1. The Committee on Social Affairs,
Health and Sustainable Development (“Committee on Social Affairs” hereafter)
welcomes the timely report prepared by Ms Hannah Bardell (United
Kingdom, NR) for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
(“Legal Affairs Committee” hereafter), on the basis of our Committee’s previous
work on promoting public health policy in drug control. The Legal
Affairs Committee report complements my own report on “Involuntary
addiction to prescription medicines” for the Committee on Social Affairs.
2. However, a public health approach is paramount in all drug
policy, not just when dealing with involuntary addiction to prescription
medicines, as even rights-compliant measures can lead to negative
public health outcomes. Child protection is also a concern which
requires special attention and needs to be mainstreamed into all
3. The Committee thus agrees that member States should assess
whether the intended and unintended effects of drug-related measures
are consistent with international human rights standards – and with
a public health approach – and adapt these measures accordingly.
It fully supports the recommendation to the Committee of Ministers
to adopt authoritative, comprehensive and concrete guidance to member
States in this area of policymaking, with meaningful participation
of all relevant stakeholders. And it believes it paramount to furnish
the Council of Europe Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and
Illicit Trafficking in Drugs (“Pompidou Group”) with a new mandate
which fully supports a human rights – and public health – approach to
drug policy in Europe.
4. With this in mind, the Committee on Social Affairs wishes
to propose a few specific amendments to reinforce the text.