UN Human Rights Council 48th session
13 September – 8 October 2021
Oral Statement by the International Drug Policy Consortium and Harm Reduction International
ITEM 10: General Debate
This statement is delivered on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium and Harm Reduction International.
We welcome the High Commissioner’s oral update on the Philippines, as well as her Office’s efforts to advance the human rights situation in the country.
In spite of this work, the human rights situation in the Philippines continues to deteriorate. In 2021, the number of documented extrajudicial killings associated with the war on drugs continued to increase, still with the vocal support of President Duterte. The Inter-Agency Review Panel that was meant to review these killings has not led to a single legal action against law enforcement. Systematic violations of the rights to liberty, health, and privacy of people who use drugs remain widespread.
To ensure that the UN Joint Programme on the Philippines is a credible and legitimate effort to address this situation, we urge the High Commissioner to adopt the following measures:
- First, guarantee the meaningful and safe involvement of civil society and communities, including people who use drugs, in the design, implementation and evaluation of the Programme.
- Second, ensure that the alignment of drug policies with international human rights standards remains a key focus of the Programme, including through direct involvement of OHCHR and NGOs with relevant technical expertise.
Ultimately, it remains the responsibility of the Human Rights Council to closely monitor the performance of the Joint Programme and, if it does not achieve its intended impact, to seek alternative measures to ensure accountability for the human rights violations associated with the war on drugs, and to secure redress and relief for its survivors.
Thank you very much,