New approaches to drugs consumption policies in Latin America

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Canning House,
126 Wigmore Street, W1U 3RZ

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Please note that this event will now be held at Canning House, 126 Wigmore Street, W1U 3RZ.

The UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016 sparked a major debate on the future of international drug policies. Although the eventual outcome document was measured and circumscribed in its commitments, the impetus for reform clearly passed from multilateral bodies to national governments and even local jurisdictions.

With Latin American governments having pushed for a major strategic re-evaluation of the ‘war on drugs’, the question now, is what comes next? A particular focus in recent years has been rising consumption rates in former transit countries and drives towards increasing the criminalisation of drug consumers or the introduction of so-called drug courts. In other areas governments and the judiciary have been pushing towards a decriminalised approach based on key principles of public health and human rights.

This event will examine new research around the efficacy of drug consumption policies based on evidence from around the world and in Latin America. It will highlight the current debates around decriminalisation, public health and the increased push for neo-criminal justice oriented policies such as drug treatment courts and quasi-compulsory treatment. This event ultimately aims to provide an overview of the evidence based policy toolkit available to policy makers as they examine the next steps for drug policies in the Americas and leading into the next UN high-level meeting in 2019.

The panel will include Dr John Collins (LSE IDPU), Winnifred Agnew-Pauley (LSE IDPU) and Dr Pablo Zuleta (CESED Uniandes). HE Nestor Osorio, Colombian Ambassador to the UK, will give a short introduction. Cristina Cortes, Canning House CEO, will chair.

This event is jointly organised by Canning House and the LSE International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU), with the kind support of the Latin America All-Party Parliamentary Group.

If you would like to attend, please send expressions of interest to

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