HRC 56: IDPC, GAATW, WHRIN, HRI, IWRAW and SRI Joint Statement to the Interactive dialogue with the SR on extreme poverty

Published on juillet 02, 2024

56th session of the Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

Statement delivered by the International Drug Policy Consortium



On behalf of IDPC, alongside five organisations, we welcome the new report by the UN Special Rapporteurs on poverty and housing on ending the criminalisation of homelessness and poverty. We echo the report’s call on States to repeal all laws and policies that penalise individuals for structural inequality, and to move away from punitive and carceral approaches.

There is overwhelming evidence showing that the criminalisation of drug use and of sex work is deeply discriminatory, disproportionately affecting people on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity and class. It also increases exposure to physical and sexual violence. It is also used as a  driver of other harmful policies, for instance by restricting access to safe housing and shelter, as well as to safe places of work and labour rights for sex workers.

Positively, a growing number of UN entities and experts have called for the decriminalisation of both drug use and sex work, while an increasing number of jurisdictions are moving towards this policy option.

But more remains to be done. We call on the Special Rapporteur to specifically call for the decriminalisation of all activities related to both drug use and sex work, as a human rights imperative. This should be accompanied with measures to address stigma, racism and discrimination.

Finally, we call on the Special Rapporteur to encourage Member States to consider the responsible legal regulation of drugs - as recommended by the OHCHR and the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, among many others.


Thank you for your attention.


Co-sponsored by:

  • Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women
  • Women and Harm Reduction International Network
  • Harm Reduction International
  • International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)
  • Sexual Rights Initiative