Archive for February, 2010

Media Invitation – Southern Africa Launch of the 2009 International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Annual Report – 4 March 2010

24th February 2010 Uncategorized
Illicit drugs present the world with an ongoing challenge, represent a danger to society, and are an area which requires constant attention and action to tackle and manage both supply and demand. The consequences of illicit drugs are widespread – they fuel organised crime, fund terrorism, and adversely affect public health; the latter has an often unforeseen economic consequence – data from the World Health Organisation for instance notes that close to 1 per cent of ill health in the world can be attributed to drug abuse, with that proportion increasing to 2.3 per cent in developed countries.
Noting these factors, each year the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) releases its Annual Report to reflect on the previous successes, identify existing challenges and discuss recent development affecting global production of and demand for drugs.
As the independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions, the INCB has been instrumental in tracking both these areas across the world. The INCB assists Governments in their efforts to control drugs by managing an ever expanding global control system formulated in the three main international drug conventions: the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
Recognising that the international community has come a long way since the International Opium Commission convened in Shanghai in 1909 which marked the beginning of the international treaty system, the 2009 Annual Report highlights several good reasons for society to give concerted attention to preventing drug abuse.
Specifically, the Reports core discussion areas cover:
– The need for urgent action against the growing problem of prescription drug abuse;
– The issue of drugs being used to commit sexual crimes;
– Analysis of the world situation;
– Processes, routes and substances used by criminal networks to manufacture drugs; and
– One hundred years of drug control and the related international drug control.
Critically, the Report also recognises that Governments cannot be effective in primary prevention operating alone. Partnerships with civil society need to be forged at all levels, locally, nationally and internationally to ensure scarce resources are applied as efficiently as possible and to increase effectiveness in reducing the prevalence of drug use. Their large and direct involvement in this issue lends non-governmental organisations an important perspective that needs to be heard around policy tables.
To mark the release of this publication, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the University of South Africa (UNISA), and the Central Drug Authority (CDA) will be holding the regional launch of the Annual Report on Thursday 4 March 2010 from 12h45 to 15h00 at UNISA’s Senate Hall, Muckleneuk Campus, Pretoria. This will include presentations and discussions by UNODC and the CDA, covering country, continental, and global-level trends and issues from 13h30. The event will be preceded by a light luncheon from 12h45 onwards and followed by media time and opportunities for one-on-one interviews with the speakers.
RSVP/further details
Anna Logun
T: 012-342-2424
E: anna.logun@unodc.org
Media Enquires
Kevin Town
UNODC Advocacy & Communications
T: +27 12 342 2424
E: kevin.town@unodc.org

Pretoria – Illicit drugs present the world with an ongoing challenge, represent a danger to society, and are an area which requires constant attention and action to tackle and manage both supply and demand. The consequences of illicit drugs are widespread – they fuel organised crime, fund terrorism, and adversely affect public health; the latter has an often unforeseen economic consequence – data from the World Health Organisation for instance notes that close to 1 per cent of ill health in the world can be attributed to drug abuse, with that proportion increasing to 2.3 per cent in developed countries. (more…)

IOM: Lack of Migration Data Hampering Cooperation and Integration in Southern Africa

