Chair: International Centre Human Rights and Drug Policy can fit in the chapter to be discussed now, so it will be shown during this thematic discussion. We now focus on crosscutting issues: Human rights, youth, children, women and communities. The OHCHR is represented in the room and it’s a pleasure.
Valerie Lebeaux, Justice Section, UNODC: My presentation will focus on Chapter 4. Remind the forum of the different legal instruments and documents that the UNGASS mentions on this topic. The introduction of references to the Nelson Mandela Rules, the Bangkok Rules, the Riyad Guidelines, etc. are an interesting feature of the UNGASS as these documents are not usually mentioned by CND. The mention is “natural” as this concerns the administration of Justice and these are documents agreed by all MS. Our organisation is fully equipped to support the implementation of the recommendations in this regard. On human rights and vulnerable members of society, I recall what was said about children and young people. The UNODC has implemented a global programme against the violence against children. UNODC provides legal and policy advice to national institutions to promote the treatment of children who have committed drug related offences and collaborates towards this goal too. We also have a life skills programme. On women, the outcome document emphasises the need to address protective and risks factors that make women and girls vulnerable to exploitation and participation in drug trafficking, and to include a gender perspective in drug policy. UNODC promotes gender-sensitive criminal justice reform, in particular taking into account the Bangkok Rules, as well as other programmes focused on aspects such as reintegration. In all countries, it is a majority of men who come in contact with the criminal justice system, but there is evidence that the absolute number of women arrested for drug-related offences is increasing. There is generalised recommendations that these women are not mature traffickers, but are either suffering from addiction or were pushed into these activities because of their situations of vulnerability. In terms of proportionate and effective drug policies, UNODC also proposes a series of recommendations, including a Handbook on overcrowding in prison, a global programme on developing prison challenges and others. On alternatives to conviction or punishment and proportionate sentencing policies, we recently conducted work with the WHO to develop an initiative to combine healthcare and criminal justice approaches to improve treatment of people with drug use disorders in contact with the criminal justice system. Need to improve monitoring and evaluation of programmes. Finally, recommendations to ensure legal guarantees and due process in criminal proceedings. UNODC has developed a tool on early access to legal aid in criminal proceedings. On access to legal aid, we have developed a model law on this. Also a study on the state of legal aid legislation and regulations. Promoting strategies to address special need. Strengthen capacities of relevant actors. The Government of Argentina and UNODC are organising next month a conference on access to legal aid.
Chair: Suggests that UN institutions speak first, as a panel.
Giovanna Campello, Durg Prevention and Treatment, UNODC: Important to reiterate the fact that improving the right to prevention, treatment and rehabilitation is strongly underlined by UNGASS outcome document. With regards to supervising the quality of treatment, UNODC has done some of the groundwork by publishing standards, but it is now up to states to implement. With regards to children and youth, when they develop drug use disorders, we are talking about high level of vulnerability, trauma, etc. Treatment is very complex in these cases, even more so given regulatory and legal situation at the national level. We have an evidence-informed tool on psychosocial interventions with children. With regards to girls and women, although there is very little research, some work does show how drug use and disorders impact them differently. There’s no definitive answers but it requires attention. It is possible to develop gender-sensitive services. We want to move away from treatment just as an alternative to criminal justice and show concrete examples of things that work. The situation on rehabilitation remains difficult, but there are good commitments in the outcome document. We will work with member states on this.
Monica Beg, HIV/AIDS section, UNODC: MS reiterated their commitment to the 2030 goal with regars to people who use drugs. An effective HIV response requests an environment that protects the human rights of people who use drugs and is evidence based. Drug users face many challenges to access health services, particularly HIV/AIDS services. Given all these challenges to access, our technical assistance works to tackle these. Ex. Myanmar reviewing policy to make sure it’s HIV sensitive. Also programmes in different programmes, which have produced joint action plans by civil society organisations and policy to deliver services. UNODC promotes and increase the capacity of national authorities to ensure that people who use drugs have access to services in prison. Ex. Moldova – operational manual for non-medical staff in prisons on the delivery of these services. On women who inject drugs, specific projects, capacity-building, etc. We work in partnership with the UNODC justice section, implementation support section. We work with 10 cosponsors of UNAIDS to ensure strategy coherence and coordination. Work in partnership with CSOs. Importance of harm reduction services, which are the hardware of the response to HIV/AIDS.
