ENCOD STATEMENT FOR THE 62nd SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS 2019
As affected population concerned by the ongoing process and committed to provide useful inputs from Civil Society, we propose to overcome the inertia of the 2019 declaration, and address central elements forgotten by the political declaration. The following issues are key to ensure, with ethics, the effective protection of Human Rights:
1. To take into consideration the position of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations about drug policies and welcome the statement made during the Ministerial Segment by this organ about punitive approaches to encroach on the right to health which highlights the limits that prosecutors face when solving drug-related crimes. Its reflexion about the adequacy and proportionality of penalties, laws and enforcement of drug-control should be central within drug policies that enhance the rights of people globally. Encouraging the authorities to ensure the proportionality of penalties, the effective legal protection and other issues related to the guarantees of judicial procedures in order to protect basic rights in the prosecution of drug-related offences.
2. To recognize that drug use is rooted in the right to privacy and autonomy of individuals, stated in Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stating that “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. ”
Many Constitutions include similar personal freedom that can be understood as including minor drug-related offences as long as it is not related to violence or harm to others, therefore, the Parties should take into account these elements and ensure that those rights prevail over those provisions that restrict them through the prohibition of adult use (non-medical and non-scientific) or overly restrictive regulations on medical and scientific uses of scheduled drugs.
3. To endorse scientific evidence demonstrating approaches of harm reduction in prevention, treatment, care and support related to drugs and drug dependence, and to recognize in future national strategies that a public-health approach aimed at increasing the overall number of healthy and informed citizens should necessarily be reoriented in the direction of harm reduction. Further to recognize that adopting a harm reduction approach is the best way, in the current state of knowledge, to reduce both adverse effects for individuals, and unintended consequences for societies. And to increase public investment and support to harm reduction programs, in particular:
- A. to anonymous and free analysis and testing services, in order to provide information to people who use drugs about the composition, purity and possible adulterants and side-effects of their substances,
- B. to community-based prevention campaigns, which provide unbiased information about the real effects, harms or adverse consequences of drug consumption and ways to address and reduce them, as found in the UNAIDS guidelines for intervention programs with people who use drugs,
- C. to information for people who use drugs, in particular, the youth, on Harm Reduction issues and how to address, moderate and take control over the use of scheduled drugs.
4. To revisit the national plans of action on drugs situation, articulating it around the two last major international consensus: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 7 pillars of the UNGASS 2016 outcome document, adapting and embedding it in the current trends in increasing the application of human rights law in modern legal standards at the national level. Parties should place the people who use drugs in the centre of the policies on drugs and give more flexibility to the parties to implement new models of regulation for drugs in each country.
We encourage the policy-makers to consider these fair demands that reflect the necessity of the societies to reform Drug Policy in a gradual mode and to implement alternatives based in the Sustainable Development Goals. Human Rights should be respected all throughout the UN control system. United Nations offices and state members should reconsider the essential contradictions in the current paradigm, and ensure that measures are taken to protect the Rights and the Health of the people who use drugs and other key affected population.
ENCOD – European Coalition for Just and Effective Drug Policies – firstname.lastname@example.orgRepublish