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A new report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has been published, incorporating the ECECACD recommendations

A new report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Human Rights Challenges in Addressing and Countering All Aspects of the World Drug Problem”, has been released. 

Read the document. 

The report describes existing human rights challenges in the context of the drug problem and its solutions. It also provides an overview of recent positive developments; a human rights-focused transition to a drug policy and recommendations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

ECECACD commissioners sent their recommendations to the UNHCR on the theme “Challenges for the protection of human rights in addressing the drug situation in Eastern, Central, Southern Europe, Central Asia and Transcaucasia”. 

It should be noted that the final version of the UNHCR report on human rights includes provisions and recommendations provided by the Commission on Drug Policy in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia (ECECACD). This will definitely contribute to providing additional opportunities for advocacy and implementation of more effective and humane drug policies in the countries of the region.   

It should be noted that in their appeal, summarising the document ECECACD commissioners highlighted the following conclusions and recommendations on the situation in the region:

«Punitive drug laws and their enforcement practices do not lead to the reduction of drug supply or demand but do increase prison populations, massive violations of human rights, and growing epidemics of HIV, viral hepatitis, drug-resistant tuberculosis, and, in some settings, overdose from increasingly toxic illegal drug supplies. 

Drug laws and policies should provide for socio-medical and human rights-based approaches to drug use, including harm reduction and overdose prevention programs rather than punitive law enforcement methods. Drug policy reforms should include the following:

  • Remove all criminal and administrative sanctions for drug use, possession of drugs for personal use, and possibly social distribution of drugs in the context of social use. 
  • Limit the scope of so-called “drug propaganda” laws, so that they do not prevent public access to accurate information about drugs and possible ways to reduce harm from their use. 
  • Immediately provide legal, political, and financial support to make available, accessible, acceptable, and of good quality, for all those in need, all the interventions in the WHO-recommended comprehensive package for HIV and HCV prevention among people who inject drugs. 
  • Stop the widespread practice of immediate, automatic termination of parental rights of parents who use drugs or who are drug dependent and provide such parents and families with social and medical support as a first-line response.
  • Repeal laws that discriminate against people with drug dependence based on their diagnosis, including the practice of mandatory registration of people who use drugs and the subsequent disclosure of their registration to law enforcement, employers, and educational and licensing institutions.  
  • Formulate guidelines that provide direction to relevant actors on taking a human rights–based approach to drug control, and devise and promote rights-based indicators concerning drug control and the right to health»

To read the full document with recommendations submitted by ECECACD, please click here: