In a joint statement, the United Nations has urgently appealed to member countries to permanently close compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres in Asia and the Pacific as an important measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Simultaneously, it asked the countries concerned to implement voluntary, evidence-informed and rights-based health and social services in the community, according to the statement issued by 13 UN agencies on Monday.
The joint statement stated that the UN entities stand ready to work with the member countries as they take measures to this end.
The COVID-19 pandemic is posing multiple challenges to countries in the region in designing and implementing efficient response and recovery measures that respect the rights of all people, it said.
Among the groups particularly at risk of contracting the virus are people in compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres, the joint statement added.
During this global health emergency, the UN entities called on the member countries to refrain from any other form of detention too.