Human Rights, Drug Control and the UN Special Procedures: Preventing arbitrary and extra-judicial executions through the promotion of human rights in drug control

(May 2015)

Hannah, J. and Melkonyan, A. United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms & Drug Control, Legal Briefing Paper No. 2, The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions

Human rights violations occurring as a consequence of drug control or enforcement efforts have been well-documented by both civil society organisations and United Nations human rights monitors. These violations highlight the degree to which the framework established under the three United Nations drug conventions contributes to an environment of increased human rights risk, and in some cases directly fuels abuses. The relationship between international human rights law and international drug control law is therefore a significant issue for human rights activists and scholars, yet to date it has largely gone unaddressed. The UN drug control bodies rarely mention human rights, while the UN human rights mechanisms rarely mention drug control. In effect, the two speak different languages and hold different priorities. As the “eyes and ears” of the UN human rights system, the special procedures serve acritical role in bridging the normative gap and bringing thematic attention to this emerging human rights issue. Read more