This special section of Health and Human Rights Journal (June 2017) examines some of the many ways in which international and domestic drug control laws engage human rights and create an environment of enhanced human rights risk. In this edition, the authors address specific human rights issues such as the right to the highest attainable standard of health (including health protection and promotion measures, as well as access to controlled substances as medicines) and indigenous rights, and how drug control laws affect the protection and fulfillment of these rights. Other authors explore drug control through the lens of cross-cutting human rights themes such as gender and the rights of the child. Together, the contributions illustrate how international guidelines on human rights and drug control could help close the human rights gap—and point the way to drug laws and policies that would respect, protect, and fulfill human rights rather than breach them or impede their full realization.
Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Connie Terrell