Last year, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR – the UN Committee of independent experts in charge of overseeing the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) announced that it would prepare its first ever General Comment on drug policy to describe how drug laws and practices affect the enjoyment of the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to work, the right to housing, the right to health, the right to an adequate standard of living, or the right to education, to name a few, and what States’ obligations are in this regard.
Civil society now has the opportunity to contribute to an important initiative.
The repressive approach to drugs, together with the stigmatisation and discrimination against people who use them, has numerous negative consequences on the daily lives of our clients and peers. Drug dependence and criminal records related to drug offences are often an obstacle to finding or continuing employment. In most countries of the region, women who use drugs are denied entry to shelters or crisis centers, even in cases of domestic violence. Children, particularly those with parents who use drugs, are being separated from their families. People who are imprisoned and have drug use disorders may be denied access to treatment. The list goes on.
In order to ensure that the process is as inclusive as possible – and importantly reflects the views and concerns of civil society and affected communities – an online form has been set up for us all to share information and provide comments on the preliminary draft outline of the General Comment. The deadline is 15 February 2024.
For more information about the General Comment, and to submit a contribution, please visit this webpage.