The impact of drug policy on human rights in the Americas


The impact of drug policy on human rights in the Americas

20 October 2015

Decades of punitive drug policies intended to suppress illegal drug supply and demand have achieved little, even as they have generated enormous damage and human and financial costs throughout the Americas.

In March 2014, a group of 17 organizations from 11 countries was granted a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to analyze the impact of current drug policies on human rights. The hearing was the first on the topic in the body’s history, and signaled growing questioning of the drug policy status quo. The group’s testimony has now been published as a report by CELS, which analyzes the harmful effects of the ‘War on Drugs’ throughout the Americas, and concludes that human rights and violence reduction should be the main drug policy objectives.

Speakers will present the report’s findings, including the militarization of public security forces in Latin America and the effects of drug policy on women in the region. An analysis of the latest developments in criminal justice reform in the United States will also be presented.


Luciana Pol
Senior Fellow, Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS)

Daniela Quintanilla
Lawyer, Corporación Humanas - Chile

Amaya Ordorika
Researcher, Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)

Jesselyn McCurdy
Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

And moderated by

Coletta Youngers
Senior Fellow, WOLA

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 21
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20009


Sergio Chaparro from Dejusticia and Vivian Calderoni from Conectas, organizations that also contributed to a joint report on the topic, will also be present to answer questions.

To RSVP, please click here. A light lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact Adam Schaffer at or (202) 797-2171. A livestream of the event will be available at

Click here to read the orginal article.

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Thumbnail: Flickr CC Jonathan