The use of punishments such as incarceration for those involved in the illicit drug trade has long been relied upon a deterrent. However, it has resulted in the imposition of disproportionate sentencing (including the use of the death penalty) and overcrowded prisons, with high risks to health, social cohesion and human rights. Some countries and jurisdictions are now moving towards decriminalisation, alternatives to prison and the regulation of some markets.
The OHCHR has issued a letter asking to receive relevant information covering developments since 19 December 2019 on the question of the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, to be submitted no later than 1 May 2018.
The Social Science Research Council reviews key findings from regional case studies on drug courts that may be useful to inform debates about these mechanisms and other alternatives to incarceration for low-level drug crimes.
Myanmar's reform on its legal and policy framework is a clear sign that the Government has acknowledged the shortcomings of the previous strategy, which was primarily based on the use of repressive measures.
This political agreement calls on the EU Member States to: implement effectively alternative measures and monitor and evaluate their implementation; develop and share best practice in the field; and raise awareness.
Harm Reduction International points out that prohibitionist and punitive approaches to drugs fail to achieve any reduction in drug use and trafficking, and are a clear violation of fundamental human rights under international law