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Why the war on drugs can be a threat to human rights

By hollisterclothingoutlet 19/01/2023 689 Views

The punitive approach is opposed to any human rights perspective in the policies that seek to eradicate illegal drug production, production or marketing.This is the main conclusion of the first global drug policies index, recent.In the comparative table of the 30 countries studied for this inaugural index, the one that leaves the best stand is Norway and the worst, Brazil.

To measure the effectiveness of policies currently applied in the world, in terms of protection and rights of people, the consortium took as a parameter the basic recommendations of the United Nations (UN), to design 75 indicators that cover dimensions such as criminal justice,extreme responses to faults or crimes, health and reducing damage and access to internationally supervised medicines.With these compiled data, national policies were measured for the first time through the allocation of a country score.The result is that most countries breach the most basic recommendations of the UN.

Among the six countries that get worse score in anti -drug policies are two Africans (Kenya and Uganda), two from Southeast Asia (Thailand and Indonesia) and two Latin Americans (Mexico and Brazil).Among the six that take care of the aspect of health and proportionality in the application of justice, there are three European countries: Norway (in the first place, with only a 74/100), Portugal (in the third) and the United Kingdom(in the room);Two Oceania countries: New Zealand and Australia;And an American: Canada, in sixth position, with a score of just a 56 out of 100.

"Nefastas" was the most listened adjective in relation to the policies that are currently applied in the world in illegal drugs during the recent presentation of the report, within the framework of a virtual meeting with journalists from several countries.Indeed, one of the most mentioned issues was that of overrepresentation, among the prison population, of people accused of crimes related to drugs, which is estimated at 2.5 million men and women (the female proportion in prison for theseFaults almost double the male, according to the World Prison Population List).Of these, it is estimated that 22% of inmates are in jail for drug possession for personal use, according to the latest International Reform Reform Report of Global Trends in 2021.

What does health have to do with the death penalty?

The impulse and public launch of this comparative study counts nothing less than with the leadership of former Neo Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, president of the Global Drug Policy Commission and who, five years ago, was a candidate for the General Secretariat of NationsUnited.

It was precisely Clark who, in that informative meeting, referred to the "speech of very poor quality" that promotes this "repression -based approach" in which everything is reduced to how many kilos of drugs were confiscated in an operation, without having inHuman damages absolutely."What is the concern for the health of people in countries that apply the death penalty, for example?" The former prime minister was rhetorically asked, after mentioning the name of former American president Richard Nixon as the driver of the conceptAnd the practice of "War on Drugs" (War On Drugs).

This clamor for respect for human rights arises in a postpandemic world scenario in which there are more and more impoverished people who traffic due to lack of labor alternatives and end in jail (sometimes, in foreign prisons, simply by stepping on an airport), which increases its circle of marginality, uprooting and misery.In the case of minors, according to the United Nations, many homeless children are exposed to physical and sexual abuse, and substance consumption is part of relief to cope with those hard living conditions in the street.As for the policies related to health care, UN also has constancy, year after year, how world objectives are breached in terms of distribution of needle-hinge, as well as those of replacement therapies with opiates with opiates.There is also a lack of collective development alternatives for countries with high rates of pauperized population, which encourages drug trafficking.

Por qué la guerra contra las drogas puede ser una amenaza a los derechos humanos

In this context, the global predominance of policies based on repression and punishment in this matter has led to the inaugural index to offer general scores that do not reach results or 50 points over the 100 possible.The authors of the report highlight that the expectations of civil society experts vary from country to country and that inequality is a deeply established dimension in anti -drug policies, partly due to the colonial legacy of the aforementioned war, according to them they interpret.Anti -drug policies are, in essence, complex, as read in the report, and disproportionately affect the marginalized population, with differentiated virulence depending on gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.

In fact, Helen Clark expressed it sharply: "A score of 100 would only mean that this country puts into practice the minimum of measures recommended by the United Nations and that does not mean that policies are perfect".In this sense, Matt Wall, associate professor and head of the Department of Policy, Philosophy and International Relations of the University of Swansea, added: “Norway shows acceptable results while it does not have a criminalization policy, in relation to the reduction ofrisks and equitable access to a quality health system that gives possibilities of having replacement products ”.