Robert Husbands, OHCHR: For the Office, human rights include issues not mentioned in the outcome document. UNGASS 2016 was an important milestone, in the words of the OHCHR there was discernible progress. Whilst positive elements, a number of issues raised during the preparatory progress were neglected or ignored. Concerning health issues, number of positive elements, medication assisted therapy and injection equipment provision. Measures to prevent drug overdose. Non-discriminatory access to healthcare and services by drug users. Individuals with drug use disorders should participate in treatment only voluntarily. States should set target regarding medication assisted therapies and provision of injection equipment (usually called OST and NSP). States that do not have these, should consider pilots, and benefit from technical assistance. Provision of naloxone. Concerning non-discriminatory access, training should be providing to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against drug users. Discontinue the use of drug registries. Independent complaints procedures to monitor practice. Drug dependence people in custodial sentences should not be denied treatment with medically assisted therapy. Extrajudicial killings should be investigated. Persons arrested for personal use or other nonviolent crimes should have access to alternatives to incarceration. Rights to indigenous peoples: amend laws to provide clear legal framework.
Slovakia, on behalf of the European Union: We are happy that the UNGASS outcome documents calls for principle of proportionality in drug policies. Making available a solid report on this issue, according to CND-resolutions 58/5 on health and justice authority collaboration and 59/7 on proportionate sentencing, would be an important contribution to the implementation of this document. Therefore we encourage UNODC to proceed with the recent activities and to produce a report on the different ways in which states are implementing proportionate criminal justice policies. In addition to that proportionality could be the thematic focus of the World Drug Report 2017. We would also encourage the INCB to focus on this issue, possibly by updating the 2007 INCB report on proportionality. The UNGASS outcome document calls for a human rights based approach. For us and many other states, the abolition of the death penalty for drug-related crimes is central to a human rights based approach.
Now, Chairman, let me turn to another topic. In the EU and its Member States drug addiction is addressed as a public health priority. Therefore, the EU Drugs Strategy foresees that alternatives to coercive sanctions for drug-using offenders should be provided. A few weeks ago, a study commissioned by the European Union has been published on alternatives to coercive sanctions as response to drug law offences and drug-related crimes, which mapped alternatives to coercive sanctions for drug law offences that are available under the law in each EU Member State and described the use of these sanctions in practice. The findings of this study and the recently completed review of the implementation of the EU Drugs Strategy demonstrated that thirteen different types of alternatives to coercive sanctions were identified across all EU Member States. All Member States reported having at least one of such alternatives available and most had more than one. Most Member States introduced alternatives to coercive sanctions in the period between 2000 and 2009, and new alternatives are still being created and implemented within Member States. All Member States offered treatment for drug use as part of at least one alternative to coercive sanctions. Seventeen Member States had alternatives available that involved only drug treatment, mainly through drug treatment orders. Fifteen Member States applied suspension of sentence with treatment or rehabilitative requirement attached and ten Member States had suspension of investigation/prosecution with a treatment or rehabilitative element in place. Eight Member States also reported the availability of alternatives with no drug treatment component, but which involved ‘non-action’ or diversion from the criminal justice system or from sentencing. The conditions for applying alternatives to coercive sanctions to drug-using offenders range from a decision by the judge to the decriminalisation of drug use. In many Member States the alternatives are only possible when there is no suspicion of drug trafficking and are mainly for minor offences. A few countries haven special provisions for young users/minors/juveniles. In most cases, including those with drug treatment as the central component, the offender could be prosecuted for the original offence and/or could be prosecuted for the breach in the event of non-compliance. The findings of the previously mentioned survey lend support to the continued use of alternatives to sanctions within EU Member States. It also concludes that such alternatives could be most efficient when they target individual needs and risk factors.
