Only months after their launch, the International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy are being put into practice.
On the basis of decades of evidence, the International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy intend to guide governments to develop human rights compliant drug policies, covering the spectrum from cultivation to consumption. They give concrete form to drug control obligations based on human rights. This makes them a novelty and an important reference instrument in international drug policy. The first practical examples already show: they work.
Since their launch at the 62nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna in March 2019, the International Guidelines have influenced national decisions at the highest level. Only recently, the Colombian Constitutional Court declared that fines for the minor consumption of alcohol and psychoactive substances in public places are unconstitutional. In its declaration, the court referred to the guidelines and argued that the sentence violated the right to free personal development and described it as disproportionately restrictive.
Furthermore, the United Nations Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and Practice also referred to the Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy. In its latest report, the Working Group examined the many ways in which women can be deprived of their liberty by state and non-state actors. The labour market, health and education systems, and certain policy practices are examples of areas with discriminatory norms against women. The working group recommends combating all gender stereotypes. This could also be done by reforming drug policy, taking into account the International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policies.
The GPDPD helped to shape the International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy and advises governmental and non-governmental organisations to include them in their drug policy discussions.
You can read more about the relevance of human rights in drug policy and the development process of the guidelines here.