Commanding general confidence?

Human Rights, International Law and the INCB Annual Report for 2011
11 March 2012
Policy briefing

This note provides an overview of human rights and international law concerns raised by the 2011 Annual Report of the International Narcotics Control Board. These include questionable legal reasoning by the Board; the absence of broader human rights norms; problematic statements on specific issues; unqualified comments and support for policies despite human rights risks; and stigmatising language unbecoming a UN entity. These are patterns that are evident in previous Annual Reports.

Article 9 of the 1961 Single Convention onNarcotic Drugs states that ‘Members of the Board shall be persons who, by their competence, impartiality and disinterestedness, will command general confidence’. The 2011 Annual Report of the INCB shows that, a san entity, the Board is failing to live up to the standards to which all members should be held under the terms of the 1961 SingleConvention. It is time to ask whether the INCB, without basic reforms, can continue to ‘command general confidence’.

Contents

1. Bolivia and traditional uses of coca

2. The Canadian Supreme Court decision on ‘Insite’

3. The death penalty for drug offences

4. The ‘right to be free from addiction’

5. Drug detention centres

6. Stigmatising language

7. HIV-related harm reduction

8. Militarised operations against traffickers

9. Aerial fumigation of illicit crops

10. Unqualified commentaries and support for states despite human rights risks

11. Lack of academic rigour and quality

March 2012
Harm Reduction International (HRI)

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