Drug control policies and human rights
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This study examines drug control policy through the prism of human rights norms. Emphasis is placed on identifying and analysing the conflicts that arise between rights protection and drug control. The research presented here is a detailed study of issues, including the death penalty for drug offenders, drug treatment of drug users, mandatory drug testing for social welfare applicants, drug searches of school children, fumigation of drug crops and a ban on personal drug consumption in instances of use for cultural and religious purpose. This exercise allows for an establishment of the areas in which conflicts between human rights and drug control arise. The examination of these conflicts goes with delineation of the political and judicial responses to the identified tensions between drug control and human rights in given cases. The ultimate conclusion reached is that drug control policies are questionable in light of human rights norms and that there are conflicts between drug control and human rights. When there is a tension between drug control and human rights, the judicial and political response is often to prioritise drug control. This, in turn, raises serious human rights concerns that can be challenged with regard to states' human rights obligations. It must matter how drug control policy effectively combats illicit drugs and prevents the related harms. The crux of the matter, however, is that a drug control mandate does not exempt states from their overall human rights obligations. Therefore, it is the argument made in this study that a human rights based approach for drug control is a way to reconcile the conflict between states' drug control and human rights obligations.