Drug Policy Question of the Week – 2-5-11
As answered by Mary Jane Borden, Editor of Drug War Facts for the Drug Truth Network on 2-5-11. http://www.drugtruth.net/cms/node/3256
Question of the Week: What are Special Rapporteurs?
Shortly after enacting its charter in 1946, the United Nations established the Commission on Human Rights. According to its 2009 report, the Commission’s Human Rights Council fields,
“independent human rights experts with mandates to investigate, report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective.”
Some experts are called Rapporteurs, a French term for “reporter.” Rapporteurs carry out their designated mandates via “special procedures.” There are currently 31 thematic and 8 country mandates.
Special Rapporteurs have issued several reports on mandates germane to drug policy.
“…in Afghanistan, the US has said that drug traffickers on the “battlefield” who have links to the insurgency may be targeted and killed. This is not consistent with the traditionally understood concepts under [international humanitarian law].”
“decided to devote particular attention in 2010 to the issues of the detention of drug users.”
“While drugs may have a pernicious effect on individual lives and society, this excessively punitive regime has not achieved its stated public health goals, and has resulted in countless human rights violations.”
The report then concluded,
“The primary goal of the international drug control regime … is the “health and welfare of mankind”, but the current approach to controlling drug use and possession works against that aim.”
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