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Jakarta Post

Build evidence-based policies on drugs and punishment

  • Carolyn Hoyle and Parvais Jabbar

Oxford/Jakarta   /   Thu, December 12 2019   /  01:21 am

JP/Tarko SudiarnoDespite similar challenges from drug trafficking, Southeast Asian countries are traveling along different roads in search of solutions. For example, following a crackdown on drug trafficking, the Philippines seeks to reintroduce the death penalty for drug-related crimes. Meanwhile, Malaysia’s new administration has signaled its intention to abolish the mandatory death penalty for drug offenses. What we find in most Southeast Asian countries, however, is an absence of rigorous empirical data to inform policy choices. Without evidence on efficacy, governments, including in Indonesia, justify the retention and execution of the death penalty by reference to its supposed deterrent effect and the public appetite for harsh punishments. In early December the University of Indonesia hosted a Human Rights Festival that highlighted, among other things, the ongoing revision of the...