23 Jul 2015
Tenu Avafia, Policy Adviser, HIV, Health and Development Practice, Bureau for Development Policy
Javier Sagredo, Advisor on Democratic Governance and Citizen Security, UNDP in Latin America and the Caribbean
Men working in the coca field in Bolivia. Photo: Ryan Anderton
The relationship between drug control policy and human development is complex and multifaceted. Both share a common objective to reduce drug-related harms. Yet drug control, human rights, public health and human development agendas often exist in isolation from each other. Policies aimed at prohibition and punishment form the international approach to drug control. Yet, there is ample evidence of the negative consequences of these policies.
For the many farmers affected by poverty, conflict, and insecurity, cultivating illicit drug crops is a viable livelihoods option, yet international drug treaties ban the cultivation of these crops and require their eradication. …