In search of a human rights-based approach to drug policy : an analysis of drug policies in Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands

Thumbnail Image
Ptak, Patrycja
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Drug policy has been triggering vivid discussions for years. The system of drug control is based on three UN conventions, with the last adopted in 1988. Given the scientific and legal progress around the topic of drugs, it is obvious that these regulations might be outdated and insufficient as state guidelines. Therefore, some states have adopted innovative approaches, focusing on individual drug users rather than just regulating substance use, demand and supply through criminalisation and law enforcement efforts. From these states, the author chose three European countries, that in her opinion present the most human rights-based and evidence-based approaches to drug policy. After presenting the history of drug regulation and the international framework, the author presents German, Dutch and Portuguese drug policies in order to assess their compatibility with the human rights-based approach (HRBA). The assessment is done by analysing some objective data, such as drug use rate and drug-related deaths prevalence and by gathering data on possible limitations of analysed drug policies by conducting interviews with NGOs representatives and social workers in Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. The thesis concludes with an assessment of the drug policies implemented in Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal, and some suggestions for improvements that could be introduced to make them more human rights-based.
Second semester University: Université du Luxembourg
drug, drug control, human rights, criminal law, The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, case studies, comparative politics, right to health