Side event at the 47th regular session of the Human Rights Council (21 June to 13 July 2021)

Co-sponsored by the missions of Albania, France, Greece, Paraguay, Portugal, Switzerland, and Uruguay, as well as by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Centre for Legal and Social Studies, the International Drug Policy Consortium, the International Network of People who Use Drugs, Harm Reduction International, Penal Reform International, and University of Essex (International Centre for Human Rights and Drug Policy).

This event will be streamed in English & Spanish

REGISTER HERE: http://bit.do/hrc47-arbitrary-detention

Over the past ten years, the UN human rights system has paid increasing attention to the devastating human rights impacts of drug policies, thanks to the Human Rights Council’s watershed resolutions on the ‘world drug problem’, adopted in 2015 and 2018, and to the expanding work on drug-related matters by UN treaty bodies, special procedures, and the OHCHR.

At the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will present their study on arbitrary detention relating to drug policies. This is a crucial development, as an estimated 2.5 million people are incarcerated for drug offences worldwide, including 470,000 people for drug possession for personal use; while hundreds of thousands more are deprived of liberty in compulsory drug detention centres, and in privately-run drug treatment facilities.

This side event will discuss the recommendations of the study on arbitrary detention relating to drug policies, as well as how to best implement them, with perspectives from Member States, civil society and human rights mechanisms.

Speakers will include:

  • H.E. Felix Bauxman, Ambassador, Switzerland (opening remarks)
  • Elina Steinerte, Chair-Rapporteur, UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
  • Yatie Jonet, Advocate for Women who Use Drugs, Malaysia
  • Ambika Satkunanathan, Fellow, Open Society Foundations
  • Anthony O. Ojukwu Esq, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria.
  • Claudia Cardona, Corporación Humanas & Mujeres Libres Colombia
  • TBC. Representative of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Moderator: Ann Fordham, Executive Director, International Drug Policy Consortium


Statement at the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention - 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council

This side event took place at the margins of the Interactive Dialogue between the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Human Rights Council where the study on arbitrary detention and drug policies was presented. During the dialogue, IDPC delivered a statement on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium, Accion Tecnica Social, Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, the Centre for Legal and Social Studies, Harm Reduction International, Instituto RIA and Penal Reform International.