IDPC’s Open Letter calling on the UN drug control bodies to publicly condemn these atrocities in the Philippines.

We stand with 300+ NGOs in calling on the United Nations to take immediate action on the hundreds of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines

LONDON (2nd August 2016) – Civil society groups, including prominent human rights NGOs, from across the globe have called on UN drug control authorities to urge an immediate stop to the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines. Since 10th May 2016, more than 700 people have been killed by police and vigilantes in the Philippines for being suspected of using or dealing drugs, as a direct result of recently-elected President Duterte’s campaign to eradicate crime within six months.

Until now, however, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) – the UN agencies responsible for global drug control – have failed to condemn the Philippines for these gross human rights violations committed in the name of drug control.

Over 300 non-governmental organisations today sent an open letter to the UNODC Executive Director, Mr. Yury Fedotov, and the INCB President, Mr. Werner Sipp, asking them to take immediate action aimed at putting a stop to the extrajudicial killings.

“We are calling on the UN drug control bodies to publicly condemn these atrocities in the Philippines. This senseless killing cannot be justified as a drug control measure”, said Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium. “Their silence is unacceptable, while people are being killed on the streets day after day”, she continued.

The open letter asks the UNODC and the INCB to call on President Duterte to:

  • Immediately end the incitements to kill people suspected of using or dealing drugs,
  • Act to fulfil international human rights obligations, such as the rights to life, health, due process and a fair trial, as set out in the human rights treaties ratified by the Philippines,
  • Promote evidence-based, voluntary treatment and harm reduction services for people who use drugs instead of compulsory rehabilitation in military camps, and
  • Not to reinstate the death penalty for drug offences.

Please direct any queries to:


Gloria Lai (based in Thailand) Marie Nougier (based in the UK)
Senior Policy Officer Senior Research and Communications Officer
International Drug Policy Consortium International Drug Policy Consortium
+66 82 696 0334 +44 20 7324 2976 / +44 78 0707 7617


Notes to the editor:

The open letter is available here:  

Key data on the Philippines drug policy crisis:

  • President Rodrigo Duterte was elected President on 30th May 2016 and began his presidential term on 30th He declared a war on drugs in which both police and civilians are encouraged to kill drug user/traffickers
  • 704 people have been killed between the 10th of May 2016 to the 29th of July 2016 (ABS CBN News)
  • Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said 60,000 drug dependents have surrendered to authorities (Daily Mail).

Statements by international human rights groups:

Statements by local human right groups:

Statements by drug policy groups: