A- A A+

70 years of human rights in global health: drawing on a contentious past to secure a hopeful future

Gostin, Lawrence O et al.

The Lancet , Volume 0 , Issue 0 , Published:December 09, 2018, doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32997-0


Seven Ways (Just for a Start) the War on Drugs Violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Global leaders celebrate Human Rights Day each December 10—often touting their own violent anti-drug policies as part of their state’s purported goal to observe the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On inspection, of course, punitive drug policies do not support human rights, but rather glaringly violate them. Although all 30 rights listed in the UN Declaration are surely assaulted in some way by prohibition, the first seven rights listed on the 70-year-old document are strikingly disregarded by governments that strive to engineer a “drug-free” world. (Filter, USA, 10.12.2018)


Connecting the Dots . . . - Human Rights, Illicit Cultivation and Alternative Development

How can we resolve the tensions between current drug control policies and states’ human rights obligations? The international human rights framework clearly establishes that, in the event of conflicts between obligations under the UN Charter and other international agreements, human rights obligations take precedence. As legally regulated cannabis markets start to grow, now is the time to secure a legitimate place for small farmers using alternative development, human rights and fair trade principles. (Transnational Institute (TNI), Niederlande, Oktober 2018)


Elton John: We Must Break HIV/AIDS Stigma

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Too many people are still contracting HIV and dying of AIDS-related illnesses due to stigma and a lack of access to information and testing, Elton John said on Monday. (Reuters, UK, 07.12.2018)


Niederlande. Erstes Verfahren in den Niederlanden wegen Sterbehilfe

Den Haag – Die niederländische Justiz hat erstmals seit der Legalisierung der Sterbehilfe in dem Land vor 16 Jahren ein Verfahren gegen eine Ärztin wegen der Tötung einer Demenzpatientin eingeleitet. Das Verfahren richte sich gegen die Ärztin eines Pflegeheims, die im April 2016 bei einer dementen 74-Jährigen Sterbehilfe geleistet habe, teilte die Staatsanwaltschaft heute mit. Wann der Prozess in Den Haag beginnt, wurde nicht mitgeteilt. (aerzteblatt.de, 09.11.2018)


Irland. Ex-heroin addicts on methadone endure lives of stigma and isolation, new report finds

A bleak insight into the stigma and isolation felt by former heroin addicts who are now stabilised long-term on methadone is revealed in a new report today. 

The dominant experience of being a methadone user was one of stigma, with many attempting to conceal their methadone use for fear of being judged. (Independent, Irland, 10.12.2018)


Portraits on the crack user built by the media.

Roos CM, Bard ND, Basso ADS, Olschowsky A, Pinho LB.

Rev Bras Enferm. 2018;71(suppl 5):2237-2242. doi: 10.1590/0034-7167-2017-0826. English, Portuguese. 


Policy Brief: The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination on Key Populations and Their Families

NSWP - Global Network of Sex Work Projects, NPUD - International Network of People who Use Drugs, MPact - Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights, 2018


The Impact of Perceived Stigma, Quality of Life, and Spiritual Beliefs on Suicidal Ideations among HIV-Positive Patients.

Zarei N, Joulaei H.

AIDS Res Treat. 2018 Mar 26;2018:6120127. doi: 10.1155/2018/6120127. 


Community Guide: The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination on Key Populations and Their Families

NSWP - Global Network of Sex Work Projects, NPUD - International Network of People who Use Drugs, MPact - Global Action for Gay Men’s Health and Rights, 2018


HIV-Related Stigma, Motivation to Adhere to Antiretroviral Therapy, and Medication Adherence among HIV-Positive Methadone-Maintained Patients.

Shrestha R, Altice FL, Copenhaver MM.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001891. 



INCB. President Sumyai speaks on drug control and human rights at the CND

(...) Dr Sumyai’s presentation marked the 50thanniversary of the establishment of the INCB, and was entitled ‘Fostering a united approach to the effective implementation of  the three international drug control conventions’.

He began by noting that ‘The fundamental goal of the UN drug control conventions is to safeguard the health and welfare of humankind by ensuring the availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances for medical and scientific purposes while preventing their diversion and abuse’. This formulation reverses customary descriptions of the goal of the conventions, which often includes the availability of drugs and medicines almost as an afterthought. (IDPC - International Drug Policy Consortium, 27.11.2018)


USA. Social Stigma Is One Reason The Opioid Crisis Is Hard To Confront

There are many reasons why the opioid crisis is so hard to confront. One of them is social stigma. It often extends beyond users themselves, to their families. (NPR – National Public Radio, USA, 31.10.2018)


USA. GROUNDBREAKING REPORT: Half of All U.S. Adults Have Immediate Family Member Currently or Previously Incarcerated

WASHINGTON, DC – A new, first-of-its-kind report released today finds that nearly half of all adults in the United States – approximately 113 million people – have an immediate family member who is either formerly or currently incarcerated. Based on new research conducted by FWD.us and Cornell University, this is the first ever national estimate of the share of Americans who have had an immediate family member spend time behind bars. (FWD.us, USA, 06.12.2018)


Judged for More Than Her Crime - A Global Overview of Women Facing the Death Penalty


A Report of the Alice Project, September 2018

Hrsg.: Cornell Law School, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and World Coalition against Death Penalty


Words matter: a call for humanizing and respectful language to describe people who experience incarceration.

Tran NT, Baggio S, Dawson A, O'Moore É, Williams B, Bedell P, Simon O, Scholten W, Getaz L, Wolff H.

BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 2018 Nov 16;18(1):41. doi: 10.1186/s12914-018-0180-4.


Bangla Desh. Narcotics Control Bill Placed at JS: Death penalty for carrying yaba, heroin 

The Narcotics Control Bill 2018 was placed in parliament last night, with provision for death sentence or life-term imprisonment for carrying, producing, trading and using more than five grammes of yaba, and more than 25 grammes of heroin and cocaine. (The Daily Star, Bangla Desh, 23.10.2018)


USA. Trump’s Latest Rabid Tweet: “Death Penalty for Distributors and Pushers, the Results Will Be Incredible!”

„Last year over 77,000 people died from Fentanyl. If China cracks down on this “horror drug,” using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible!“ (@realDonald Trump, 05.12.2018). (Filter, USA, 05.12.2018)


Malaysia. Medical marijuana distributor’s death sentence put on hold 

PORT DICKSON: The Cabinet has agreed to place a moratorium on Muhammad Lukman’s death sentence, who was recently sentenced for possessing, processing and distributing medical marijuana (cannabis oil). (The Star Malaysia, 13.10.2018)


Methadone maintenance treatment as social control: Analyzing patient experiences.

O'Byrne P, Jeske Pearson C.

Nurs Inq. 2018 Nov 20:e12275. doi: 10.1111/nin.12275. 



USA. A young mom's powerful obituary is shedding light on opioid addiction 

A young Vermont mother who died as a result of opioid addiction is being memorialized by her family in a fearless obituary calling for a more open understanding of the illness that took her life. (CNN, USA, 17.10.2018)


Courtesy Stigma and Personal Witness

The stigma attached to addiction, addiction treatment, and even addiction recovery is extended professionally and socially to those who choose to work in the addictions arena. Erving Goffman, the premier stigma theorist, referred to this as courtesy stigma—discredit extended to families and others closely linked to people with addiction disorders. It is common for addiction counselors and recovery support specialists to encounter courtesy stigma. This can take the form of other health and human service professionals looking askance at those who would choose to work in the addictions field or in the responses of civilians when introduced to us. The phrases “I could never do that kind of work” and “it must take a special person to help THOSE people” may express the civilian’s respect for those who counsel people with addictions, but I suspect these phrases can also convey the civilian’s suspicion about the mental status of anyone who would choose such work. Such reactions are also a way for civilians to emotionally distance themselves from such problems. (williamwhitepapers.com/blog, 02.10.2018)


Medical and Ethical Concerns Regarding Pacemaker Implantation in a Patient with Substance Use Disorder.

Sridhara S, Mayer PA.

Cureus. 2018 Jul 22;10(7):e3027. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3027.


USA. Stigma and Strip Searches: We Still Treat People on Methadone as Less Than Human

(...) Methadone for OUD (Opioid Use Disorder, Anm.) can only be dispensed by a licensed provider—often referred to as a “methadone clinic”—and patients must show up every morning to swallow their dose in front of a nurse. After 90 days of satisfactory behavior, patients become eligible for their first “take-home.” (filtermag.org, USA, 19.11.2018)


Bangla Desh. Cabinet clears Narcotics Control Act draft with death penalty for smuggling, selling yaba - The new law will cover all sorts of narcotic substances, says the Cabinet secretary

The Cabinet has approved in principal the draft of Narcotics Control Act 2018, introducing provisions of death sentence as maximum punishment for anyone involved in producing, smuggling, distributing or using over 5 grams of banned drug yaba or amphetamines.

In the new law, life in jail has been proposed as the minimum punishment for the similar offence. (Dhaka Tribune, Bengla Desh, 08.10.2018)


Study of human rights violations faced by women who use drugs in Estonia

Arune Kontautaite, Daria Matyushina-Ocheret, Maria Plotko, Mikhail Golichenko, Mart Kalvet and Lena Antonova

Harm Reduction Journal 2018, 15:54, doi.org/10.1186/s12954-018-0259-1


Changing student attitudes and perceptions toward opioid use disorder.

Countey H, Steinbronn C, Grady SE.

Ment Health Clin. 2018 Aug 30;8(5):222-226. doi: 10.9740/mhc.2018.09.222. 


Health, Human Rights: Criminalising pain? Scheduling tramadol would hurt those most in need

This blog post is published ahead of the 41st World Health Organisation's Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) meeting, which will critically review tramadol and issue a recommendation on its scheduling for the consideration of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. IDPC has submitted contribution to the ECDD's meeting on the matter. IDPC is of the view that scheduling tramadol is presently unnecessary and would be counter-productive in its effects on public health. (idpc - International Drug Policy Consortium, 29.10.2018)


Perceived Stigma in People Living With HIV in Qom.

Pourmarzi D, Khoramirad A, Gaeeni M.

J Family Reprod Health. 2017 Dec;11(4):202-210.


UN Human Rights Committee publishes new general comment on the ‘right to life’ 

GENEVA (1 November 2018) — The UN Human Rights Committee, which monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, today published a new general comment: a comprehensive text providing legal guidance on article 6, the right to life. 

“The right to life is the prerequisite for the enjoyment of all other human rights,” explained Yuval Shany, Chair of the Human Rights Committee. “The general comment provides a rich and authoritative statement of the obligations deriving from the right to life, which the Committee defines as ‘the supreme right.’” (UN Human Rights Committee, Office oft he High Commissioner, Genf, 01.11.2018)