof of the efficacy of their treatment methods, nor are there any transparent control and assessment mechanisms. The statement also says that while investment in equipment for healthcare and the psycho-social network has been cut back, the allocation of resources for therapeutic communities, that are not part of the public health service or social services, has been increasing.

“We are calling on the Brazilian government to adopt a human rights approach in the definition of drug policies. There is an urgent need for a profound democratic discussion on public funding for these communities and on their role in Brazil´s policy to support people with drug use issues.”, said Gustavo Huppes, Conectas international advocacy advisor, during his speech at the Human Rights Council.

Also according to Conectas, there have been a number of denouncements about forced labour, torture and ill-treatment taking place in therapeutic communities in Brazil, including alerts made by the SPT (Sub-committee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment). 

Watch the denouncement speech: 

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