World Drug Day 2018

TNI participates in the 'Support. Don't Punish' campaign
26 June 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. 

Transnational Institute’s Drugs & Democracy Programme Team
Transnational Institute’s Drugs & Democracy Programme Team

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

Revisiting our earlier research reports

TNI's in-depth examination of the illegal drug market in the Golden Triangle, which has witnessed a doubling of opium production, growing prison populations and repression of small-scale farmers
A policy briefing which discusses the prevailing issue of inadequate access to controlled medicines, which continues to leave millions of people to suffer in pain around the world
A policy briefing which critically examines, and offers alternatives to, the current legal approaches to plant-based stimulants as enshrined in the UN drug control conventions

High-quality resources from our allies

Guiding Drug Law Reform in Myanmar (Drug Policy Advocacy Group Myanmar)
A legal analysis of the 2017 draft bill amending the 1993 Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
IDPC Drug Policy Guide (International Drug Policy Consortium)
A practical guide which brings together global evidence, best practices and experiences to provide expert analysis across the spectrum of drug policy
The World Drug Perception Problem (Global Commission on Drug Policy)
A report which analyses the most common misconceptions and prejudices about people who use drugs, concluding with a set of recommendations needed to support more humane and effective drug policies