UP Law and UNODC host Human Rights Dialogues on Drug Law Reform
The University of the Philippines College of Law, in partnership with the United Nations Joint Programme for Human Rights (UNJPHR), hosted the first of a webinar series titled, “Human Rights Dialogues” on 08 November 2022 through Zoom and Facebook Live. The event highlighted new perspectives on drug laws and policies based on latest evidence and provided a platform for key government agencies, civil society organizations, as well as the general public, for open discussions on the proposed public health-centered and human rights-based approach to drug legal reform.
A total of 280 people participated through Zoom, including government officials, civil society actors, members of the academe, and students. The event was also attended through Facebook Live.
“It is high time that we revisit the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and align our drug laws and policies with our history and present lived realities to realize the right to the highest attainable standard of health of people whose lives include drugs and their communities,” says speaker, Dr. Lee Edson Yarcia, Acting National Programme Officer of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Dr. Yarcia underscored the importance of looking at drug use through the lens of science in order to address the underlying health, economic, or social issues related to drugs. He also highlighted the need for diversion, bringing people away from closed settings such as jails, prisons, and compulsory centers for drug use, and back to their communities under a public health system. Hon. Corazon Gaite-Llanderal, a retired Special Drugs Court Judge from the Regional Trial Court – Cagayan de Oro City, and Ms. Ma. Inez Feria, the Founder and Executive Director of NoBox Philippines, echoed the call for the urgent need to reform the national drug law.
UP Law and UNODC will continue to provide the space for enriching discourse on contemporary issues to increase awareness of duty-holders and rights-bearers towards full promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
Watch the Facebook live recording here.