MEDIA ADVISORY: On Friday, June 26th, activists in 150 cities will take part in a global day of action to end the drug war

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MEDIA ADVISORY: On Friday, June 26th, activists in 150 cities will take part in a global day of action to end the drug war

24 June 2015



On Friday, thousands of activists from 150 cities around the world will make their voices heard as part of the global “Support Don’t Punish” campaign. The campaign calls on governments to put an end to the expensive and counter-productive war on drugs, and to adopt better and more humane drug policies.


24th June 2015 – 70 years ago, on the 26th June 1945, the Charter of the United Nations was signed in the USA. The Charter seeks to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person” – a core principle of the newly-founded United Nations.

It is ironic, therefore, that 26th June is also the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – a day when many governments celebrate their contributions to a global war on drugs that, by the UN’s own admission, has failed to reduce drug use and has led to serious negative consequences. In the past, some governments have even commemorated this day by holding public executions or beatings of drug offenders.

The war on drugs has failed to reduce drug use or supply, yet it continues to cost in excess of $100 billion each year to enforce. It has led to the mass incarceration of vulnerable and poor people across the world, and fuels human rights violations and epidemics such as HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis. It has directly resulted in a multi-billion dollar black market for “controlled” drugs, and diverted attention and funding away from effective public health approaches to the problem.

“On the 26th June, thousands of people in over 150 cities will take part in a global day of action for the Support. Don’t Punish campaign. The campaign is a global show of force to say enough is enough – it’s time to end the wasteful and damaging war on drugs. ”, said Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC).

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will also launch their annual World Drug Report on this day, which once again notes that there has been no significant change in the global drug market but cites detrimental health outcomes for people who use drugs as ‘a matter of global concern’.

“Governments need to wake up. In the last year we’ve spent another $100 billion on fighting the drug war, and yet again we’ve seen no change, but the human cost in terms of lives lost, new HIV infections or the forced detention of people who use drugs is immeasurable. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, isn’t that the definition of madness?”, declared Idrissa Ba, Executive Director of the Association Sénégalaise pour la Réduction des Risques Infectieux chez les Groupes Vulnerables (ASRDR) and member of the West African Commission on Drugs.

Actions are planned to take place in Australia, Brazil, Egypt, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the USA – as well as in Argentina, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Serbia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe!



More details about the events and locations can be found in English, French and Spanish at:


More details about the broader campaign can be found at:


To receive a selection of the best photos from the Day of Action as it unfolds, please contact

Alternatively, please direct any queries to:

Jamie Bridge

International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), UK

+44 207 324 2996

Skype: bridgejamie

Keep up-to-date with drug policy developments by subscribing to the IDPC Monthly Alert.


Related Profiles

  • International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • West Africa Commission on Drugs (WACD)