UNGASS2016 Gets Off to Rocky Start

Credit: UNGASS2016

The United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS2016) kicked off today in New York. The UN Human Rights Commission has already issued a scathing critique of the Outcome Document. UN Human Rights believes that the current global war on drugs is ineffective and is overly reliant on criminalization and harsh punishments to create an in-achievable goal of a “drug free world.” Specifically, UN Human Rights objects to the death penalty. UN Human Rights supports affordable access to health care, palliative care, and drug treatment programs, among other options, as alternatives to the current “war on drugs.” 

While we are encouraged by the presence of human rights language and standards throughout the current outcome document, in our opinion, the text fails to sufficiently articulate the binding nature of human rights obligations in the context of international drug control and continues to embrace the harmful concept of a ‘drug-free world.

We are concerned that the current international drug control regime remains excessively punitive.  Most drug control policies at the national level are based on criminalisation, incarceration, and over-investment in law enforcement, which have proven to be serious barriers in the protection and fulfilment of human rights. 

– See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=19833&LangID=E#sthash.NyfNiX7U.dpuf

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