TO: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
FROM: Transform Drug Policy Foundation
DATE: February 20, 2014
WORD COUNT: 1773
Drug conventions should not be interpreted and implemented outside of other international laws
When it comes to fighting the war against drugs it has come to our attention that for more than fifty years since the war on drugs was declared, the other international laws like those of human rights and public health have been continuously absent and are viewed as irritative by many UN agencies and governments (War on drugs report 2011). Human rights abuses associated with drug control policies present in different countries are not just perpetrated by the individual governments but by the drug control system itself (Joanne Csete p.1). The drug control system by its aims, current operation, interpretation and implementation of the policies makes the abuses more likely to happen. It is evident that the system focus their energy and every other resources on illicit manufacture or production etc. while intentionally avoiding to combat important but controversial issues just to preserve their international consensus. Therefore, it is right to say that human rights abuses associated with drug control policies are systematic in its nature, that is the drug control system itself is the one that is causing the abuse of other international laws and if a stop is to be made to these abuses, there must be an immediate attempt to resolve the institutional weaknesses and gaps in the international drug control regime itself (Barret Damon).
The debate; whether the Drug Control System / conventions needs to be reinterpreted.
The drug control system one could say that it has had some of the successful drug control efforts, with the tens of thousands displaced by aerial fumigation in countries like Columbia (Bowman Jess); the thousands executed for drug trafficking, an example is in Vietnam where a woman was executed for drug trafficking. Hundreds of thousands were caught and put in detention centres, a
good example is in China where drug offenders are put in a camp and made to work under cruel conditions as said by one inmate that escaped (Reuters, Dec1) . Millions with HIV and AIDS are denied access to prevention and medical care or tens of thousands killed in drug related violence can also be considered as successful control efforts by the drug control system (IRIN 25 jan). If one was to examine the so called accomplishments properly, they would see that they are also indicators of human rights risks and public health consequences.
The current drug control conventions and its strategies may seem like an appropriate solution by many UN drug control institutions, but they have very serious unintended consequences;
1. Criminal market for drugs.
Over the years it has become evident that the criminal market for drugs has reached a tangible macroeconomic proportions. This is the by-product of a supply...