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ADD Alcohol, Drugs and Development

Childhood matters Millions of children globally suffer as innocent victims of adults’ use of intoxicating substances like alcohol and illicit drugs, in western countries as well as in developing societies. Children experience a broad range of harm, including physical and sexual abuse or neglect and unpredictable and unprovoked isolated incidents of violence, threats and verbal abuse. Such behaviours lead to a lack of feelings of security and trust in children. Many children develop a kind of “co-dependence” with the family member who suffers from alcohol or drug dependence in the sense that the children’s lives are just as much dominated by the substance use as is the user’s life. Unless addressed therapeutically, the consequences often last into adulthood. This is an important, but too often neglected, child rights issue. Children around the world lose important opportunities and basic rights when family incomes disappear in bars and shebeens and when parents and other relatives behave irresponsibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This booklet describes how child rights organisations can understand alcohol and drug use as a child rights issue and how they can contribute to reduce the problem. ISBN 978-82-999754-5-2



Childhood matters