Treatment services focusing on the special needs of women and mothers are also implemented in a number of EU Member States, recognizing the gender condition as an essential factor in providing care and organized services to women. We would like to take this opportunity to encourage other countries to implement gender-sensitive drug-related measures and stand ready to share our experience.
Guatemala: The dignity of people and respect of fundamental rights should be the nucleus around which we develop action on drug matters. A recommendation was to mainstream gender in all aspects of policy. Guatemala is doing this. Training professors on gender issues, cultural diversity and human rights. Even among civil police officials we still have differences in mentalities, stereotypes that affect the way they deal with women who might have committed a drug offence, including pregnant women. For that reason, we are working on a gender mainstreaming approach favouring actions that reduce victimisation of women to evolve against a sexist approach. Guatemala is one of the countries with a law that include the death penalty, but we have implemented a moratorium for 10 years. However, we observe proportionality of sentencing and highlight our decision to continue working with other countries exchanging on best practices to review criminal justice system.
United Kingdom: Modern evidence based drug policy fully compliant with UN drug conventions and human rights obligations. Access to wide range to treatment options. Dependent drug users have a range of available options. Treatment is available for all and is free at the point of deliver. Proportionate criminal system is essential, we ensure such a principle at all stages, including alternatives to incarceration and integration of criminal justice and health services to ensure support. This resolution and the outcome document highlight the importance of taking into account mitigating and aggravating factors. We have a guideline produced independently on this to ensure uniformity in the implementation of the law. We strongly oppose the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. We urge the end to this ineffective and unacceptable practice.
Russian Federation: Impossible to isolate the topic of drugs form the topic of human rights. Fight against drugs requires ensuring human rights, specifically the right to life. Today we’re seeing efforts to counter drugs, which are costing lives across the world. The fight against HIV is a direct contribution to prosperity and welfare. By fighting HIV and drugs we comply with our international human rights obligations. A world free of drugs should be one of our aims in terms of human freedoms. Moving towards a world free of drugs converges towards the aims agreed at UNGASS. We comply with WHO principles, whereby drug addiction is a psychological illness that needs to be treated as such. Our constitution gives access to healthcare. Our main aim when assisting drug addicts is to identify illegal drug use as soon as possible, to provide targeted healthcare services to drug addicts and to ensure they are high quality. In terms of improving our criminal law, we seek to ensure flexible punishment, differentiated responsibility, to ensure harsher punishment for traffickers and sales, less harsh for crimes that do not involve drug distribution, alternatives to sanctions that would involve treatment. When it comes to tackling this threat, we need to involve civil society, institutions that provide rehabilitation. Important role of NGOs. We value the role of the family, and a just approach. We trust our efforts will lead to a world full of drugs.
Norway: Appreciates the OHCHR presence. The drug conventions are important and imperative, but we are bound to many other conventions; for instance, the Convention on the rights of the child, for those that have ratified it. Focusing on communities, women and children are crosscutting issues. Our approach must be non-discriminatory. We have ample documentation of ample human rights gaps on the implementation of drug policy in all regions of the world. It is the responsibility of governments to integrate human rights and safeguard their enjoyment. Strengthening border control and protecting our communities against drugs do not contradict the need to uphold human rights standards. Strongly oppose the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. We hosted the 6th World Conference on the Death Penalty. Research shows death penalty does not deter drug related offences. Norway attaches great importance to full respect of human rights and rule of law in all efforts to counter narcotics. Torture and extrajudicial killings for people suspected of drug related crimes has to stop. Access to medicines and treatment is vital and often denied. More focus on the special needs of youth, women and children. Important work of UNODC to promote Bangkok Rules. Children are born in prisons all across the world, many of them by drug dependent mothers with HIV/AIDS. They are born in a context that is an uphill battle. We need to ensure they are born without the HIV virus. Unacceptable that avoidable transmissions take place. Free exchange of opinions, including with civil society and academia is always essential to finding the best policy options. An inclusive dialogue is key when implemented the outcome document. The general public needs to have information if governments are to be held accountable. Dialogue and transparency is importance. Proportionality, we look forward to the handbook developed by UNODC and WHO on this effect. We need to compare notes on best practices on alternatives to incarceration. In closing, tribute for civil society tireless drugs work at the local level, very much appreciated…in this regard we echo numerous other MS declarations.
