• The ‘deja vú’ of aerial crop spraying in Colombia

    Before the spraying during Plan Colombia coca was grown in 12 regions, but after spraying it expanded to 22
    Nicolás Martínez Rivera
    Saturday, February 29, 2020

    colombia fumigation soldierAt the end of 2019 the government of Iván Duque presented a draft decree to resume the spraying of drug crops used for illicit purposes. It argued that spraying is the only instrument to curb the increase in coca crops. On February 10 and 11, 2020, a Dialogue on Aerial Spraying and Human Rights took place in Bogotá. At the event, several non-governmental organizations and representatives of different communities nationwide gathered to discuss the government’s decision to counter the illicit drug trade by resuming aerial sprays with glyphosate. The destruction of entire crops, contamination of water sources, miscarriages, malformations in newborns were, among others, some of the effects of glyphosate use that led the National Narcotics Council (CNE) to suspend aerial spraying in 2015.

  • Growers' voices at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

    Representatives of opium and coca growers from Myanmar and Colombia delivered statements describing situation on the ground
    Transnational Institute (TNI)
    Sunday, November 24, 2019

    burma opiumfieldFrom 16 to 18 October 2019, representatives of member states, intergovernmental organisations, and civil society attended the 6th Intersessional Meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. On 17 October 2019, representatives of coca and opium growers from Colombia (Pedro Arenas) and Myanmar (Sai Lone of Myanmar Opium Farmers' Forum) delivered statements highlighting the situation of communities involved in the illicit cultivation of coca and opium in both countries. Read their full statements.

  • Nowhere to hide

    It’s high time we measured countries’ performance in drug policy
    Marie Nougier & Dave Bewley-Taylor
    Wednesday, October 30, 2019

    gdpiTraditionally, the UN and governments have measured progress in drug policy in terms of flows and scale; principally the numbers of people arrested, hectares of drug crops eradicated and the amounts of drugs seized. For years now, IDPC and many civil society colleagues (in particular the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO), CELS, the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, and the Social Science Research Council among others), have advocated against such an approach, because of its inability to truly assess the real impacts of drug control policy – especially for communities affected by the illicit drug trade on the one hand and by drug policies on the other.

  • INCB stronger than ever before on decriminalisation, capital punishment & extrajudicial killings

    ‘There is no obligation stemming from the conventions to incarcerate drug users who commit minor offences’
    Marie Nougier (IDPC)
    Friday, June 28, 2019

    The INCB dedicated one of its latest series of Alerts, from June 2019, to the issue of ‘State responses to drug-related criminality’, covering decriminalisation, proportionate sentencing, the death penalty and extrajudicial killings. The Board has recently taken a more positive stance towards decriminalisation, in particular under the leadership of Werner Sipp in 2016. In April 2017, the INCB had already published an Alert on the issue, although mostly reiterating language included in the UN drug conventions. This month’s Alert goes into further detail, explaining the ‘more differentiated’ approach adopted by member states in recent years – as 26 countries have now moved towards a decriminalisation model.


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