As the UN Special Rapporteur it is my duty to examine and report back to the United Nations on the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The central objective of the international drug control regime is the “health and welfare of mankind”. Unfortunately, the approach taken by this regime has failed, resulting in countless human rights violations based on decades of mounting scientific evidence which I was compelled to outline in my recent submission to the UN.These violations include:
The right to health is an inclusive right, extending not only to timely and appropriate health care, but also to the underlying determinants of health, such as widespread implementation of harm-reduction initiatives. The criminalization of drug users does not benefit society and it worsens public health and contributes to serious human rights violations.
Decriminalizing drug users, as outlined by the Vienna Declaration, would improve the health and welfare of people who use drugs and communities in general and must be recognized by governments, policy-makers, and individuals worldwide.
I encourage you to join me in endorsing the Vienna Declaration and advocating for an approach to drug policy that no longer undermines basic matters of public health and human rights but rather works to promote them.
Anand Grover is the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to the highest attainable standard of health.