International Guidelines on Human Rights and Drug Policy

1. Human dignity

Universal human dignity is a fundamental principle of human rights. It is from the inherent dignity of the human person that our rights derive. No drug law, policy, or practice should have the effect of undermining or violating the dignity of any person or group of persons.


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that ‘the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world’.4 ‘Dignity lends real meaning to human rights, and as such is inherent in any right protected by international human rights law’. 5