Human rights, Law, Public health, Social science

Course date

14 July - 23 July, 2014
The application process is closed.

Experiences of past course participants

2013 course participants said:

”Most of the sessions were eye opening to me. Since my 14 years career in Harm Reduction Program 
I never got such kind of wonderful training.” 
"I have participated in a number of summer schools related to human rights, democracy and rule of law, and international relations both in Tajikistan and in Central Asian countries. Comparing to these events, I can highlight the exceptional level of organisation and logistical support of the program. The academic content of the program and the level of professional expertise of some lecturers is also worth highest evaluations. The level of expertise of participants and how the selection was made in order to ensure a multi-cultural diversity is also worth highest evaluations."
I found the Drug Policy Course to be extremely well organised. I was particularly impressed by the great quality materials available prior to the course. I was also impressed by the fact that lecturers made specific efforts to link their interventions to country realities and allowed ample time for discussion and interaction with participants thus tapping into expertise/experiences from participants."
"Great faculty representing a good range of expertise and experiences. A very good mix of participants from across the globe -- all bringing specific experiences and expertise. The presentations were very much focused on current issues and significant recent developments."
“I always wanted to do Master's or Candidate's Degree on Structural Effects of the Current Drug Policy on Society, but couldn't find a proper Academic Institution that would support me in doing so in my home country. Thus, I was thrilled to have this opportunity of participating at the Summer School on Drug Policy and Human Rights, as it is exactly what I was looking for. The fact that the course managed to gather 24 people from 19 different countries with very diverse work experiences and backgrounds came as additional bonus.”

"I learned a lot both from teachers, but also from my classmates. I also received a lot of information about complex issues influencing drug policies of specific countries, which I never thought about before. It struck me that we have so little information about my region, and I am really thinking about starting a research on geopolitics and drug policy in Central Asia. "

“Logistics and instructions and even extracurricular events were great! Great job, felt a well taken-care-of-student.”  

2012 course participants said:

"I found this course really interesting, I learned so much and I'm already incorporating into my work. This course has enriched my knowledge about drug policy and human rights, and provided me ideas about several advocay strategies. It was a useful opportunity to work in groups, analyzing collectively the different situations being experienced on the issue. There were very enriching group work and discussions. I found it very useful to learn about the various processes of change that are taking place in different countries to analyze the process of modification of the drug law in Argentina. I think that this course will improve my performance on the task of learning support, and driving the debate with a broader perspective in the tutorial of virtual course of drug policies and human rights."

"The course was useful in my professional activities. Now I have much more information about harm reduction,
substitute treatment, drug types and characters, consumer and producer countries, statistics. All this information will really help me in my criminal law work."
(2012 course participant)

"The course was extremely useful in terms of learning and reaffirming what issues are at the center of drug policy
discussions. Most of the lectures provided innovative ideas on the topic and lecturers facilitated the discussions
well. We had room to propose as well ideas for future research, advocacy, topics, such as gender and drug

"The most important thing was global perspective, which was possible because of the different backgrounds of participants from different countries."

The idea of bringing human rights into drug policy analysis is innovative, unique, and probably something that should be taught at every university. This course has been done at a crucial moment in history (or perhaps as a reflection of the international developments on drug policy and the break in the Vienna consensus). The course program is holistic and trying to incorporate the most relevant areas dealing with drug policy. It has been an incredible opportunity in an area that is not in the 'mainstream' and has provided the perfect platform for people interested in this topic to get together and share ideas, knowledge, experiences. […] In general, it has been the best workshop I have attended in my career. It has a lot of room for improvement and becoming in very few years a world-leading platform/program for developing research, networks, and advocacy groups." 

2011 course participants said:

This was the most useful course I could have wished for. Although I felt quite familiar and comfortable with the majority of the topics covered there was a great amount of detail that really broadened my knowledge. The controversial things said by faculty from time to time inspired debate in the group, inspired thought, and inspired writing. Also, networking-wise I could not imagine anything better. I have met engaged people interested in developing a network, and maybe we will develop partnerships out of this. I’m thrilled!

The power of knowledgeable lecturers and the friendly or collegiate class made this course a marvel to attend.” 

Phenomenal instructors and truly inspiring colleagues. Great range of subject material that covers various aspects of human rights and drug policy.”

The agenda structure was organized properly - each lecturer had about a day/a day and a half to cover a specific field of work. The course covered various fields - human rights, drug policy, public health, demand and supply reduction, criminology - which allowed students to have a broad image about "the drug problem" and to understand how all these fields relate one to another in a broaden context.” 

The readings provide substantial foundations for the topics which were discussed during the course. They can also be used after the course. I find them particularly important and useful in my everyday work to be able to resort to data and research on drug policy. After all the discussions during the course I find much more confident in talking about human rights related issues.” 

The course provided me with an excellent framework concerning the golobal framework on prohibitionist vs. harm reduction discourses. Triggering afterclass discussions and being thought-provoking, the course was very useful in expending and deepening my views and understanding on drug-related policies and human rights in various countries throughout the world. It offered an excellent opportunity to learn not only from the lecturers but also by exchanging participants experience and critical thinking after the classes.” 

It gave me a strong understanding of practical technologies and ways to be used in advocating the human rights of drug user in my country.” 
It provided me with an academic background in areas which I would not normally have had an opportunity to explore, such as basic human rights law and criminology.” 

The course, the readings and the discussions with lecturers and colleagues brought me a lot of new information. I exchanged experiences and knowledge with colleagues, I found new literature on harm reduction, drug policy and human rights. All these help me to complete my projects - reports on drug policy in my country, advocacy campaigns, human right projects and research on harm reduction issues.” 

As a relative newcomer to the drug policy field (and a somewhat experienced drug researcher) the course has provided me with a good understanding of the international and national contexts for drug policy. I have also learnt about a range of resources and documents that I can access to enable me to continue learning in this area. I will use much of what I have learnt in the policy work I have recently started working on, and also, the course will inform the focus of my phd studies.” 

The info sent out before the course on how to get here, what to do, what bus to take and all that was great. The welcome packs were great. The welcome dinner was great. The schedule was great. We had a good amount of breaks at good length, and overall thanks for the really good organization. This was a brilliant stress free experience. Thank you.”