Statement by the INCB President on the occasion of Human Rights Day, 10 December 2021

VIENNA, 10 December - To mark this year's Human Rights Day, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) calls on States parties to the three international drug control conventions to place human rights at the centre of their drug control policies.

INCB recalls that the three conventions were adopted to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people. It is for this reason that INCB is concerned about continued reports of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, other forms of mistreatment, and extrajudicial killings, being committed in the name of drug control. These violations undermine the rule of law and are contrary to the human rights instruments and drug control conventions. INCB would like to remind Member States that the drug control conventions, the Political Declaration adopted by the General Assembly at its twentieth special session, and the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem all call for a balanced approach, respect for the principle of proportionality and respect for human rights, including the rights of people who are suspected of committing drug-related offences.

In particular, INCB reminds Member States of their treaty obligations to take all practicable measures for prevention, and for education, treatment, rehabilitation and social reintegration for people who use drugs. Such services should be evidence-based, accessible, free from discrimination and stigma, and respect human rights and dignity.

The drug control conventions must be implemented in a manner consistent with international human rights standards. Indeed, compliance with the drug control conventions can lead to the direct and positive fulfilment of human rights, and such compliance is vital for the realization of the right to health, which includes the right to treatment and access to controlled substances for medical purposes.

Drug control policies that meet all human rights principles and standards are effective and sustainable. INCB highlights the important links between human rights and drug control policies and how these policies can lead to the protection of human rights and the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals.

INCB continues to work with Member States to support the implementation of the drug control conventions and reaffirms its commitment to progress the Sustainable Development Goals.

©1995-2024 International Narcotics Control Board