05 Jul 2021
STATEMENT BY THE PERMANENT MISSION OF SINGAPORE DURING THE INTERACTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION ON ITS STUDY ON DRUG POLICIES DURING THE 47TH SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL, 2 JULY 2021
Singapore firmly believes that every person has the right to live, work and grow in a safe environment free from the scourge of drugs. To achieve this, we adopt a comprehensive harm prevention strategy that addresses the threat of drugs to our country through targeted prevention, robust enforcement of effective and tough laws, and evidence-based rehabilitation. This approach has kept the drug situation in Singapore under control.
Our drug rehabilitation centres play an important role in this holistic system, equipping drug abusers with knowledge and skills to overcome their addiction, and providing support for their reintegration into society. Through our evidenced-based programmes, recidivism rates for drug abusers have fallen from more than 60% in the 1990s to under 26% in the 2018 release cohort.
Every State has the sovereign right to choose its legal and criminal justice systems in accordance with its international law obligations. This right was reaffirmed most recently through the adoption of UNGA resolution 75/183.
The death penalty and corporal punishment remain important components of Singapore’s criminal justice system. They have been effective in deterring serious crimes, and their deterrent effect has been validated empirically. A study conducted in Singapore in 2018, for example, found that drug traffickers who were more aware of the legal consequences of trafficking had reduced the amount of drugs they trafficked into Singapore.
The implementation of the death penalty and corporal punishment in Singapore is governed by strict legal safeguards and an adherence to due process. For instance, individuals facing charges for capital offences are ensured access to legal representation under the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences (LASCO) regardless of their nationality. Individuals are also granted full right of appeal for their cases to be heard by the Apex court.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Singapore’s commitment to upholding the rule of law while ensuring the right of our people to live in safety and security in a manner best suited to our national circumstances.
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