Partnering with police to improve the lives of people who use drugs in Vietnam
In Vietnam, the Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI) is working closely with the police on a pilot scheme that is improving the health and lives of people who use drugs while also enabling the police to reach public security goals.
“We have been working with the police in different ways for around five years now”, says Khuất Thị Hải Oanh, Executive Director at SCDI, a partner in the Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV response (PITCH).
We do this to increase understanding on both sides. Part of this work is providing police with information so they can see there are alternatives to punishment and they can be part of this solution. This can really empower them.
In turn, by working more closely with the police, the rights violations people who use drugs experience at the hands of the police reduces. “When a police officer come into closer interaction with someone who uses drugs they will see them with different eyes, they will see them as a person and be more emphatic to them,” says Oanh.