World Drug Day 2018
Today, on the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26th June), governments around the world are commemorating their decades-long support of the global war on drugs.
In recent years, however, the world has become increasingly polarised around drug policy. While Canadians celebrate a hard-earned victory in the recent passing of Bill C-45 on cannabis regulation, people in Bangladesh, the Philippines, and many other parts of the world remain in fear or in pain as a result of repressive drug policies. From denial of access to medicines to mass incarceration and extra-judicial killings, human rights abuses are being carried out around the world in the name of drug control.
Engaged civil society organisations have found alternative ways to commemorate this day, while simultaneously shedding light on the harms and costs of the global war on drugs. In 2013, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) initiated the Support! Don’t Punish Campaign: “a global advocacy campaign calling for better drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign aims to promote drug policy reform, and to change laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions.”
In solidarity with all our reform-oriented allies across the globe, and, most importantly, with the millions of individuals whose lives have been affected by the horrendous drug war, we present a selection of essential readings on global drug policy reform.
Essential resources based on our drug policy work at TNI
Human Rights and Drug Policy
A short introduction to the relationships between human rights and drug policies, with a focus on the role that the international human rights system can and should play in addressing violations linked to the war on drugs
The UN Drug Control Conventions
A comprehensive yet accessible introduction to the institutional architecture of the UN drug control regime, the scope and limits of their flexibility, the mandates they established for the CND, the INCB and the WHO, and the various options for treaty reform
The Rise and Decline of Cannabis Prohibition Timeline
An interactive timeline which illustrates the history of cannabis and its inclusion in the UN drug control system, as well as the subsequent defections by countries and states that have brought the current international drug regime to a breaking point