Connect with us

Articles

Filipino 10-year-olds could face mandatory narcotics tests as part of Duterte’s war on drugs

Published

on

President Duterte vows to continue war on drugs

Schoolchildren as young as 10 and their teachers could face mandatory drug tests in the Philippines as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.

Last week, Aaron Aquino, head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), said he would like to see mandatory drug testing introduced for students and staff at public and private schools, who would undergo surprise drug screening every year under the plans.

The PDEA has asked the country’s Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) for the authority to impose the annual drug screening tests, justifying the move by saying they would allow its officers to identify young drug users and intervene before their use of illegal substances escalates.

DDB chief Catalino Cuy said his office would consider the proposal, but added: “Drug prevention programmes in schools are already in place. These have proven to be effective in deterring drug use and instilling the importance of leading a healthy and drug-free lifestyle among students.”

As with many of the proposals announced during Duterte’s two-year-old war on drugs, the idea of random student testing has been met with a chorus of criticism.

The country’s education department opposed the proposal, saying in a statement: “The department of education observed that the proposal of the PDEA to test all students age 10 and older may require the amendment of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, which authorises drug testing for secondary and tertiary level students only.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the plan would place schoolchildren at grave risk. Phelim Kine, Deputy Director of HRW’s Asia Division, said: “Taking a child’s bodily fluids, whether blood or urine, without their consent may violate the right to bodily integrity and constitute arbitrary interference with their privacy and dignity.

“Depending on how such testing occurs, it could also constitute degrading treatment, and may deter children from attending school or college for reasons unrelated to any potential drug use, depriving them of their right to an education.”

Separately, ABS-CBN News reports that a new study has revealed that poor Filipinos are most likely to be killed as a result of Duterte’s war on drugs.

The study, which focused on 5,021 drug-related killings that took place between May 2016 and September 2017, revealed that most of those who lost their lives were on low incomes.

“Based on their place of residence or their occupation, it is clear that most of the victims were poor,” the report noted.

Continue Reading

Articles

US citizens spent $150 billion on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and crystal meth in 2016

Published

on

US citizens spent $150 billion on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and crystal meth

A new report published by non-profit research organisation RAND has revealed that US citizens spent almost $150 billion on cannabis, cocaine, heroin and crystal methamphetamine in 2016.

The study, titled What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, also found that the US cannabis market is approximately the same size as the cocaine and methamphetamine markets combined, and that America’s retail heroin trade has grown to become closer to the size of the cannabis market than it is to those for other illcit substances.

Some 2.4 million Americans used cocaine on four or more days over the course of one month between 2015 and 2016, while heroin consumption across the country increased by around 10% every 12 months between 2010 and 2016, according to the report.

The report noted that the introduction and spread of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanyl had increased the risk attached to taking heroin and complicated researchers’ analysis of the market over the study period.

RAND discovered that the lion’s share of money spent on drugs in the US comes from a relatively small number of people who use illicit substances on a daily or almost daily basis.

Researchers also said that while national data sets on the consumption of methamphetamine in the US are poor, an increase in the number of seizures of the drug across the country and at its southwest border with Mexico between 2007 and 2016 tallied with a rise in usage over the same period.

The report recommended that the federal government reintroduce Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) to help researchers better map and understand patterns in the usage of illegal substances such as methamphetamine and fentanyl.

It also noted that wastewater analysis is another good approach for estimating drug consumption across the US, observing that such testing has been used effectively in other countries such as Australia, which publishes the results of wastewater drug analysis annually.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Greg Midgette, the report’s lead author who serves as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland and an adjunct policy researcher at RAND, said: “To better understand changes in drug use outcomes and the effects of policies, policymakers need to know what is happening in markets for these substances.

“But it is challenging to generate these estimates, and given that critical data sources have been eliminated, it will likely be harder to generate these figures in the future.”

Continue Reading

Articles

Customs officers in Guinea provided with training on how to use Interpol border security tools

Published

on

Interpol border security tools

As part of its ongoing efforts to bolster the abilities of law enforcement agencies in West Africa, Interpol has led a border security operation in the region intended to highlight the importance of targeting individuals attempting to use counterfeit travel papers.