Ecuador: World drug problem entails looking at economic, political and social factors behind it – increasing in complexity, multi causal. Impacts on health, social democratic coexistence.(…) We have adopted a number of measures with regards to trafficking – demand reduction. With a criminal law approach, organic law (…): We highlight the importance of prevention, our emphasis in adolescents. We distinguish between looking at criminal punishments: 4 categories: major trafficker, minor trafficker, – buyers not criminalised haven’t been for some time. Through projects and policy, following UNGASS, we wish first of all to offer a sustainable response that covers interdiction and any action that prevents social action, looking at vulnerability & trafficking of drugs. Promote the principle of proportionality – differentiating between levels of responsibility taking into account a gender perspective. Micro-trafficking growing as a problem. effecting countries in latin America. social and health damage to young girls and boys. essential to join our efforts. tackle this problem. significant progress in the debate has been seen – new proposals to look at the problem of drugs. the traditional approach of zero tolerance and criminalisation has not only failed in reversing the trends but has also contributed to worsening violence and public health issue. so our country is proposing dealing with it as a public health issue, decriminalisation.
OAS: Recognise the cross cutting nature of the drug problem. Multifaceted issue. Diversity of the drug problem – develop policies that respond to the individual needs of any member state. Western hemisphere has come to some sort of consensus. Common shared responsibility. Evidence based drug policy. gender perspective. Health lead approach. Maintain a constant effort to reduce impacts on the most vulnerable people and human rights. V productive discussions have taken place since UNGASS. Working Group 2016 met to discuss the hemispheric drug strategy for 2020. This plan of action is based on five strategic areas. OAS member states also identify priority actions to develop actions in all member states to address the drug problem in the hemisphere. Importance of finding just, balanced and integrated strategies in health and social services. Alternatives to incarceration is a core issue of CICAD sessions. We pursue alternatives to punishment, including incarceration, as we consider this is key to the pursuit of dignity and the enjoyment of human rights of citizens. We are exploring measures that include a variety of options including diversion programmers, solution-finding courts, models covering pre-trial, trial and post-trial situations, community courts. All of them involved the interlinkages between justice and sectors and changes the way they interact. We hope our findings will inform the efforts of WHO in this regard. OAS member states have found consensus on several points, including the creation of spaces for discussions. We are constantly opening spaces for that purpose. Dialogues with multiple actors like attorney generals and chief justices in many states, on issues such as proportionality and alternatives to punishment. Prior to UNGASS, CICAD always included the UNGASS process, and this will also be included in our new strategy. Implement evidence based policies, interagency cooperation, balanced and inclusive approaches, supporting building capacity, monitoring and evaluation.
Jamie Bridge, International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC): I am making this intervention on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium, or IDPC. IDPC is a global network that promotes drug policies that are based on human rights, social inclusion and public health. On behalf of our members, we engaged closely throughout the UNGASS preparations. The Outcome Document has a much improved broader structure of seven themes, which we hope will be maintained for future documents and debates. However, it is far from the “short, substantive, concise and action-orientated” document promised in resolution 58/8. The section on cross-cutting issues begins by calling for cooperation between relevant UN entities. The engagement of the broader UN family in the UNGASS debates was a marker of significant progress, and we urge the CND to maintain this momentum. System-wide coherence on drug control is fundamental, especially for the SDGs and achieving other UN commitments on HIV and human rights. We also welcome the strengthened focus on gender perspectives.
