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The World Federation Against Drugs is proud to present The Protection of Children from Illicit Drugs – A Minimum Human Rights Standard, a report written by Roxana Stere, a doctoral student at SNSPA University in Bucharest, and lawyer Stephan Dahlgren, former Head of Child Protection for UNICEF in Zambia.

This report is a legal analysis of how human rights should be respected in the field of drug policy. The authors have reviewed international law governing both drug policy and human rights. They also examined statements from 20 international organizations and five UN agencies, which are active in this field.

The main finding of the report is that Article 33 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (often referred to as CRC) is the only one of the nine conventions governing human rights dealing with illicit drugs.

There can be no mistaking of the meaning and intention of what CRC Article 33 aims to. It reads: “States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.”

Thus, it is an obligation of every country that has ratified CRC to protect and sustain children’s human rights to ensure a drug-free childhood. (Children are defined as persons under 18.) CRC is the most widely ratified of all conventions related to human rights. CRC Article 33 must always be the basis for any discussion of drug policy and human rights, internationally as well as nationally.

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