強制驗毒計劃進行咨詢 Consultation aims to strike a balance on mandatory drug testing

Image

A few years back the Education Bureau in Hong Kong started mandatory drug testing in Tai Po schools as a test for all of Hong Kong schools.  I have been told by a primary school student that knew of a few students taking drugs.  But is it reasonable to make hundreds of the innocent students take mandatory testing (which must be humiliating and contribute to a lack of dignity) to catch a one or two of the guilty ones. 80% of students taking drugs, with no innocence presumed, is a very dangerous accusation in a freedom loving society.  I have spoken to many secondary students in Hong Kong and can state I seriously doubt that 80% have taken drugs.  If this is true, I am saying it is not accurate, then the question is why?  Is the education and family system broken down in Hong Kong leading to this incredible percentage and isn’t this the best approach to solve the source of the problem.   This kind of testing is a violation of the child but also a family human rights and presumes guilt before innocence.  Civil rights are being eroded in Hong Kong with no voice of the public to make real changes towards policies that impact them directly. I believe the Judicial system, as a guardian of human rights, is overwhelmed with many human rights violations, that they lump under civil law, in Hong Kong and they a limited ability because of manpower and comprehensive laws detailing exactly what are human rights.  Article 31 of the Basic Law adopted in 1997 for the handover seems to be the most comprehensive to date.   As I understand it by recent media reports Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world that has no child human rights commission in place under the United Nations.  Ask the many parents who write to the Hong Kong Education Bureau with questions, complaints, petitions and receive no resolution or even response.  I am one of them and I have spoken to many others including Legco members who have the same experience.  I am curious if a parent or the child has the right to refuse the take a drug test in a school or a police station and if so what are the consequences?  The next step is mandatory drug testing for anyone in the public.  That is where an erosion of basic human rights goes to another level, step by step.

News link: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1315461/consultation-aims-strike-balance-mandatory-drug-testing

Human rights must be seen in light of scheme’s effectiveness, says committee chief

The mandatory drug-testing scheme would not allow police to override human rights, a drug control adviser said yesterday.

But restricting enforcement would mean that fewer drug users would be caught, said Professor Daniel Shek Tan-lei, the chairman of the government’s Action Committee Against Narcotics.

“We’ll start off with being a bit tighter for now, and we would like to raise this issue for the public to think about,” he said in a television interview discussing the four-month consultation period on the scheme, which begins on Wednesday.

“Don’t be mistaken, we hope to find drug users early, not to prosecute them but to help them.”

Shek is looking for public opinion on two especially controversial points – what ages the scheme should cover and what objective standards should be set in enforcing it.

Now, police can only test people found with drugs. This means, for example, they cannot take action against young people who appear stoned at entertainment venues if they do not actually have drugs on them.

Shek said testing would only be carried if there was reasonable suspicion, which should be defined by objective standards, such as someone not being able to state their name.

“We don’t want the public to feel that police have too much power, that overrides human rights. But if it’s tighter, then there will be fewer prosecutions,” he said.

Concerning age, Shek said: “If we can only take action on those under 21, it would be like singling out young people, and we think that’s problematic.

“Maybe we should consider whether this scheme should be applied to all people,” Shek said, adding that Hong Kong should not go down the path of “harm-reduction”, such as setting up drug safe houses, as that would be surrendering to drugs.

Ben Cheung Kin-leung, chairman of the action committee’s subcommittee on treatment and rehabilitation, said: “When we identify drug abusers, we won’t prosecute them immediately. We’ll refer them to social welfare organisations to follow up on them.

“If they’re able to quit, we’ll let them go. If they continue, then we’ll consider prosecution.”

The aim of the mandatory drug-testing scheme is to identify drug abusers at an early stage, as recent figures show they now stay hidden for longer compared with in the past.

The average time a person had been using drugs before being detected by the authorities was four years last year, compared with just less than two years in 2008.

“Four years means their body will already be substantially damaged by drugs,” Shek said.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as Striking a balance on mandatory drug testing.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s