Women are particularly affected by overly prohibitive drug policies – from increased stigma and harm, and poorer access to tailored harm reduction and treatment services. The incarceration of women for minor drug offences does not impact drug markets – but instead exacerbates their marginalisation, but also that of their children, families and entire communities. The IDPC network especially welcomes the new references to proportionality. Sentences for drug offences are often severely disproportionate, leading to mass incarceration, prison overcrowding and unacceptable prison conditions. The burden of disproportionate sentences has largely been borne by vulnerable groups, involved at a low-level, often driven by basic subsistence needs.
The UNGASS now provides the imperative for urgent review of these sentencing frameworks, and we hope that the forthcoming UNODC Model Drug Law reflects this. Crucially, Paragraph 4-J provides further support for the provision of alternative or additional measures to conviction or punishment – which should include the decriminalisation of drug use and possession for personal use, as well as consideration of removing punishment for non-violent low-level drug offences. We encourage member states to follow this guidance and to consider how best this can be reported back to CND – including through amendments to the Annual Response Questionnaire. Although not specifically mentioned in the text, ending the use of the death penalty for drug offences was called for by numerous member states, UN bodies and civil society groups at the UNGASS.
We urge member states to end the death penalty for drug offences, and for CND to recognise that its continued use is a serious violation of international law. Paragraph 4-0 emphasises the importance of legal guarantees and due process in criminal justice proceedings. Implementation of these provisions is urgent, especially given the recent high profile spate of unlawful killings of suspected drug users and drug offenders, coupled with mass forced confessions and coerced registration with authorities in a flagrant disregard of due process. The INCB’s recent condemnation of this situation emphasized adherence to internationally-recognized standards which, and I quote, “reject extrajudicial sanctions of whatever nature” – unquote. We welcome this clear condemnation alongside those from other UN entities and member states, but urge that more be done to put an end to this travesty. People are being slaughtered in the name of the war on drugs, and this is one of the first big challenges for the international community in this post-UNGASS era.
To conclude, the UNGASS Outcome Document commitments to respect, protect and promote human rights must become more than just rhetoric. Implementation requires robust monitoring processes – and especially the monitoring of drug enforcement practices by the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Reporting processes.
Judy Chang, International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD): We welcome the inclusion of human rights as a crosscutting theme. MS have obligations in human rights that cannot be suspended in the name of drug laws. Current approaches to drug control drive human rights abuses. Our community faces death penalty with over 500 yearly at the global level. We are denied access to health and HIV services. We face mass incarcerations. Summary executions. We urge states to enact measurable targets to prevent arbitrary detentions and other human rights violations carried out in the name of law enforcement. We emphasise the need for meaningful involvement of people who use drugs in the design and implementation of policies. New course that places human rights and community involvement at its core. Statement available here.
Indonesia: Trafficking is an imminent threat for the country. Trafficking is disastrous for our economic and social fabric. As a democratic country, we commit to promote human rights. We constantly improve our legislation to support human rights commitment. Government realises the necessary of affordability and accessibility to health services, particularly for women and children. But human rights relate to the rights of individuals, including the protection of drug criminals. Indonesia is committed to rehabilitate drug abusers and support reintegration. On the issue of capital punishment, we believe it does not violate international law. It is a component of our legal system applied to only most serious crimes.
Colombia: Thanks UNODC and the present of OHCHR representative. Human rights in drug policy should have the ultimate aim of protecting health and wellbeing of individuals. Need for active coordination between all human rights bodies and the UNODC and CND. Human rights bodies must offer further support by organising seminars and workshops on a regular basis on this topic, thanks to which it will be possible to broaden the knowledge of civil servants. We must create spaces for discussion on topics where there isn’t global consensus, such as the abolition of the death penalty. We have made advances in terms of proportionality of sentencing and alternatives to incarceration.
