Students for Sensible Drug Policy International are proud to release a Youth Response to the World Drug Report 2021. Building on the “Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives” spirit promoted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Response encompasses youth insights into the recent drug market trends and COVID-19 developments.
As advocates who are members of hard-to-reach communities, we extend our gratitude to the UNODC for taking the time to compile the World Drug Report. We hope that, through this Response, we can offer some key suggestions and insights that would help to strengthen the utility of the report as a policy informing document for member states and advocates alike.
Particularly, the Response looks in depth at young people and cannabis risk perceptions, the distinction between legal and illegal markets, as well as harm reduction services during the pandemic. While we hold in high regard the commitment of the international community towards these key themes, we hope that our observations add much needed nuance to the conversation.
As youth representatives, we aspire towards wider acknowledgment and inclusion, both within the analysis of vulnerable populations during the pandemic but also in civil society access to decision-making. Drawing on previous decisions made at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and our expert knowledge as youth advocates, this Response aims to enhance the presence of our perspectives in data gathering and collection.
In a time when we need attitudes that seek to maximise the health and life quality of society as a whole, we invite the UNODC to work with us more closely in order to make the ideals of “Share Facts on Drugs, Save Lives” a lived reality in our communities.
To read our Response, please click here. To ask questions and find out more, please join youth advocates next week, Friday 30 July 2021, at the official launch event. More details will be available soon.