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 incarceration of women involved in low-level drug offences does not contribute effectively to addressing the world’s drug problem. Instead, it perpetuates a vicious cycle of victimisation, placing them in situations of further injustice.
IDPC evaluates the impacts of drug policies implemented in Asia over the past decade, assessing progress made towards international and regional goals and concluding on the need to move away from the damaging drug-free approach.