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Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka: Reject the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill: Open letter to Members of Parliament in Sri Lanka

Harm Reduction International, the International Drug Policy Consortium, and Amnesty International urge Members of Parliament in Sri Lanka to take a strong stance against the Bureau of Rehabilitation Bill, which the government is scheduled to present again with amendments in Parliament this Wednesday 18th January. (amnesty international, UK 17.01.2923)


Pakistan. Bill abolishing death sentence on narcotics dealing passed

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday passed the Control of Narcotics Substance Amendment Bill 2022, abolishing the death penalty for those involved in the dealing of drugs and converted it into life imprisonment. (The Express tribune, Pakistan, 20.12.2022)


Council of the European Union. Council conclusions on human rights-based approach in drug policies

General Secretariat of the Council, Brüssel, 08.12.2022


For the third year in a row, 100+ NGOs urge UNODC Director to mark International Human Rights Day by calling for rights-affirming drug policies

We urge you to mark International Human Rights Day 2022 by calling on Member States to change drug policies and practices to fulfil the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to place human rights at the centre of all dimensions of UNODC’s work. (International Drug Policy Consortium, UK, 01.12.2022)


Open letter: Halt executions for drug offences in Saudi Arabia - Harm Reduction International

Harm Reduction International and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, together with 34 co-signing organisations, urge the United Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) to take all possible steps to halt the spate of drug-related executions witnessed in Saudi Arabia since 10 November 2022; against official commitments and international standards.

Since January 2020, Saudi Arabia had halted executions for drug-related offences, and in January 2021 the head of the official Human Rights Commission, Awwad Al-Awwad, had announced their suspension, deeming it intended to “give a second chance” to individuals not facing charges for violent crimes.

On November 10, 2022, Saudi Arabia suddenly and without warning resumed executions for drug-related crimes, and as of November 24, 2022, it announced 20 executions for drug crimes. According to data published by the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the victims are all men, and of the following nationalities: 8 of Saudi, 5 of Syrian, 3 of Pakistani, 2 of Nigerian, and 2 of Jordanian nationality.


Effects of media representations of drug related deaths on public stigma and support for harm reduction. 

Sumnall HR, Atkinson AM, Montgomery C, Maynard OM, Nicholls J. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2022 Nov 15;111:103909. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2022.103909. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36399962.


'As for dignity and respect…. me bollix': A human rights-based exploration of service user narratives in Irish methadone maintenance treatment. 

Healy R, Goodwin J, Kelly P. 

Int J Drug Policy. 2022 Nov 6;110:103901. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2022.103901. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36351318.


Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka: Draft ‘Rehabilitation’ Law Would Spur Abuse

Proposes Detention Without Judicial Review at Military-Run Centers. (HRW – Human Rights Watch, USA, 17.10.2022)


Death Penalty For Drug Offences: Global Overview 2021

Harm Reduction International has monitored the use of the death penalty for drug offences worldwide since our first ground-breaking publication on this issue in 2007. This report, our eleventh on the subject, continues our work of providing regular updates on legislative, policy and practical developments related to the use of capital punishment for drug offences, a practice which is a clear violation of international law. (HRI – Harm Reduction International, UK, September 2022)


Iran. Iran: At least 251 Executed; Sharp Rise in Executions in First Six Months of 2022

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 1, 2022: At least 251 people including six women and 67 Baluch minorities were executed in Iranian prisons in the first six months of 2022. This is double the number of executions in the same period in 2021 when 117 people were executed. (Iran Human Rights Net, 01.07.2022)


Singapur. Singapore: UN experts call for immediate moratorium on executions for drug offences

GENEVA (29 July 2022) – UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drugrelated charges.

There has been a sharp rise in execution notices issued in Singapore this year. (United Nations, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Genf, 29.07.2022)


Schweiz. Behandlung von Opioidabhängigkeit: Sind Urinproben legitim?

Carole-Anne Baud, Dr. iur., SNF-Forscherin, Universität Lausanne , Barbara Broers, Professorin in Suchtmedizin, Universitätsspital Genf, Valérie Junod, Rechtprofessorin, Universitäten Genf und Lausanne, Caroline Schmitt-Koopmann, Master in Pharmazeutischen Wissenschaften, Doktorandin, Universität Lausanne, Olivier Simon, Lehr- und Forschungsbeauftragter, Suchtmedizin, Universitätsspital Lausanne 

Schweizerische Ärztezeitung, 24.05.2022, Anmerkung der Autorinnen und Autoren: Dieses Positionspapier ist eine für Angehörige der Gesundheitsberufe bestimmte Anpassung des juristischen Artikels: Junod V, Baud C-A, Broers B, Schmitt-Koopmann C, Simon O. Tests urinaires dans le traitement médical de la dépendance aux opioïdes: Fin d’une pratique anachronique? sui generis. 2021;331–40.?) 


USA. Trump Urges Death Penalty for Drug Dealers: 'China Has No Drug Problem'

Former President Donald Trump says the U.S. should model its response to the illegal narcotics trade on China, where he said accused drug dealers are executed after swift trials. (Newsweek, USA, 09.07.2022)


Singapur. Singapore carries out fifth execution since March

Nazeri bin Lajim was hanged early on Friday morning for drug offences, the latest in a ‘relentless wave’ of executions. (Al Jazeera, Katar, 22.07.2022)


Racial and ethnic differences in alcohol, cannabis, and illicit substance use treatment: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of studies done in the USA

Jordan, Ayana et al.