Precisely this professor, who is one of the authors of the report, was specifically pronounced by trends in Latin America: “The situation there is marked by violence, militarization and the use of the police, combined with very poor results in criminal matters in criminal matters".In the case of Brazil and Colombia, the evaluation was very pessimistic, because, in addition, there is very widespread the toxic air fumigation of the crops."Indeed, Latin America suffers from this" drug war "mentality that is what reigns in the region," Wall said.

Beyond consigning the creation of bloody war or disproportionate stages for minor crimes, the report maintains that the application of drug law focuses on non -violent crimes, especially by users and, in this sense,Only eight of the 30 countries studied has decriminalized the consumption and possession of drugs and, from them, only three got citizens not to go through criminal justice.In this regard, before a question by a journalist from Burundi, Joana Canedo, focal point of the European Network of Drug Use, responded, from Portugal: “Criminalization has been a political decision, taken even before being sued by theCitizens.We can demonstrate, thanks to this index, what policies can work better than others.If we opt for imprisonment instead of giving answers in which public health intervenes, we deny people who use drugs access to replacement products, which constitutes a fundamental right.With these data, we can claim better policies and denounce punitive actions ”.

For the rest, the index also highlights the "huge" gap between government policies and their application to guarantee access to substitute medicines, especially in countries such as India, Indonesia, Mexico and Senegal, which obtain a high score in terms ofpaper policies, but a null score regarding the real availability of these resources.

Is the tool pertinent?

This measurement tool is added to the World Drug Report of the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime, which, in its 2018 edition, estimated about 275 million people between 15 and 64Years - approximately 5.6% of the world's population - those who had consumed drugs in at least one occasion, during 2016, a figure that has stayed on the rise since then.Of these, more than 36 million had suffered consumption disorders, as is the case with drugs, which are about 10.6 million worldwide, of which more than half live with hepatitis C, and aout of eight is HIV carrier.

However, in report 2021, this same office clarifies that the effects of pandemic have aggravated the situation, while having diversified sources to commercialization, and that the trend is to a sustained increase in drug use.In fact, current projections suggest, also based on population increase, a 11% rise in the number of people who consume them worldwide by 2030, and a “marked increase of 40% in Africa, due to its populationgrowing and young ".

Hence, the person responsible for the Global Drug Policy Commission, Helen Clark, was designed to promote the use of these indicators in the future: “It is the first edition and we wanted to prove that it is possible to make an index of this nature.Although our resources have been limited (we have chosen only 30 countries), we are ambitious about the future of this project.This time we have shown that it is possible to have a tool that will put light on national policies.It is a development project that we would like to update every two years (we are in the search for financing) and extend it to other countries ”.

Regarding the possibilities of continuing with the impulse of new donors, the head of the study pointed out that Germany has been one of the main financiers and that, at the same time, it could stimulate the adhesion of other partners."There are countries that have a more active and open approach to this issue," he said.There are even in Africa, according to the testimony of Adeeba Kamarulzaman, president of the International AIDS Society and researcher at the University of Malaysia.Kamarulzaman mentioned at the meeting a report prepared in Nigeria that recommended to Western Africa "to treat drug use as a public health problem", because "what countries dedicate to risk reduction is a minimal fraction of thethat allocate to repression ".The Malaysian researcher asserts that "if overpopulation is analyzed in prisons, particularly in Asia, but also in the United States, it is noted that a significant proportion of inmates are there for minor offenses related to drug use".

In Kamarulzaman's experience, there are, however, reasons for hope: “In Malaysia, we have had a punitive approach for decades, but after 2005, when we began to take into account the notion of risk reduction, especially byAIDS prevention, we have dropped the number of cases of the disease and, at the same time, according to a World Bank report, it is also seen that we have economized resources.You have to continue assets in policies based on these indices ".

The International Damage Reduction Consortium includes the following partners: the European Network of Drug Use Sourse (EURONPUD), the Euroasiatic Damage Reduction Association (EHRA), the Eurasian network of drug users (ENPUD), the commissionGlobal Drug Policies (GDPO)/Swansea University, Harm Reduction International (HRI), the International Consortium on Drug Policies (IDPC), the Association for Damage Reduction of the Middle East and North Africa (Menahra), the Networkof Western Africa Drug Policies (WADPN), the International Women's Network and Damage Reduction (Whrin) and Youth Rise.

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