On 24, 25 and 26 August, the VIII Latin American Conference and the XX National Conference on Drug Policies will be held, in association with the European Union-financed COPOLAD III programme. Buenos Aires, Argentina will once again host an event that brings together some of the greatest exponents in the field of public policy on drugs at the regional and global levels.
This is one of the most important forums for discussion of drug policies in Latin America. In previous years it has made significant advances through debates and reflections among governments, academia, civil society, affected people and international organisations.
The Conference seeks to encourage an informed debate within society with a view to promoting non-punitive policies based on scientific evidence that respond effectively to the various problems associated with drugs, stimulating an exchange at regional level among academics, political decision-makers and civil society in order to keep our understanding of drug use, associated problems, policies and intervention in the region fully up to date.
Diagnostics and challenges
Within the event and in line with the work initiated by the EU Drugs Strategy and COPOLAD III, a number of different spaces are planned to address the most urgent challenges in the field of human rights for the region together with acknowledged experts from governments, international organisations and civil society. On 25 August, COPOLAD is jointly organising a session to analyse the current situation regarding the impact of drug policies on human rights in the region.
The results of the Global Drug Policy Index for Latin America, which highlights key human rights-related matters, will also be presented. The conference includes a specific debate on opportunities to improve results for human rights in drug policies in Latin America, with representatives from the National Drug Commissions of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay taking part.
In parallel with the event, on 26 August a working session will also be held on plans to improve results for human rights in relation to drug policies, as will the second session of the COPOLAD working group on sustainable development, human rights and gender fairness, with the aim of working on the Human Rights roadmap, identifying participating countries that are interested in carrying out national improvement plans that COPOLAD can accompany.
The Latin American Conference is jointly organised by the Intercambios civil association and Confedrogas, a consortium made up of various civil society organisations: Social Technical Action (ATS), the Transnational Institute (TNI), the Washington Office for Latin American Affairs (WOLA), Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN), Asociación Costarricense para el Estudio e Intervención en Drogas (ACEID) and Intercambios itself.