IDPC: In a historical report released today, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced the failure of punitive drug policies and the global ‘war on drugs’, and called for a new approach based on health and human rights, including through the legal regulation of drugs. To implement the recommendations laid down by the High Commissioner, we call on the international community to reform and rebalance the global drug control regime, and national drug laws and policies.
For decades, the unrealistic goal of achieving a ‘drug-free society’ has driven the international community to approach drugs with prohibition, criminalisation and harsh punishment. Following the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016, there has been growing emphasis at the UN on the health, human rights, and development dimensions of drugs and drug policy. But efforts to materialise these commitments have been insufficient. The High Commissioner for Human Rights has now taken a bold step forward with the unequivocal recognition that punitive drug policies drive widespread human rights violations and fuel discrimination.
With this report, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is the first UN agency to call for the responsible regulation of drugs as a pragmatic measure to protect public health and the human rights of all.