WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
20 Oct 2015 | Video

The Impact of Drug Policy on Human Rights in the Americas

On October 21, 2015, WOLA, CELS and the ACLU are host a panel discussion featuring

Luciana Pol
Senior Fellow, Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS)

Daniela Quintanilla
Lawyer, Corporación Humanas – Chile

Amaya Ordorika
Researcher, Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH)

Jesselyn McCurdy
Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

And moderated by

Coletta Youngers
Senior Fellow, WOLA

Sergio Chaparro from Dejusticia and Vivian Calderoni from Conectas, organizations that also contributed to a joint report on the topic, will also be present to answer questions. 

Decades of punitive drug policies intended to suppress illegal drug supply and demand have achieved little, even as they have generated enormous damage and human and financial costs throughout the Americas.

In March 2014, a group of 17 organizations from 11 countries was granted a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to analyze the impact of current drug policies on human rights. The hearing was the first on the topic in the body’s history, and signaled growing questioning of the drug policy status quo. The group’s testimony has now been published as a report by CELS, which analyzes the harmful effects of the ‘War on Drugs’ throughout the Americas, and concludes that human rights and violence reduction should be the main drug policy objectives.

Speakers presented the report’s findings, including the militarization of public security forces in Latin America and the effects of drug policy on women in the region. An analysis of the latest developments in criminal justice reform in the United States was also presented.