Ahead of International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2022, which will celebrate the legacy and relevance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ahead of its 75th anniversary, the International Drug Policy Consortium sent an open letter to Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. For the third year in a row, IDPC and more than 100 civil society organisations urge UNODC Director to mark International Human Rights Day by calling for rights-affirming drug policies.
The signatories are calling on UN member states to change drug policies and practices to fulfil the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to place human rights at the centre of all dimensions of UNODC’s work.
The human rights catastrophe brought about by punitive drug policies is well documented by the United Nations system. Every year, UN human rights experts pay increasing attention to the human rights consequences of drug policies, and more are announced to come soon. The recent and unprecedented joint statement released on 26th June 2022 (UN World Drug Day) by 13 UN human rights special mandates, in particular, notes that ‘the UN system, the international community and individual Member States have a historical responsibility to reverse the devastation brought about by decades of a global “war on drugs”’. The joint statement calls on all UN agencies to ‘ground their drug policy responses in international human rights law and standards’, and to ensure that their ‘financial and technical assistance on drug policy’ promotes responses that are ‘gender responsive’ while ‘actively seeking to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms’.
The Open letter is available following this link>>>.