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Simon Flacks

T: +43 1 4277-22343
E: simon.flacks@univie.ac.at


"Children, Drugs and Human Rights"

The human rights of people who use illegal drugs are often of secondary or no importance in policies that tend to focus on punitive and repressive measures, rather than harm reduction or health initiatives. Children who use drugs are even less likely to access such services, reflecting their subordinated status in society and the politicised nature of both drug taking and childhood. This research project seeks to fill a void in literature on health, children, drug use and human rights. It will scrutinise UK law and policy on drug use in respect of children and young people, examining the gaps and silences, and the extent to which a right-based approach might empower vulnerable groups. In will include empirical research on the existence of human rights-based approaches in services for those under the age of 18, with a view to examining the nexus between human rights law, policy and practice.


Simon Flacks studied law at the University of Nottingham before training as a newspaper reporter in Brighton. After two years on a regional newspaper, he trained as a support worker for people with mental health problems before travelling to Thailand to undertake an internship with the UN. On his return to the UK, he took a position with the Child Rights Information Network in London, and studied part time for an LLM in human rights from Birkbeck College, University of London. He graduated in 2009 and joined the College in January 2010.

Research Interests
human rights, criminal justice, child rights and childhood, sexuality, gender, family law, education law, mental health

 ‘Drug Control, Human Rights, and the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health: A Reply to Saul Takahashi’, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 33(3), 2011, pp. 856-877

‘Youth justice reform: redressing age discrimination against children?’, Youth Justice [scheduled April 2012]

‘Deviant Disabilities: The exclusion of alcohol and drug addiction from the Equality Act 2010’, Social & Legal Studies [scheduled Sep. 2012]

Conference Papers
‘Young Illicit Drug Users in England: The Socio-legal Construction of a Problem’, at Beyond the Buzzword: Problematising Drugs, Monash University, Prato, Italy [October 2011]

Human Rights Positions
Child Rights Officer, Child Rights Information Network, London, UK (2007-2010)
Researcher (internship), Kurdish Human Rights Project, London, UK (2006)
Researcher (internship), UNAIDS, Bangkok (2006)

Best essay, Birkbeck College Postgraduate Law School 2008



Forschungszentrum Menschenrechte
Universität Wien

Hörlgasse 6/9
A-1090 Wien

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