Portugal: Congratulates the inclusion of this theme in the UNGASS outcome document. It invites human rights bodies in the UN to become involved. The UN Drug Conventions do not exist in a vacuum; they are a part of a larger body of international law on which they’re embedded. Two interrelated topics on which we have adopted responses related: alternatives to conviction/punishment and proportionality of sentencing. In its highest form, proportionality precludes the death penalty; it is a basic violation of human rights and there’s no research on effectiveness. Portugal was a pioneer abolitionist. We decriminalised. Use and possession for personal use is illegal but not criminalised. Prison is a disproportionate and ineffective way to deal with drug use, it initiates or reinforces a cycle of marginalisation. Police diverts users to multidisciplinary Commissions of Dissuasion, who apply the most appropriate measure based on the personal circumstances. They are designed to be non-adversarial and can impose a range of measures, from interdiction to travel abroad to fines or simple provisional suspensions of the process. In 2015, the Commissions provisionally suspended 66% cases. 99thousand individuals have presented in front of Commissions, 60thousands were no problematic. From the 11thousand problematic users, channelled to treatment and support. In 1999, 44% prisoners were jailed for drug offences; in 2014, 20%. Savings can be directed to combat trafficking, for instance.
Australia: We attribute great importance to proportionality and a balanced approach. We achieve this partly through the implementation of alternatives to incarceration. Law enforcement agencies can focus on trafficking when they are not saturated by the criminalisation of users. There is no conclusive evidence on death penalty for the misuse of crimes. Every miscarriage of justice of the death penalty is irreparable. We are concerned by the barriers of access to services by women. We fund adolescent specific strategies. We promote services and programmes tailored to address specific needs of women and girls, as well as children and youth.
Peru: Cooperation and exchange of information on practices and approaches is fundamental. We believe it is important to establish complementary or alternative measures to incarceration. We have five modalities under our criminal code: substitution of incarceration, conversion of sentences, suspension of sentences (…) Alternative sentences depends on the conduct of the perpetrator and it is at the discretion of the judge. We are devising a new draft for the criminal code that considers the role of prisons and incarceration. The Ministry of Health also involved in measures aiming to control and evaluate prison situation. Cases of individuals who abuse or depend on substances in penitentiaries is complementary with models applied on penitentiary context to facilitate reintegration of people who abuse or are dependent in prison.
Mexico: Drug consumption is a health issue with prevention issues and health solutions. We shouldn’t criminalise consumers. The Outcome document specifies the wellbeing of the individual at the heart of drug policy. Need to strengthen judicial systems by allowing for proportional sentences. We reject death penalty as per our commitments to human rights legislation. Therapeutic justice programme for drug related offences looking at gender variables. Good to have an expert of OAS who mentioned Mexico’s experience. Efforts promoted by Mexico to incorporate gender perspective to drug policy. Just last week, the HONLEA in Latin America discussed this issue.
Cristina von Sperling Afridi, Karim Khan Afridi Welfare Foundation: (Webcast audio issues)
Canada: Drug policies should respond to the situation of vulnerable populations. We pursue alternative sentencing and responding to the specific needs of our first nations. We offer alternatives to incarceration, diversion and restorative justice, for minor offences. Canada’s system of Indian residential schools was a dark chapter in our history, which left a legacy of substance abuse still with impacts today. To heal these wounds, we promote health services in first nations and Inuit communities. 43 treatment centres. Youth-specific and family treatment. Aftercare. This is not enough and we continue to develop this in partnership with first nations and Inuit communities. We support treatment initiatives that include gender-based analysis. Project of Good Samaritan drugs act to encourage people to help drug-related emergencies without fear of imprisonment.
Brazil: Drug policies should place people’s lives on the foreground. We should improve the situation of people who use drugs by helping them, not restricting them. Mainstreaming a gender perspective is of fundamental importance. Not only prevention policies but also implementation of adequate criminal justice policies. We want to comment on the issue of protecting vulnerable groups in the context of drug policies. Discussions should incorporate a racial perspective. Specific situation of ethnic minorities historically marginalised. Reiterate the suggestion of mainstreaming this to discussions on all drug policies. We move forward on this issue and are interested in bringing this to the fore in international fora. We are also concerned by the application of the death penalty for drug related crimes.