The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 9, Issue 8, 660 - 675 


Health and Human Rights Journal, Volume 24, Issue 1, June 2022 - Special Section: Compulsory Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation, Health, and Human Rights

Compulsory Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation, Health, and Human Rights is a special section of Volume 24, Issue 1, of the Health and Human Rights Journal, developed in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific



Human rights and HIV/AIDS - Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations, General Assembly, Human Rights Council, Fiftieth session, 13 June–8 July 2022, Agenda items 2 and 3

Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General


Singapur. Singapore to hang 2nd Indian-origin drug trafficker in 3 months, appeal fails

In April, Singapore executed Indian-origin Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, who had been on death row for over a decade after being convicted of trafficking about 43 grams of heroin. (Hindustan Times, Indien, 06.07.2022)


Singapur. Singapore: End wave of hangings and immediately impose moratorium on executions

Responding to the execution of Malaysian national Kalwant Singh in Singapore, together with that of another man, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Research Emerlynne Gil said: 

“Singapore has once again executed people convicted of drug-related offenses in violation of international law, callously disregarding public outcry.”  

“Going against a worldwide trend towards abolishing the death penalty, Singapore is just one of four countries known to have executed people for drug-related offenses in recent years. The death penalty is never the solution and we oppose it unconditionally. There is no evidence that it acts as a unique deterrent to crime.”  (amnesty international, UK, 07.07.2022)


Schweiz. Methadonprogramm: Urinprobe verletzt die Grundrechte

Die Proben seien ein Eingriff in die Privatsphäre, sagen Fachleute. Sie fordern eine Abkehr von dieser Praxis. (NZZ – Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Schweiz, 09.07.2022, kostenlose Anmeldung erforderlich)


Prise de position destinée aux professionnels de la santé: Traitement de la dépendance aux opioïdes: tests urinaires légitimes? 

Valérie Junod, Carole-Anne Baud, Barbara Broers, Caroline Schmitt-Koopmann, Olivier Simon

Schweiz Ärzteztg. 2022;103(10):324-327, doi.org/10.4414/saez.2022.20422

Das Wichtigste in Kürze 

  • Menschen mit einem Opioidabhängigkeitsyndrom wird ein langwirksames Opioid verschrieben. Diese Opioid-Agonisten-Therapien (OAT) verhindern Todesfälle, verbessern die Lebensqualität und verringern die Zahl von Infektionen. 
  • Im Rahmen dieser Behandlungen werden Urintests (UTs) verwendet, um festzustellen, ob die behandelten Personen weiterhin andere Substanzen konsumieren. Gemäss den ­Autorinnen sind diese Tests jedoch umstritten. 
  • Die UTs verletzen die Rechte der behandelten Personen und werden in den jüngsten internationalen Empfehlungen nicht mehr erwähnt. 
  • Die kantonalen Behörden sollten davon absehen, UTs während einer OAT anzuordnen oder zu empfehlen. Der UT ist nur einzuführen, wenn die in Behandlung befindliche Person dies beantragt. Ausserdem sollte aufgezeigt werden, wo die Grenzen dieser Tests als Motivationsinstrument liegen. 
  • Ob im Strafvollzug, in der Psychologie oder in der Suchttherapie – es muss ein Perspektivenwechsel angestrebt werden. Die UTs dürfen nicht für nichtmedizinische Kontrollzwecke missbraucht werden. 


End ‘war on drugs’ and promote policies rooted in human rights: UN experts

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, 26 June 2022

GENEVA (24 June 2022) – UN human rights experts* have called on the international community to bring an end to the so-called “war on drugs” and promote drug policies that are firmly anchored in human rights. Ahead of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June 2022, the experts issued the following statement. (United Nations, Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, 24.06.2022)


Aligning drug policies with human rights - Statement by the UNHCHR

(Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 07.06.2022)


Singapur. “We were like strays”: A life marked by drugs, incarceration, and the death penalty

Singapore's death penalty for drug offences sees a binary between "victims" of drugs and "predator" traffickers. Nazeri bin Lajim's experiences show that the reality is much more complex. (wethecitizens.net, Singapur, 30.05.2022)


Malaysia. Malaysia to get rid of ‘mandatory’ death sentences

Malaysia on Friday announced a stop to the mandatory death penalty — required death sentences for some crimes, including nonviolent drug trafficking offenses. Rights groups cautiously welcomed the move. (Washington Post, USA, 10.06.2022)



Pompidou Group of the Council of Europe, April 2022


Access to oral care is a human rights issue: a community action report from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, Canada. 

Jozaghi E, Vandu, Maynard R, Khoshnoudian Y, Brondani MA. 

Harm Reduct J. 2022 May 2;19(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12954-022-00626-4. PMID: 35501857; PMCID: PMC9059447.


USA. Tracking the opioid overdose crisis. Have Black and White communities in America been affected the same?

Since the late 1990s, the United States has been experiencing an unprecedented overdose crisis driven primarily by opioids. Understanding how racial-ethnic groups may be differentially affected by this public health crisis is key to tailoring support and services. This study compared opioid overdose death rates between Black and White Americans from the beginning of the overdose crisis in 1999 to 2018. (RRI – Recovery Research Institute, USA, Mai 2022)


Nigeria. Briefing paper: Torture and ill-treatment against people who use drugs in Nigeria

This report presents evidence on the physical and mental violence faced by people who use drugs in Nigeria. The information included in this report has been collected through a mixed methodsapproachthatincludesdeskresearch and a survey of 79 people who use drugs and other stakeholders in 5 Nigerian states. (Chinwike Okereke, Adrià Cots Fernández & Maria-Goretti Loglo, International Drug Policy Consortium, April 2022)


Singapur. Singapore: UN human rights experts urge immediate death penalty moratorium

GENEVA (12 May 2022) – UN human rights experts* today called on the Government of Singapore to immediately impose a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and said its continued use of capital punishment for drug-related crimes ran contrary to international law. (United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, Genf, 12.05.2022)