CDARI submits report to UN on human rights violations in Saint Lucia

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PRESS RELEASE – The Caribbean Drug & Alcohol Research Institute together with the Caribbean Harm Reduction Coalition and Transform Drug Policy Foundation U.K. submitted a report on Drug Policy & Human Rights in Saint Lucia to the Human Rights Council in response to Saint Lucia’s 2nd review under the framework of the 23rd Universal Periodic Review to be held 2-13 Nov 2015.

The submission covered topics related to the “unintended consequences” of a criminal justice focused drug control policy, the therapeutic use of cannabis despite its criminalisation, the failure and harms associated with supply reduction in the agricultural sector, the use of extrajudicial killings as a response to what is perceived as “drug related violence”, gender imbalances and the disproportionate impact that punative drug policies have on males, especially young males and makes recommendations for addressing these issues including the decriminalisation of cannabis.

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The two of the three organisations submitting this brief are research institutes actively investigating issues related to drugs and HIV. CHRC is a coalition of drugs services in the Caribbean whose members provide a full spectrum of services from primary prevention to abstinence based treatment and reintegration. All members subscribe to and carry out harm reduction services. All three, CDARI, CHRC and TDPF qualify as stakeholders qualified to make a submission.

The data presented in this review were drawn from the findings of 4 research projects conducted by CDARI in Saint Lucia over the past decade.

* Drug Use and HIV among Homeless persons in Castries, Saint Lucia 2002
* Drug Use and HIV among Homeless persons in Castries, Saint Lucia 2008
* Cannabis and Youth study 2012
* Youth Gangs and Violence in Saint Lucia in 2013

This submission is in response to A/HRC/WG.6/10/LCA/1, the National Report of the Government of Saint Lucia (LCA) to the 10th Session of the Human Rights Council Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, convened in Geneva, 24 January–4 February 2011.

In the Mid-term Implementation Assessment for Saint Lucia as per 4 recommendations are not implemented, 0 recommendation is partially implemented, and 3 recommendations are fully implemented. No answer was received for 133 out of 140 recommendations and voluntary pledges.

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