Public Health and Welfare and the Rights of Drug Users

"The primary goal of the international drug control regime, as set forth in the preamble of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961), is the 'health and welfare of mankind', but the current approach to controlling drug use and possession works against that aim. Widespread implementation of interventions that reduce harms associated with drug use — harm-reduction initiatives — and of decriminalization of certain laws governing drug control would improve the health and welfare of people who use drugs and the general population demonstrably. Moreover, the United Nations entities and Member States should adopt a right to health approach to drug control, encourage system-wide coherence and communication, incorporate the use of indicators and guidelines, and consider developing a new legal framework concerning certain illicit drugs, in order to ensure that the rights of people who use drugs are respected, protected and fulfilled."

Source: 

Grover, Anand, "Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health," United Nations Human Rights Council (Geneva, Switzerland: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, August 6, 2010), p. 2.
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