5th February 2010 Uncategorized
Efforts to foster socio-economic cooperation and integration within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and to better manage migration in the region are being hampered by weaknesses in the collection and measurement of international migration data, according to a new report published by IOM.
Entitled: “Data Assessment of Labour Migration Statistics in the SADC Region: South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe,” the report assesses existing statistical infrastructures and systems for the collection, analysis and sharing of international migration data in the three Southern African countries.
The study was carried out in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Statistics Programme and is part of IOM efforts to promote regionally coherent and coordinated data collection and the sharing of mechanisms critical for effective regional economic integration and migration management.
Although international migration continues to increase within the region, weaknesses in migration data collection systems means data is not comparable and there is difficulty in accepting common definitions. Similarly, the true scale of migration as well as its impact on both sending and receiving countries cannot be effectively measured, making it difficult to develop informed migration policies.
The three countries chosen for the study are representative of different economic and political realities in the region. South Africa, with a population of 50 million, is regarded as the economic powerhouse of the region. Although a mainly migrant receiving country (including from Zambia and Zimbabwe), it is nevertheless witnessing a significant emigration of highly skilled workers.
Zambia draws migrants from all over the region because of its peace and stability, but it also loses a significant number of skilled and highly educated professionals because of its poor economy.
Zimbabwe, with a reported population of 13 million, has increasingly experienced high levels of emigration. A conservative estimate of three million Zimbabwean nationals are said to make up the Zimbabwean diaspora.
The study assesses how these countries collect and analyze international migration data. While similar tools are used for data collection, only South Africa has a centralized computer system to analyze the results. Introduced only recently, however, the system faces a number of teething implementation challenges.
The report also highlights that data collection does not often take into account irregular migration, which is a significant trend in the region and while the three countries maintain registers for asylum seekers and refuges, there are also problems with timely collection and processing of that data.
Censuses and household surveys could fill some of these gaps, but these do not typically take into account migration trends.
The study makes a number of recommendations to help address these challenges. These include better utilization of existing data sources and the need to harmonize terms and definitions.
It also suggests automating border control and permit information, training relevant officials to improve data collection and analysis, as well as strengthening data sharing and lines of communication among these actors.
Finally, the study recommends that an inter-agency task force be formed in each country to improve communication within the government and that the capacity of the SADC Statistical Committee be strengthened by harmonizing data collection systems and establishing a common database.
The report was funded by IOM’s 1035 Facility, which provides special support to IOM developing member states and member states with economies in transition to develop and implement joint government-IOM projects addressing particular areas of migration management. It can be downloaded online at: http://iom.org.za/site/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=42&Itemid=238.
For more information, please contact Yukiko Kumashiro at IOM Pretoria. Tel: +27 12 342 2789 (Ext 210), Email: ykumashiro@iom.int

Efforts to foster socio-economic cooperation and integration within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and to better manage migration in the region are being hampered by weaknesses in the collection and measurement of international migration data, according to a new report published by IOM. (more…)

Social Workers Available to Provide Support and Therapy

3rd February 2010 Uncategorized
Cape Town – The Mitchell’s Plain Care Centre (MPCC) is upgrading its services and facilities in order to better serve the community and victims of gender-based violence.
The MPCC in Tafelsig operates as a one-stop facility to provide numerous services to victims of domestic abuse and violence. The Centre, a joint initiative between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Department of Social Development (DSD), has been made possible through funding by the Austrian Development Agency and has been operational since 2008.
The purpose of the Centre is to provide counselling and support, particularly for women and children exposed to domestic violence, to raise awareness on issues of gender-based violence in the community through workshops and educational programmes and to provide sensitivity training to service providers such as the South African Police Service (SAPS) and health workers as well as the community on how to work with and support those who are victims of violence and abuse.
The Centre is staffed by two registered social workers, Ursula Jeptha (who is also the Centre Manager) and Kristy-Ann Govender (recently appointed to broaden the Centre’s services) as well as Theo Kholi who is responsible for administration at the Centre. The Centre and social workers provide support, counselling and therapy sessions, and will assist anyone in need of such support. Over and above providing support and counselling, the Centre is also organising support groups for women and children in order to empower victims of domestic violence.
Although the Centre does not operate as a shelter, it will in future be providing crisis accommodation for up to 72 hours for victims of gender-based violence. Furthermore, with a soon to be completed forensics room, the Centre will be able to provide certain forensic and first aid medical services to the victims at the Centre.
Domestic Violence does not only include physical or sexual abuse, but also economic control and psychological assault (including threats of violence and physical harm, attacks against property or pets and other acts of intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, and use of the children as a means of control). Men, women and children of all ages may be victims of domestic violence and the perpetrator could be anyone from a spouse to a parent, child, sibling or caregiver.
If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to contact the Mitchell’s Plain Care Centre on 021-397-3291. The Centre is located on the corner of Pyrenees & Kilimanjaro Roads in Tafelsig and is open from Monday to Friday between 08h00 – 16h00.
Issued for the Mitchell’s Plain Care Centre by Ursula Jeptha.
Media enquiries:
Ursula Jeptha – Centre Manager: Mitchell’s Plain Care Centre
T: 021 397 3291  |  C: 072 942 1413  |  E: ursula.jeptha@unodc.org

Cape Town – The Mitchell’s Plain Care Centre (MPCC) is upgrading its services and facilities in order to better serve the community and victims of gender-based violence. (more…)