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The Fight for Accountability: Opportunities to Engage in Human Rights Advocacy for INPUD

25 November, 2021

Human rights violations against people who use drugs have been widely documented, including abuses by police; abuses in detention; discrimination by schools, employers and health care workers; and in some countries, extrajudicial killings. As a growing number of United Nations (UN) experts and agencies, as well as some member states, have acknowledged these harms, there remains a questions of how resource-limited local, regional and global drug user networks raises the question of to what degree should engage in advocacy with UN human rights mechanisms, and where this advocacy has the most effect.

To explore this question, this report introduces different UN human rights mechanisms and evaluates how they have weighed in on human rights issues relevant to people who use drugs, citing specific cases to review the effect or impact they had. The report concludes with recommendations for areas of focus as part of the work of INPUD with the Love Alliance.

The mechanisms discussed include:
– The International Criminal Court
– UN Human Rights Council: Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and Special Procedures
– Human rights treaty bodies
– Regional mechanisms and courts

Overall, as a peer-led network made up of national and regional peer networks, INPUD has an important opportunity to use the ‘show in Geneva’ to catalyse meaningful change at national levels, and to ensure that ‘nothing about us without us’ is applies to human rights mechanisms, as it has often been championed in HIV mechanisms