I’ve always been fed up with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime as the international arm of the prohibitionist movement. But there’s a deeper concern.
Supposedly, being part of the United Nations, they are bound to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And Director Costa often talks a good game in speeches about how important it is that human rights not be abused in the name of drug control. And yet, when abuse occurs, who is not out front condemning it? You guessed it. Countries know that they can commit atrocities of any kind in the name of the drug war and they won’t hear a peep from the U.N.
The UNODC also goes around the world and offers its “expertise” in setting up drug control offices and drafting drug control legislation â€” always with the mindset of promoting prohibition, and rarely with promoting human rights.
Here’s a country where there have been significant incidents of “drug treatment patients” (read “prisoners”) being abused, raped, and tortured.
Now the UNODC comes in and helps them draft new legislation. Take a look at what’s included…
The right to drug treatment
Article 67(5) â€œOfficers who implement drug treatment and rehabilitation measures in accordance with the right to drug treatment shall not be prosecuted for their activities.â€
Compulsory drug treatment
Article 71(4) â€œIf a person is drug dependent to any substance as specified … a guardian, relative or authority can refer, or arrest and refer, the person to drug treatment at a hospital, public drug treatment facility, or any drug treatment facility.â€
Now does that look like a way to reduce human rights abuse? No, it looks like a way you can get any relative you don’t like committed and then officials there can’t be prosecuted for what they do.
The UNODC should be condemning this, not helping write it.