Indigenous peoples’ rights

Drug policy is often developed and implemented as if it existed outside of human rights obligations and standards. The ‘International Guidelines on Human Rights & Drug Policy’ highlight specific actions for States to affirm Indigenous peoples rights:

  • Rights to self-determination; to lands, territories, and resources; and to conservation of lands (including protections to ensure drug control measures do not undermine indigenous peoples’ rights to own, use, develop, and control *their* lands, territories, and resources)
  • Right to free, prior, and informed consent (including the need to collaborate and consult indigenous peoples’ representative institutions to seek their free, prior, and informed consent on drug control measures that may affect them or their territories)
  • Rights to enjoy culture and to profess and practice religion (which covers practices involving plants and preparations that have psychoactive effects)
  • Right to traditional medicines and health practices (which calls for a repeal of laws, policies and practices inhibiting access to controlled psychoactive substances in relation to community health and well-being)

The Guidelines, a highly useful resource, are available in English, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish following this link>>>.