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OAS surveys drug-use among Guyanese school children

Ambassador Albert Ramdin

The Organisation of American States (OAS) is continuing efforts to reduce drug use among school children in Guyana, according to outgoing Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organisation, Ambassador Albert Ramdin.

Ramdin, who held talks with Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, said the Guyana government was in possession of a so far classified survey on juvenile drug use.

“It is one area where we have done some work already and in Guyana the opportunity exists to extend that to the whole nation in terms of drug use prevalence,” he told reporters.

While the findings and recommendations of the survey could not be released until after the new Minister of Public Security considers the document.

The OAS Assistant Secretary General, whose tenure comes to an end in July, noted that surveys provide the basis for policy making, training and other forms of assistance.

Ramdin expects that Guyana would inform the OAS of its decision after determining its priorities.

He hopes that eventually Guyana would join other Caribbean member states in establishing drug courts for first-time youth offenders with the aim of providing medical treatment and social reintegration.

 “We are promoting that because it means that the regular court will not have so much extra work with these cases but is also a way to re-socialise those who are offending the law in this case,” said Ramdin.

Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago are said to be interested in following in the footsteps of Barbados  which has already established such a court.