On 28th June the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released its report, Agenda towards transformative change for racial justice and equality. The report speaks to how drug control props up racist systems and explicitly calls for states to remove laws and practices that act as incentives to perpetuate racial discrimination in law enforcement and the criminal justice system – including by reforming drug policies, laws and practices with discriminatory outcomes, in line with international human rights standards. The article also includes a link to the conference room paper (link in article) which draws from evidence-based data to conclude. The report concludes there are three key contexts which underlie the vast majority of police-related deaths (>85%):
- the policing of minor offences, traffic stops and stops-and-searches
- the intervention of law enforcement officials as first responders in mental health crises
- special police operations – many of which are actions related to the war on drugs.
The report highlights the importance of data collection, especially those coming from community and civil society, as a critical step in work to confront racist legacies and end racist drug law enforcement.