Deliver Us from Evil? – The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 50 Years On
International Journal on Human Rights and Drug Policy, Vol. 1, pp. 3-13, April 2011
12 Pages Posted: 12 May 2011
Date Written: December 1, 2010
The year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961). Although the preamble of the Single Convention states that the treaty is intended to promote 'the health and welfare of mankind,' it goes on to characterise 'drug addiction' as 'a serious evil.' This paper explores the tensions between human rights and drug control embodied within the preamble of the Convention, including aspects of the drafting history, and offers comment on the negative human rights consequences of defining drugs as 'evil'.
Keywords: drugs, human rights, Single Convention, narcotics
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