Table 7: Harm Reduction and Freedom of Assembly and Association

Examples of Human Rights Violations

  • Public authorities refuse to register a drug user association.
  • Police break up a peaceful demonstration against drug laws.
  • Police threaten a group of people at a community meeting providing information or support. See en.rylkov-fond.org.
  • People who use or possess drugs are subject to arrest, imprisonment, and fines, such as the case of Cambodia’s 2011 Law on Drug Control (Royal Kram, NS/RKM/0112/001).
  • A small group of people using drugs together can be charged with ‘criminal conspiracy’ under the law.
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
ICCPR 21: The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

ICCPR 22 (1): Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others … (2) No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

None

Other Interpretations

Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Art. 12(1): Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association at all levels, in particular in political, trade union and civic matters, which implies the right of everyone to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his or her interests.