INTERNATIONAL DRUG POLICY CONSORTIUM –
INFORMATION ALERT, AUGUST 2007
The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) is a global network of NGOs and professional networks that specialise in issues related to illegal drug production and use. The Consortium aims to promote objective and open debate on the effectiveness, direction and content of drug policies at national and international level, and supports evidence-based policies that are effective in reducing drug-related harm. It disseminates the reports of its member organisations about particular drug-related matters, and offers expert consultancy services to policymakers and officials around the world.
The following reports have been published in recent weeks, and can be downloaded from the Consortium website. Please forward this alert to anyone on your email networks with an interest in drug policies.
[IDPC Briefing Paper Number 6 – The World Drug Report 2007.
This IDPC Briefing reviews the data in the latest report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime on the state of the global market, criticises the claims made in the report that international action is successfully controlling the market, and questions the political objectivity of the UNODC as we approach the review of the global objectives set in 1998.
[Beckley Report 12 – Prisons and Drugs.
The latest report from the Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme describes the high rates of drug problems in all prison systems, summarises the current state of global knowledge and research evidence, and provides a guide for policymakers on how to develop effective policies and programmes in this area.
This briefing paper summarizes the results of research into the consequences of the so-called Australian “heroin shortage” in 2001 and reviews the continuing debate about its causes and policy significance.
Transnational Institute Drug Policy Briefing No 22 – Colombia Coca Cultivation Survey Results – A Question of Methods.
Despite 2006 witnessing the most intensive use of fumigation in the country’s history, some 157,200 hectares of cultivation were detected, 13,200 hectares more than in 2005. Is the fumigation strategy failing?
[Opium Jihad. Martin Jelsma and Tom Kramer – Red Pepper, June 2007.
With Afghanistan now responsible for more than 90 per cent of the world’s opium production, there is massive international pressure for repressive policies. But quick-fix solutions like opium bans and eradication don’t work, write Martin Jelsma and Tom Kramer, who report back from Afghanistan on the rising anger of poor farmers on the front line.
This article by Rick Lines describes the global situation regarding the death penalty for drug-related offences. Although there has been an emerging international trend away from capital punishment in general, more and more “retentionist” countries are expanding the death penalty to include drug offences – and even drug possession itself. This article (from Druglink magazine – the bi-monthly publication from DrugScope in the UK) outlines how the death penalty for drug offences can be seen as a violation of international law and human rights.
This article by Jamie Bridge describes the impact that policing practice can have on harm reduction approaches – as well as the efforts that have been made to engage law enforcement personnel in harm reduction interventions and training. The article (from Druglink magazine – the bi-monthly publication from DrugScope in the UK) is adapted from the “50 Best Resources on Policing and Harm Reduction” – IHRA’s free resource collection which is available at.
[International Harm Reduction Association – The Works Party Comedown
This article by Jamie Bridge describes some of the issues and problems facing needle exchange services and staff in the UK. An audit of needle exchanges in the UK showed the extent of the “postcode lottery” that exists in terms of service coverage and quality. The article (from Druglink magazine – the bi-monthly publication from DrugScope in the UK) describes what needs to be done in order to take needle exchange into the next era and rise to the challenges of rising HIV and hepatitis C prevalence amongst the country’s injecting drug users.
[Reality Check on Coca in the Andes – WOLA BRIEFING, JUNE 2007
The latest ONDCP data on coca cultivation in the Andes makes one thing clear: there is plenty of coca. Overall Andean coca cultivation in 2006 may have reached its highest level in 20 years. The high coca cultivation levels, especially in Colombia, indicate continued robust cocaine supplies and provide no reason to expect imminent reductions in U.S. cocaine availability. This report provides a detailed analysis of the 2006 ONDCP coca cultivation figures with helpful charts and graphics.
[Reforming the Ranks: Drug-Related Violence and the Need for Police Reform in Mexico. WOLA Briefing, July 2007.
Mexico’s accelerating drug violence has highlighted the limits of police effectiveness and the problems of police corruption. At least 1,400 people have died in attacks since January 2007, figures that far exceed those for the same period in 2006 and 2005. The Calderón government has been quick to call out troops but slow to start the necessary process of professionalizing police forces. Long-term remedies to drug-related violence require strong, accountable police forces – with the support and trust of the civilian population.
The IDPC also wish to publicise the following events and conferences that are of interest to individuals and organisations engaged in drug policy issues:
[HARM REDUCTION 2008: IHRA’s 19th International Conference.
The latest in the series of global gatherings to review the state of harm reduction services, exchange best practices, and plan for the future.11 – 15 May 2008; Barcelona, Spain.
[2007 INTERNATIONAL DRUG POLICY REFORM CONFERENCE – NEW ORLEANS, DECEMBER 5-8.
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is the world’s principal gathering of people who believe the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. No better opportunity exists to learn about drug policy and to strategize and mobilize for reform.
“BEYOND 2008” REGIONAL FORUMS.
This series of conferences is designed to facilitate regional discussion between NGOs that will feed into a global forum in July 2008, that itself will formulate the official NGO presentation to the UN global review of drug policy scheduled for 2009. The following regional session has been confirmed:
SOUTH-EAST ASIA , EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC – MACAU, 31st October to 1st November 2007.
Conferences in other regions are currently being planned. For latest updates, visit the UN NGO Committee website.
[FIFTH NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DRUG POLICY.
This conference, to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 27/28 August 2007, aims to promote an informed debate on drug issues in order to strengthen public opinion towards drug policies alternative to prohibition. The conference is organised by Intercambios Civil Association, and is supported by the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Advances of the Argentine Ministry of Education.
Manila, the Philippines, 29-31 August 2007. The Forum addresses the current state of the ATS problem in Asia, assesses responses and future possibilities. For further details please contact Mr Jeremy Douglas or Mr Gerson Bergeth.
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