The Death Penalty for Drug Offences

Harm Reduction International has monitored use of the death penalty for drug offences worldwide since our first ground-breaking publication on this issue in 2007. We provide regular updates on legislative and practical developments related to the use of capital punishment for drug offences, a practice which is a clear violation of international human rights law.

Numerous international authorities and legal scholars have reaffirmed the illegality of the death penalty for drug offences – yet, at least 35 countries and territories retain the punishment in law.   

Read our latest research, The Global Overview 2018, here.

Harm Reduction International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exceptions, regardless of the person accused and their guilt, the nature of the crime, and the method of execution.

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Death Penalty 2018 front coverThe Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2018

Our latest report on the death penalty finds a significant fall in executions for drug offences globally - but worrying signs of the death penalty's resurgence in some countries. 

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Death Penalty 2017 coverThe Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2017

Our March 2018 publication tracked major developments in use of the death penalty for drug offences from 2015-17, and analysed the rise of extrajudicial killings. 

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The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2015: The Extreme Fringe of Global Drug Policy PDF document

Since being launched in 2007, HRI's death penalty project has been the leading global resource on the issue of the death penalty for drug offences. Our 'Global Overview’ series, one of the… Read more

Joint Statement on the Death Penalty for Drug Offences PDF document

HRI and ten partners issue a statement on the death penalty for drug offences following the launch of the 2014 INCB Annual Report Read more

Death Penalty for Drug Offences Global Overview 2012: Tipping the Scales for Abolition

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2012 – Tipping the Scales for Abolition is Harm Reduction International’s third annual overview on the status of the death penalty for drug… Read more

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2011 - Shared Responsibility & Shared Consequences

‘Global Overview 2011 – Shared Responsibility and Shared Consequences’ is the fourth report on the death penalty for drug-related offences produced by Harm Reduction International. In addition to… Read more

Complicity or Abolition? The Death Penalty and International Support for Drug Enforcement PDF document

Released in June 2010 - Complicity or Abolition? The Death Penalty and International Support for Drug Enforcement - exposes the links between the carrying out of executions and the financial… Read more

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2010 PDF document

Harm Reduction International released a study on the death penalty for drug offences today on the opening day of the 19th session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice,… Read more

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences PDF document

On 10th December 2007 – to coincide with International Human Rights Day – Harm Reduction International’s HR2 (harm reduction and human rights) team released a major report entitled The Death Penalty… Read more

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