China: China support respecting human rights in drug policy but also security of society as a whole. When enforcing the law, we need to strike a balance between dissuasion and human rights. We need to combat crimes. We respect other countries choices adapted to their national realities. We must optimise impact of judicial measures and enact preventative, not only punitive, measures. We respect the rights of people involved in drug crimes. We attach particularly importance to the rights of vulnerable people such as children and women. Drug consumption is not a crime in China, but it is a misdemeanour. We take measures to avoid stigmatising drug addicts. Our anti-drugs legislation precludes the use of forced detox on women or young people under the age of 16. In terms of drug addicts that are ill or suffer from disabilities, treatment is available. Detox facilities personnel cannot impose corporal punishment or humiliations. Proportionality is important, our criminal code has a clear principle of proportionality enshrined within it. We apply punishment based on the seriousness of the crime. We also take into account attenuating/aggravating circumstances. All MS must work within the Drug Conventions to match their national realities including criminal justice sphere. We reject linking the abolition of the death penalty to discussions on the world drug problem.
Netherlands: Human rights are fundamental for the legal system. The use of drugs is de-penalised. We favour access to treatment services. We have implemented a series of programmes aimed at young people.
United States: Drug use needs to be recognised as a public health issue. We cannot arrest our way out of the problem. The over-reliance on the criminal justice is counterproductive. We must distinguish between traffickers and users. Important for criminal justice and health to collaborate. Our use of drug courts promotes this. Our evaluations show they are cost-effective. The Federal government also promotes programmes to encourage re-entry into society and limit recidivism. We have also rolled out naloxone provision to law enforcement authorities.
Philippines: Our country population is young and we believe harnessing their potential is important. The 24th Annual Congress on Youth Drug Prevention gathered young leaders of the country for fun and innovative ideas to combat drugs towards a drug-free society. We opened a female only treatment centre. We have trained officers in proper handling of minors. We commit to countering drug problem. It is the duty of the state to promote well-being of citizens. The government’s efforts on drug policy will not spare efforts to counter drug menace. We combat drugs in agreement with our human rights obligations.
Iran: Thanks the UNODC HIV section for their work in Iran, particularly work with women and children. Death penalty was not meant to be discussed in this section. Some countries insist the world should think like them. The death penalty is supported by our people; it is anchored in religious practices. Human rights are not only to be understood in the way that some countries think. I do not support the death penalty, but people can choose not to be involved in activities that lead to the death penalty. The government is under pressure from the people to apply the death penalty for trafficking. There is nothing on the document on the death penalty. Let’s implement the good recommendations of the document.
Corina Giacomello, Equis Justicia Para Mujeres: We want to highlight the situation of women and our actions to promote government interventions in this field. Female drug users face the following social and cultural violence: stigma, shame, fear of losing custody. Lack of public policies responding to increasing female prison population. Drug related crimes first or second cause. Illicit drug trafficking network recruit people in situations of vulnerabilities. Abuse of criminal law and one size fits all approach discrimination of women. We work with Mexican government on this. We are convening an inter-institutional dialogue to synchronise institutional responses and reach government commitment, and hold authorities accountable for their commitments nationally and internationally. We are organising a regional dialogue with Mexican and Latin American authorities, we carry out strategic litigation, we are producing a study of drug courts with a gender perspective, etc. Full statement available here.
Damon Barrett, International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy: Full statement available here.
Esbjörn Hörnberg, Vienna NGO Committee on Drugs (VNGOC): thanks the opportunity for the civil society to participate both in person and remotely via video messages. The VNGOC will coordinate input for the fifth CND intersessional.
Chair: The remaining chapters will be discussed at the upcoming intersessional on the 27-28 October.