The 8 March Principles for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Criminal Law

Original article: ICJ publishes a new set of legal principles to address the harmful human rights impact of unjustified criminalization of individuals and entire communities. The principles are aimed at offering a clear, accessible and operational legal framework and practical legal guidance – based on general principles of criminal law and international human rights law and standards – on the application of the criminal law to conduct associated with:

  • sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion;
  • consensual sexual activities, including in such contexts as sex outside marriage, same-sex sexual relations, adolescent sexual activity and sex work;
  • gender identity and gender expression;
  • HIV non-disclosure, exposure or transmission;
  • drug use and the possession of drugs for personal use; and
  • homelessness and poverty.

They aim to assist legislatures, the courts, administrative and prosecutorial authorities, and advocates to address the harmful impact of criminalization of the above-mentioned conduct on health, equality and other human rights.

Year: 2023
Resource Type:
Petty Offences
Human Rights
Public Health
Use of Public Spaces
Australia & the Pacific Islands
Latin America & the Caribbean
Middle East
North America
People Groups:
People with Disabilities
People who use Drugs
People experiencing Homelessness or live in informal settlements
LGBTQIA+ persons
People experiencing Poverty
Sex Workers
Capacity Building
Law Reform
Policy Reform
Campaign Partner:
Amnesty International – Madagascar