The negative consequences of the current prohibitionist drug control regime on health, human rights and development have been the subject of growing international attention. Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Physical and Mental Health, Paul Hunt, has described the co-existence of human rights law and drug control law as being situated in ‘parallel universes’.
That is, we find ourselves in the untenable situation where global drug control laws are in direct conflict with human rights law, where the application of one systemically breaches the norms and imperatives of the other. Less attention however, has been paid to the ways in which the international drug control regime specifically impacts women. Women’s rights and gender equality rarely feature in discussions about the ‘world drug problem’. This report examines the particular impacts of drug control on women.