Human Rights Council – 46th session
25 February 2021

Oral statement on the anti-drugs campaign in the Philippines

Statement delivered by International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Harm Reduction International, and NoBox Philippines


Madam President, delegates,

This statement is delivered on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium, Harm Reduction International, and NoBox Philippines.

The human rights situation related to the anti-drugs campaign in the Philippines continues to deteriorate, and the Human Rights Council must remain engaged.

As we speak, the Philippine Congress is deliberating on the reimposition of the death penalty for dru offences. Extrajudicial killings continue unabated. And last December, the chief prosecutor of the ICC found that there is ‘reasonable basis to believe’ that these killings constitute crimes against humanity.

Beyond extrajudicial killings, the Council must address the human rights violations related to the criminalisation of people who use drugs, forced drug treatment, mass surveillance, denial of lifesaving health interventions, and the ongoing targeting of human rights defenders working on drug policy.

The Council’s decision to provide technical assistance to the Philippines on human rights must translate into drug policies that are evidence- and human rights-based.

We urge the Council and Member States to remain engaged, and to continue to closely consult with civil society. We also call on the Council to actively support the High Commissioner’s work in assessing progress made under the UN Joint Programme, which must include monitoring and critically evaluating the human rights situation on the ground. If no clear and measurable improvement is made soon, an international, impartial, and credible investigation will be necessary.

Thank you.