Submission to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights by the HIV Legal Network and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation

A joint submission to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights by the HIV Legal Network and the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, focusing on human rights violations against people in Canada of African descent, in the context of Canada’s drug laws and policies.

“For the period 2014 to 2019, police in Canada made more than 540,000 arrests for drug offences; 69% of those were for simple drug possession. Troublingly, Black and other racialized communities in Canada are disproportionately charged, prosecuted and incarcerated for drug offences, depriving them of their rights to equality and nondiscrimination in the criminal legal system, to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, to security of the person and to the highest attainable standard of health. As the Report of the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System concluded more than two decades ago, “persons described as black are most over-represented among prisoners charged with drug offences” — a reality that persists today.”

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