International Conference on alternatives to incarceration for people who use drugs & removing criminal sanctions for drugs use


More than thirty international and national partners representing the Ministries of Health, Ministries of Internal Affairs, forensics centers, and drug control agencies from Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, and Ukraine, as well as social society and international organizations for all the mentioned countries, participated in the International Conference on alternatives to incarceration for people who use drugs & removing criminal sanctions for drugs use.

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine has organized the Conference jointly with the Mental Health and Monitoring Center on Drugs and Alcohol of Ukraine and two EU-funded projects, the EU Action against Drugs and Organised Crime (EU-ACT) and the Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP) with the support of UNODC and other partners. Odessa State University of Internal Affairs hosted this Conference.

During three days, experts and delegates from the  EU, , United Nations, other countries and organizations represented in the event, discussed on reviewing the rules of law to humanize the responsibility for some offenses on illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs as well as to consider practical and cost efficient measures in relation with the punishment of these  conducts.

There were conducted presentations  and interactive sessions aiming to achieve the following::   to consider introducing alternative liberty deprivation measures towards sick persons who are prosecuted for offenses on trafficking of narcotic drugs;  to encourage the development, adoption and implementation, with due regard for national, constitutional, legal and administrative systems, of alternative or additional measures with regard to conviction or punishment in cases of an appropriate nature. These measures should be adopted in accordance with the three international drug control conventions and taking into account, as appropriate, relevant United Nations standards and rules, such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (the Tokyo Rules);

The international drug control conventions and other relevant international instruments provide a framework on how to deal with people with drug use disorders at various stages of criminal proceedings. The implementation of the norms deriving from these international documents requires a comprehensive national normative and institutional framework to be in place.

EU Action against Drugs and Organised Crime (EU-ACT) is a project designed to promote the comprehensive and balance EU approach on rugs and enhance synergies with the EU policy cycle for organised and serious international crime, this action under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) is in line with the EU Drugs Strategy (2013-2020) and the European Agenda on Security (2015) and shall contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG 16.a), the UNGASS Outcome Document on the World Drug Problem and the 2012 Vienna Declaration.