International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
UNODC has selected "drugs are not child's play" as the theme of its 2006 international campaign, in an effort to increase public awareness about the destructive power of drugs and society's responsibility to care for the well-being of children. The latest estimates indicate that 200 million people, or 5 per cent of the global population age 15-64, have consumed illicit drugs at least once in the last 12 months. But what about kids? What about children (aged 4 to 10)?
Although they are seldom the object of national and international studies, children of all ages are affected by drug abuse and illicit trafficking. Street children, working and living in dire conditions, are vulnerable, as are boys and girls whose family members are buying or selling illicit substances. These kids are exposed not only to bad examples but also to violent behaviour associated to drug abuse. In some instances, children have lost their parents to this scourge and are now cared for by uncles, aunts or grandparents. At school, the situation may not be any better. Teenagers and peers may be pressuring kids to smoke cigarrettes and drink alcohol, at first, and then to try marihuana. Other types of drugs may follow.
UNODC's anti-drugs campaign urges adults to protect children. Parents, siblings and other family members can ensure that a child's home is a safe environment and that children are aware of the dangers associated with drug abuse. Teachers and social workers also have a role to play by watching out for warning signs and taking measures to address any drug-related problems. For example, teachers can provide kids with information on the health risks linked to drug abuse and also give them a forum to discuss the issue openly. Other individuals and organizations can and should also contribute to the protection of children. The media, non-governmental organizations and government institutions are among them.
See Also :
DRUGS are not child's play
Living without drugs