Child Rights and Drug Control in International Law


Responding to the harms caused by drugs is one of the most challenging social policy issues of our time. In Child Rights and Drug Control on International Law, Damon Barrett explores the meaning of the child’s right to protection from drugs under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the relationship between this right and the UN drug control conventions. Adopting a critical approach, the book traces the intersecting histories of the treaties, the role of child rights in global drug policy discourse, and the practice of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. It invites us to reflect upon the potential for child rights to provide justification for state actions associated with wider human rights risks.

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Damon Barrett is a lecturer at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Gothenburg. He is a co-founder of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, based at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex.
Pernilla Leviner


1 Introduction
 1.1 Overview and Context
 1.2 Practical and Legal Challenges Relating to Children
 1.3 Drugs, International Law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
 1.4 Argumentation and Institutional Practice: a Critical Approach
 1.5 Outline and Summary

2 Detachment and Convergence: the History of Child Rights and Drug Control in International Law
 2.1 Introduction
 2.2 Children and Early Multilateral Drug Controls
 2.3 The Bedrock of the System
 2.4 Upheaval in the 1960s
 2.5 The 1971 Convention
 2.6 ‘An Especially Serious Threat to the Youth of the World’: a Change in Tone and the 1972 Protocol
 2.7 ‘A Danger of Incalculable Gravity’: the 1988 Convention
 2.8 A Human Right: Drugs and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
 2.9 Conclusion

3 Fragmentation: the Treaty Framework
 3.1 Introduction
 3.2 The UN Drug Conventions
 3.3 The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
 3.4 The Treaties as Frames of Reference: Complementarity or Conflict?
 3.5 Conclusion

4 Contention: the Politics of Article 33
 4.1 Introduction
 4.2 The Human Rights and Drug Control ‘Positions’
 4.3 Thematic Points of Disagreement
 4.4 Article 33 and Its Relationship to the Drug Conventions
 4.5 Resolution through the VCLT and Conflict Rules?
 4.6 Conclusion

5 The Committee on the Rights of the Child: Content, Balance and Normative Framing of Concluding Observations
 5.1 Introduction
 5.2 Data Collection
 5.3 Is a ‘Dialogue’ Taking Place?
 5.4 The Content and Balance of Concluding Observations
 5.5 Normative Framing
 5.6 Conclusion

6 Drug Laws, Policies and Interventions: Monitoring ‘Appropriate Measures’?
 6.1 Introduction
 6.2 ‘Appropriate Measures’
 6.3 Drug Laws and Policies
 6.4 Response to Specific Information Raising Human Rights Concerns
 6.5 Conclusion

7 Dynamics of Structural Bias
 7.1 Introduction
 7.2 The Committee’s ‘Preferences’
 7.3 Practical Considerations
 7.4 Conclusion

8 Conclusion
 8.1 The Content of Article 33 and the Relationship between the Regimes
 8.2 What Kind of Norm is Article 33?
Annex 1: Content and Structure of the Drug Conventions
Annex 2: Content and Structure of the CRC
Researchers and advocates working on child rights, human rights or drug policy. It would also interest academics with an interest in international law, regime interactions and critical approaches.
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