UN Special Rapporteur: Lack of attention to rights in current debates on illegal drugs

December 12, 2015

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This week, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras, released an open letter to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs expressing concern about the lack of meaningful and explicit attention to human rights in the current negotiations around next year’s UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs.

Areas of concern that are briefly highlighted in this letter include: 

  • Barriers to realising the right to health under the current framework of drug control
  • Criminalisation and incarceration
  • The death penalty for drug offenses, the use of lethal force, and arbitrary executions
  • Access to evidence based treatment for drug dependence
  • Access to controlled medicines
  • Access to harm reduction measures
  • The rights of the child

Read the letter (PDF)