Operation Stop kicked off with a two-day training course at the end of July during which border security officials in Guinea were taught how to use a number of Interpol resources such as the global policing agency’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database.

The resource is intended to help investigators across the globe check the validity of travel documents in seconds, allowing them to quickly identify incidents of document fraud, detect individuals attempting to travel illegally, and crack down on illicit cross-border financial flows.

As part of the initiative, Interpol extended access to its I-24/7 secure police communication system to security officials at the international airport in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, as well as to other law enforcement units outside the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB), allowing them direct access to the organisation’s criminal databases.

After initial training sessions, Interpol oversaw two days of live operations at the airport, which involved border officers screening passengers using the tools they had been taught how to operate.

Local officials were also encouraged to run passenger details from the previous month’s flights though the database to reinforce the skills and knowledge they had acquired.

After conducting over 23,000 checks, border force officers at the airport identified three positive “hits” against documents recorded in the SLTD database.

Harald Arm, Interpol Director of Operational Support and Analysis, commented: “Police are just one piece of the border security puzzle.

“Access to the right tools at the right locations, the skills to use them effectively and coordination with other relevant law enforcement agencies, must all combine to ensure countries can best protect their borders.

“Activities such as Operation Stop which bring all these aspects together and encourage cooperation nationally, regionally and globally will have a lasting positive impact on border security throughout West Africa.”

Earlier this month, Interpol announced that it had headed up a separate border control operation in West Africa that resulted in the rescue of over 100 suspected victims of human trafficking, including 35 children.

This followed a similar Interpol-led effort in the region back in April, which saw almost 220 suspected human trafficking victims being identified and rescued in Benin and Nigeria.

Continue Reading

Articles

A quarter of all CDs ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ in US are counterfeit, RIAA warns

Published

on

CDs ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ in the US are counterfeit

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has claimed that 25% of all CDs “fulfilled by Amazon” in the US are counterfeit.

A recent sample purchase programme conducted by the RIAA, which represents major labels that are responsible for the creation, manufacture, distribution or sale of 85% of all legitimately recorded music produced in the US, also found that 100% of new “high-quality box sets offered for sale through eBay or AliExpress in the US were counterfeit”.

The exercise revealed that 11% of new CDs offered for sale on Amazon were fake, and 16% of new CDs sold on eBay were bogus.

Publishing the findings of its sample purchase programme, the RIAA said it had also observed the sale of fake “best of” or “greatest hits” CDs or vinyl that purport to be from major record label artists on these platforms, even when the labels in question had never released such albums.

The association said it continues to see a high number of incidents in which its members branding has been used without permission on multiple ecommerce platforms, including Amazon, eBay, Redbubble and Bonanza.

“These infringements not only undermine revenues from legitimate sources to music creators and owners, they also harm the reputation and goodwill associated with the artists, brands or logos at issue,” the RIAA said.

“This harm is exacerbated by limited and inconsistent enforcement by online third-party marketplaces and other intermediaries to address counterfeit listings and sellers of counterfeit products.”

Responding to the RIAA’s findings in a statement given to Digital Music News, Amazon said: “Our customers expect that when they make a purchase through Amazon’s store—either directly from Amazon or from one of its millions of third-party sellers—they will receive authentic products.

“Amazon strictly prohibits the sale of counterfeit products and we invest heavily in both funds and company energy to ensure our policy is followed.”

Last month, research conducted by anti-piracy and counterfeit protection firm Red Points revealed that the number of items buyers believe to be fake sold on Amazon rises by a third during the company’s annual Prime Day event.

Earlier in July, Amazon announced the expansion of its flagship anti-counterfeiting Transparency programme to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, India and Canada.

First launched in the US back in March 2017, the initiative allows companies to apply unique T-shaped QR-style codes to their products, which can be used by customers, brands, Amazon and other participants in the supply chain to authenticate items being offered for sale.

 

Continue Reading

Newsletter

Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates and information on events

Social Widget

Latest articles

Press review

Follow us on Twitter

Trending

Shares