During its thirtieth regular session in May 2021, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice adopted by consensus a resolution entitled “Fourteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice”, through which the Commission approved the Kyoto Declaration and recommended, through the Economic and Social Council, its endorsement by the General Assembly. Following the workplan, the first thematic discussion was held on 10-12 November 2021 in a hybrid format and focused on pillar I of the Kyoto Declaration, “Advancing Crime Prevention”, including addressing the causes, including the root causes, of crime, evidence-based crime prevention, tailor-made crime prevention strategies, addressing the economic dimension of crime, mainstreaming a gender perspective into crime prevention, children and youth in crime prevention, and youth empowerment for crime prevention.
Thematic discussions on Pillar II: Advancing the criminal justice system will be held from 5 to 7 December 2022.
Thematic session 1: Safeguarding victims’ rights and protecting witnesses and reporting persons; Improving criminal investigation processes (5 December 2022)
Thematic session 2: Improving prison condition; Reducing reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration (6 December 2022)
Thematic session 3: Mainstreaming a gender perspective into criminal justice systems; Addressing the vulnerabilities of children and youth in contact with the criminal justice system (7 December 2022)
IDPC statement on thematic session 3
Delivered by Maria-Goretti Ane (IDPC Consultant: Africa)
I'm making this statement on behalf of the International Drug Policy Consortium, a global network advocating for drug policies that advance social justice and human rights.
More than 740,000 women and girls are in prison worldwide. A number which has grown by almost 60% since 2000. Punitive drug laws have caused a global surge in the number of people incarcerated, with a disproportionate impact on women. 35% of women in prison are incarcerated for a drug offence globally. This can reach 50 to 80% in some Asian and Latin American countries.
Women affected by punitive drug control are generally in situations of vulnerability, as single mothers, with limited access to formal education and legal employment, and a history of violence, coercion or drug dependence.
In line with the Bangkok Rules, the Kyoto Declaration calls on countries to address the overincarceration of women worldwide.
IDPC is working with affected communities of women to better understand the challenges that they are facing and support the development of recommendations for policy reform.
In line with UN standards we urge on member states to:
- immediately release all people incarcerated for non-violent drug offences in situations of vulnerability;
- Use prisons and pre-trial detention only as a measure of very last resort;
- remove all punishment for drug use and related activities;
- ensure adequate and free access to legal advice;
- ensure the availability of gender-sensitive harm reduction and drug dependence treatment in the community and in prison; and
- ensure that affected women are meaningfully involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of the drug policies that affect them.