Which countries across the world have drug policy that aligns with the United Nations Common Position with drug policy - and which don't? The International Drug Policy Consortium's Global Drug Policy Index lays it all out - and went live today, Monday 8th November 2021.
The inaugural edition of the Global Drug Policy Index released today by the Harm Reduction Consortium, a coalition of civil society and community organisations, in partnership with academia,reveals that most countries’ drug policies fail to comply with the most basic UN-system recommendations, calling for governments to urgently prioritise reform.
The Global Drug Policy Index is the first-ever data-driven global analysis of drug policies and their implementation. It is composed of 75 indicators running across five broad dimensions of drug policy: criminal justice, extreme responses, health and harm reduction, access to internationally controlled medicines, and development.
Through this lens, this unique accountability tool documents, measures, and compares national drug policies, providing each country with a score and ranking that shows how much their policies and implementation align with the UN principles of human rights, health, and development. As such, the Index provides an essential evaluation mechanism in the field of drug policy. The Index’s first iteration evaluates the performance of 30 countries covering all regions of the world, including South Africa, and is illustrated by real life stories.
The Index’s results for South Africa reveal that whilst South Africa has made gains in terms of recent changes to its cannabis laws, the country remains lagging behind in many important areas. On the GDPI, South Africa scored 47 out of 100, and ranks 17th on a list of 30 countries.
‘The Global Drug Policy Index is nothing short of a radical innovation,’ said Helen Clark, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. ‘For decision-makers wishing to understand the consequences of drug control, as well as for those who seek to hold governments accountable, the Index sheds light on critical aspects of drug policies that have been historically neglected, such as the differentiated impacts of drug law enforcement on specific ethnic groups, Indigenous peoples, women and the poorest members of society.
This report is the first of its kind - and you can read the full report here.
For more information, visit the GDPI website - and view the video below.