International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy

World Health Organization, UN Development Programme, UNAIDS, (2019)

The drugs issue cuts across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and multiple Sustainable Development Goals, including ending poverty, reducing inequalities, and, of course, improving health, with its targets on drug use, HIV, and other communicable diseases. Goal 16 on peace, justice, and strong institutions is particularly important, requiring attention to human rights across the Sustainable Development Goals. Since the late 1990s, United Nations (UN) General Assembly resolutions have acknowledged that ‘countering the world drug problem’ must be carried out ‘in full conformity’ with ‘all human rights and fundamental freedoms’.1 This has been reaffirmed in every major UN political declaration on drug control since, and in multiple resolutions adopted by the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.2 The reality, however, has not always lived up to this important commitment.


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