CHINA: ADVANCES IN EXPANSION OF TREATMENT, BUT PERVASIVE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Notwithstanding the recent advances made by China with regard to large-scale rapid expansion of methadone treatment and needle exchange services, persistent and pervasive human rights violations targeting drug users are reported. An article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer 6 Jan is headlined " Group slams China's drug user detention centers." It summarizes a Human Rights Watch report (http://www.hrw.org/node/87467) that describes a system in which "addicts are denied proper treatment in China's state-run rehabilitation centers and are sometimes beaten and forced to work without pay." An idea of just how horrendous the system is can be gleaned from a quote attributed to one observer: "Many drug users, when caught by police, would rather admit that they are trafficking drugs than using drugs because at least there is some kind of legal procedure involved in a drug trafficking charge."