Human rights and people who use drugs in the Mediterranean region

May 27, 2020


The Council of Europe has published a new report on human rights and people who use drugs in the Mediterranean region. It describes the current situation in 17 MedNET countries. The MedNET network consists of sixteen countries bordering the Mediterrean Sea and one landlocked one: Switzerland.

According to the report, a human rights-based approach to drug use should entail every single dimension related to drug use:

    • Health approach at the policy level: drug use must be considered rightly as a medical condition to be taken care of by qualified health professionals
    • Treatment must be available, accessible, affordable and science-based, with the best practices
    • Prevention must be based on science, facts and best practices
    • Data collection must be considered as a part of the right to access information for the community and the professionals
    • Rehabilitation and social reintegration must be provided
    • Access to treatment and care for specific populations must be available: people who use drugs in prisons, sex workers, pregnant women, migrants, refugees, elderly, etc.
    • Fight against stigma and raising awareness in the society as a whole is needed
    • The adaptation of the law to the human rights approach especially for minors and non-trafficking users
    • Promoting the right of people who use drugs to create their own NGOs and self-help groups
    • Promoting the right to access treatment for all the consequences of drug use
    • Promoting every strategy aiming at reducing the health, economic, social and legal consequences of drug use


Download the report (PDF)