This week Penal Reform International and the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) made a joint statement on drugs and human rights at the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council.
The statement highlighted how a range of well-documented human-rights violations – such as increased police violence and mass incarceration of people involved in non-violent, low-level drug crimes – have occurred as a result of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ and drug-related policies. PRI and CELS acknowledged the work of the Human Rights Council and Special Procedures in establishing and documenting the impacts of harsh drug policies on human rights, but stressed that further work is needed to address this issue, and a human rights perspective is needed in the design and implementation of drug policies around the world.
The statement forms part of PRI’s work to encourage the Human Rights Council to contribute to the ongoing debate on drug policy reform internationally and, given the vast human-rights impacts of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ over recent decades, ensure a human rights-based approach is taken.
Read the full statement here.
Take a look at PRI’s 10-step guide for countries interested in moving away from solely punitive responses to drugs and in developing health and human rights-based approaches.
Image: Human Rights Council by UN Geneva