A new report from the United Nations has called for all forms of drug use and sexual activity to be decriminalized globally.
Written by the International Committee of Jurists (ICJ), UNAIDS and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the report was released on International Women’s Day, with the goal of guiding “the application of international human rights law to criminal law.” Called the “8 March principles,” the report calls for offenses related to “sex, drug use, HIV, sexual and reproductive health, homelessness and poverty” to be decriminalized.
The United Nations experts say that criminalizing offenses related to these issues constitute an attack on human rights.
“Criminal law is among the harshest of tools at the disposal of the State to exert control over individuals… as such, it ought to be a measure of last resort however, globally, there has been a growing trend towards overcriminalization,” Ian Seiderman, Law and Policy Director at ICJ, said in the press release. “We must acknowledge that these laws not only violate human rights, but the fundamental principles of criminal law themselves.”
While on the surface, it may seem relatively uncontroversial, the report calls for sex between adults and minors to be decriminalized, so long as the minors “consent”:
With respect to the enforcement of criminal law, any prescribed minimum age of consent to sex must be applied in a non-discriminatory manner. Enforcement may not be linked to the sex/gender of participants or age of consent to marriage. Moreover, sexual conduct involving persons below the domestically prescribed minimum age of consent to sex may be consensual, in fact, if not in law. In this context, the enforcement of criminal law should reflect the rights and capacity of persons under 18 years of age to make decisions about engaging in consensual sexual conduct and their right to be heard in matters concerning them.
Pursuant to their evolving capacities and progressive autonomy, persons under 18 years of age should participate in decisions affecting them, with due regard to their age, maturity and best interests, and with specific attention to non-discrimination guarantees.
Minors, of course, cannot truly consent to sex with an adult — something these so-called experts should know. The report also calls for all criminal laws relating to sex work to be abolished, which could easily serve to aid traffickers, pimps, and abusers. In turn, this serves the abortion industry as well, which has aided traffickers and abusers by failing to report suspected abuse and returning victims to their abusers after their abortions. Decriminalizing sex work, sex crimes against minors, and abortion would only serve to doubly suit traffickers and abusers, who are known to use abortion as a means to cover up their crimes.