Human Rights at the centre of balanced drug policies

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Commitments to Human Rights are supposed to direct policy action...

Commitments to Human Rights are supposed to direct policy action on all levels of government. The significance of Human Rights is also increasingly highlighted in international drug policy declarations. However, there is a lack of precise recommendations based on international law on the application of Human Rights. The International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy at the University of Essex and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) therefore develop guidelines for Human Rights in drug policies. They are supported by the Colombian Ministry of Justice, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, as well as GPDPD on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). This process involves small farmers cultivating drug crops, drug users, legal scholars, as well as civil society, international organisations, and government representatives, in order to include the needs and perspectives of all concerned groups of society. The three basic Human Rights principles of participation, transparency, and non-discrimination are thus respected. These guidelines provide governments with an important and useful tool to redirect their drug policies to further acknowledge the rights of all concerned groups and to include a greater focus on development and public health.

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