Press release: The Global Commission on Drug Policy congratulates its chair Ruth Dreifuss, co-recipient of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology

(Geneva, 7 November 2018)

The members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy wish to extend their congratulations to Ruth Dreifuss, former president of Switzerland and Chair of the Global Commission, as well as Peter Reuter, Director of the Program on the Economics of Crime and Justice Policy at the University of Maryland, who were awarded the prestigious Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

Known as the “Nobel Prize for criminology”, this award recognizes Ms Dreifuss and her team’s work in reforming Swiss drug policies to respond to a drug-related overdose crisis and HIV epidemic due to injecting drugs, which the country faced in the 1990s.

As Federal Councillor from 1993 to 2003, Ruth Dreifuss oversaw the implementation of the Swiss “four pillars” drug policy, which placed an emphasis on protecting public health and preserving the health of individuals.

“Ruth Dreifuss played a seminal role in implementing the ‘four-pillars’ approach, the effectiveness of which is now widely recognized around the world,” says Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil and founder of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. “The Swiss experience drastically reduced not only the number of deaths due to overdose but also the petty criminality associated with the illegal heroin market. I extend my warmest congratulations to Ruth for her unfailing commitment and for showing that courage and pragmatism are the best tools for a policy maker who wishes to end the social harms that result from current punitive drug laws.”

Ruth Dreifuss and Peter Reuter will receive the prize at an awards ceremony on 11 June 2019.


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