The real failure of Southeast Asia’s drug wars

Wars against drugs may be winning political campaigns, but they are losing socioeconomic battles
The Diplomat
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

philippines prisonThere may come a day when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is brought before the International Criminal Court to answer questions about his “war on drugs.” We might have moved one step closer to that end after UN human rights experts this month called on the United Nations to launch an independent investigation into Duterte’s signature policy. But amid the focus on the headlines of drug wars – not just in the Philippines but in Asia more broadly – it is also worth asking broader questions about their effectiveness.  In a report published in February, “10 years of drug policy in Asia: How far have we come?”, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) basically concluded that there was not a whole lot to show for these policies.