International drug policy
The text adopted in Geneva is part of the preparatory process for the UN General Assembly Special Session
As defended by civil society organizations, the resolution on drugs approved this Friday, March 27, by the HRC (Human Rights Council) of the UN in Geneva calls for the involvement of the main international human rights bodies in the global debate on the world drug problem.
The text adopted in Geneva is part of the preparatory process for the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs, in 2016, an event that may transform how various countries deal with the issue.
“The resolution is an important step in the preparations for UNGASS 2016, the session that could lead to the adoption of a better global model for the drug problem. The current model is unsustainable, since it is perverse, inefficient and harmful to societies in numerous ways,” said Rafael Custódio, coordinator of Justice at Conectas. “In Brazil, for example, this prohibitionist drug policy serves as an instrument for the criminalization poverty, leading to the mass incarceration of the most vulnerable in society without providing any solution to the problem,” he added.
The decisions taken by the General Assembly during UNGASS next year will take into consideration previously prepared documents and debates.
The resolution approved today during the 28th Session of the HRC determines that both the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights provide insights for the debate in 2016, with the aim of ensuring that the global discussion on drugs is not based only on the concept of repression.
The text calls on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on the impact of the world drug problem on human rights with recommendations to guarantee and promote these rights and, in particular, the rights of affected people and those in vulnerable situations. The resolution also states that the topic shall be discussed again in September during the next session of the HRC, when a panel will debate the impact of the drug problem on human rights, taking into consideration the findings contained in the study prepared by the High Commissioner.
Another positive point was the fact that the resolution was co-sponsored by almost 30 countries, including Brazil. “The country played a leading role, as one of the nations that presented the text, but also participating actively in the negotiations and preventing it from being watered down,” said Camila Asano, coordinator of Foreign Policy at Conectas. “We hope that both the study by the High Commissioner and the panel will serve as tools to bring the human rights perspective to the global discussion on the issue of drugs,” she added.