Are we losing the battle: Fiji’s efforts against illicit drugs

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Gounder, Sandhiya

Illicit drugs have become a growing cause of concern in Fiji. This paper seeks to discuss the illicit drug related events and issues in Fiji. Despite diverse sentiments both negative and positive shared on the cultivation and use of illegal drugs, empowerment training, wellbeing seminars, discussions and campaigns being promoted, illicit drugs production, consumption and trade have become part of life for Fijians. To explore this reality, the paper adopts a qualitative research design in the form of media analysis of Fiji’s two main daily newspapers; The Fiji Times and The Fiji Sun. The analysis draws on news stories in the two newspapers between June 2020 and May 2021. Findings provide insights into the environmental, social, political, judicial and technical factors that are preventing Fiji from eradicating or lowering illicit drugs production, consumption and trade. Commitment from the wider Fijian society including NGOs, civil society, development and technical partners and the community with the Fiji Police Force is required to successfully combat the illicit drug problems.

Fiji, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, trafficking, illicit drugs
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ANZSRC fields of research
CC BY 4.0