HRC 56: SRI statement to the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to health

Published on June 24, 2024

Item 3: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right to health

Monday 24 June 2024




Thank you, President.

Akãhatã makes this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s report on drug use, particularly its explicit decolonial and anti-racist approach. The links made between discrimination, stigma and violations of the right to health as well as underscoring the impact of political and commercial determinants of health, form a critical standard for addressing a range of connected issues from a human rights-based approach. 

We support the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations to States to move away from criminal approaches to drug use and control frameworks and rather adopt an evidence-based, human rights approach. Moreover, access to medicines is a human right that must not be impeded by policies that favour corporate interests over people’s health and rights.  We applaud this Special Rapporteur and past mandate-holders’ consistent calls for decriminalization across a range of areas, including sexual and reproductive rights, as they have rightly found these criminal laws to be in contravention of human rights.  In this regard, we also welcome the Special Rapporteur’s recent guidance on the rights of sex workers and highlight the demands of the Kathmandu Declaration issued by over 200 sex workers and allies from South Asia in May 2024.

Finally, we thank the Special Rapporteur for her powerful advocacy on accountability for Israel’s genocide and violations against the Palestinian People. 

Thank you.