More than 50 years have passed since the United Nations adopted the first treaty prohibiting some drugs. Due to the one-sided media coverage of drug issues, there is very little public awareness of the devastating impact which the global war on drugs has on human rights, public health and public security (labour camps, extrajudicial killings, HIV infections, civil wars etc.). Governments do not undertake a transparent review of the effectiveness of current drug policies, or explore alternatives.
The HCLU is one of the few NGOs to produce and use videos not only as documentaries but as advocacy tools in order to facilitate drug policy reform. These videos are produced in cooperation with other NGOs to reach out to millions of young people through video-sharing sites like YouTube and mobilize them to take action, or to make key drug-policy decision-making forums more transparent and accountable. We also train fellow activists in video advocacy, to enable them to make their voice heard.
With the appropriate resources available and by using social media, these videos can go viral and give voice to the communities most affected by the war on drugs. In the long term, they can raise public awareness of human rights abuses being committed in the name of drug control. We can multiply our impact by training other NGOs to use videos as strategic tools in their advocacy work.