ISSN 2330-717X

Philippines: Drug-Test Plan For Colleges Angers Rights Group

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A Philippine government plan for mandatory drug testing of all college students “seriously threatens their safety and right to education,” a rights group has warned.

Human Rights Watch said the plan is a “dangerous outgrowth” of the government’s “war on drugs” that has already resulted in the deaths of at least 7,000 suspected drug users and dealers.

The Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education has already approved a memorandum order for the mandatory drug testing that will be implemented at the start of school next year.

Human Rights Watch, however, said the order will allow the police to “carry out any drug-related operation within a school premises” placing students at “grave risk.”

In a statement on Aug. 11, Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said imposing mandatory drug testing amid the drug-related killings “puts countless children in danger for failing a drug test.”

Kine said education officials should be protecting students, not putting them in harm’s way through mandatory drug tests.

In May, the Department of Education announced that it will also launch random drug tests in primary, elementary, and high schools later this year.

Human Rights Watch said sanctions imposed on students could make them more vulnerable to police abuse.

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The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

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