The child of an Afghan farmer harvests opium sap from a poppy field in Eastern Afghanistan.  Photo by: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images.

The two strategic pillars of the ‘war on drugs’ – that is the eradication of illicit crops and the militarisation of the fight against drug gangs – have both been a disaster. The fragile consensus surrounding the ‘war on drugs’ is falling apart.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an opportunity to develop new, contextually attuned approaches to counter-narcotics and peacebuilding – based on solid research and applying a gender lens.

This policy paper provides recommendations for a new approach to transforming illicit drug economies, in order to support sustainable transitions that achieve the targets and ambition of the SDGs.

Read policy paper.

This paper was published by Christian Aid, a partner in the Drugs and (dis)order research project funded by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund.