OHCHR statement at the 2014 High level review of the 2014 Political Declaration and Plan of Action on drugs

Violations of the right to health, as set out in both the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, continue to occur in a significant number of states. Users of illegal drugs may be reluctant to seek out health information, advice or treatment because they fear that information about their drug use will be shared with authorities, leading to arrest, imprisonment or treatment against their will.

In many States, access to proven harm-reduction measures, including needle and syringe exchange programmes and opiate substitution therapy, is extremely limited or non-existent. Failure to provide health-care and harm-reduction programmes for drug injecting users has facilitated transmission of diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. In some states. Laws prohibit carrying injecting paraphernalia, and this creates additional health risks for those who inject drugs.

  • Harm reduction
  • Human rights

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