The COPOLAD program reports on its main impacts and challenges at the steering committee held in Brussels.
Copolad, the European program that addresses public drug policies, is ending the year with an assessment. Program funders and partners met in Brussels for the program’s steering committee.
During the meeting, the main impacts of Copolad in 2022 were presented: the program has promoted human rights and gender equality in drug policies in Latin America and the Caribbean through its trainings and communities of practice, publications and meetings.
In addition, Copolad has worked to respond to the main challenges of drug policies related to the effectiveness and proportion of criminal responses, access to care for the most vulnerable people (both from the point of view of consumption and the illegal drug market) and has made an effort to develop policy accompaniment and good practices in relation to the economic inclusion of people linked to drug markets.
During 2022, the program has received more than 95 proposals for the accompaniment of national public policies, of which 38 have been pre-selected based on criteria of sustainability and coherence with the program’s objectives.
In addition, a comprehensive debate on drugs has been supported, focusing on the reinforcement of the principles of the European Strategy, which include the strengthening of equality, respect for human dignity, democracy and human rights, among others.
The program has participated in several high-level meetings on drugs, and has held parallel events at the National Convention on Drugs, the Latin American Conference on Drugs, or the Lisbon Addictions conference organized by the European Drugs Observatory. It has also carried out missions to Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras, Chile, and a study trip to the Amazon with 14 delegations from Latin America to learn about best practices on alternative crops to coca.
It has also strengthened alliances with the Ibero-American Network of Anti-Drug Prosecutors and GAFILAT, a Latin American Financial Action Group made up of 18 countries from South, Central and North America.
In 2023, COPOLAD faces a crucial moment, especially during Spain’s European presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2023, which it hopes can serve to strengthen ties with the Latin American and Caribbean region and address new regional debates regarding drug policies and debates on their effectiveness.