Sunday, March 3

Rio de Janeiro's street children disappear: cleaning up the city for the Olympiads

Cleaning the city to the Olympiads is making poor people, especially children. disappear.
We are used to meet at least three homeless children when we get out in Rio de Janeiro. I've noticed that they disappeared,
In the streets of Copacabana they were everywhere. Not anymore. I don't know what has happened?
I don't know but it I wouldn't be surprised if these children are being given drugs so that they become
"police case". But it's just a speculation. Facts:

Officials Consider Radical Measures against Brazil's "Crackland"

"Rio de Janeiro city officials are considering passing a law which would make the compulsory treatment of crack cocaine users legal as the nation's infamous "cracklands" grow.

In Rio de Janeiro, crack users were driven out to outlying favelas after a 2008 initiative saw police take over the city's main shantytowns, or favelas.

Now, in an effort to "clean-up" the city ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, officials are pushing for the compulsory treatment of crack-cocaine addicts living in the streets.

Health officials, assisted by armed police, would try to convince crack-cocaine users into getting treatment - or take them away forcibly if they resist.

The measure is hugely polarizing.

Some don’t believe in the one size fits all solution.

[Leonardo Pecoraro Costa, President of Drug Policy Council of Rio de Janeiro]:
"We don't support the treatment, either compulsory or involuntary, as a model to be applied to all drug addicts. In specific cases, properly followed by health professionals, that can be an option, but it has to be part of a bigger plan.”

An addict, who declined to give his name, also disagreed.

[Anonymous, Cocaine Addict]:
"I decide if want to go or not (to get treatment). I have gone many times."

But according to Silvia Tedesco, a Psychologist Professor at the Federal Fluminense University, in Rio de Janeiro, the country's politicians are trying to find a short-term solution for a very complex issue.

[Silvia Tedesco, Psychologist Professor, Federal Fluminense University]:
"(Compulsory treatment) doesn't work, what happens is that they will go into treatment for months, then they will come out and after a few months, sometimes even weeks, they will be back using it. The number of success stories is very small and insignificant to justify the use of compulsory treatment.”

Tedesco would like to see the problem tackled from a public health perspective rather than from a public safety standpoint.

Since March 2011, more than 5,000 crack-cocaine users have been taken off the streets of Rio de Janeiro by city authorities. Only 10 percent have accepted treatment."

Source: NTD.

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